Tactical Generalship: A View from the Past and a Look Toward the 21st Century
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Tactical generalship is mistakenly thought of as being synonymous with senior level leadership of general officers. However, in wartime, out general officers are evaluated on their generalship more so than their leadership. Why do historians make the distinction between leadership and generalship The phenomenon of tactical generalship has to be something other than pure leadership. This study specifically addresses Grants operations at Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862, and Rommels operations in the Battle of France in May-June 1940. Tactical generalship is defined as an art conducted in a state of war. Eight qualities of tactical generalship are defined and discussed, using Grant and Rommel as examples. These qualities are separated into three categories--cognitive, temperamental, and moral domain. The essence of tactical generalship is also examined within the context of their operations. The conclusions drawn indicate a need to inculcate the essence of tactical generalship into senior level leadership training. Future leaders must know that tactical generalship is an art based on years of study and experience. Furthermore, the demands of future wars will be much greater than previous wars because of nuclear weapons and technology. Future tactical generals must exercise their art well and be cognizant of the eight qualities of tactical generalship to cope with the rigors of 21st century warfare.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics