Supreme command: soldiers, statesmen, and leadership in wartime.
Transcription of Annotations
Front and back endpapers contain characterizations of Winston Churchill, Georges Clemenceau, David Ben-Gurion and Abraham Lincoln as statesmen as well as some biographical information on each man. Churchill failed as a war strategist according to his generals; he admired many military leaders but was unwilling to accept their suggestions on faith; he picked commanders who disagreed with him; he had the power of intelligent questioning based on wide reading and common sense. Clemenceau believed war was too important to be left to the generals; he made weekly visits to the front lines; he was a radical socialist and anti-Catholic. Ben-Gurion admired Lincoln, Gandhi and Moses. He grew disillusioned with communism, fought with the British in WWI and admired Russian socialism. He ordered commanders to defend every community, while he focused on Jerusalem. In 1953 he developed a new long-term plan: 1) Foreign reliance with France, 2) nuclear weapons, 3) deferring large military acquisitions in favor of absorbing more Jews into Israel. In his view the most dangerous enemy was the intellectual inertia of those responsible for security. Abraham Lincoln controlled his generals; he was an unforgiving boss. Based on Lincoln's five propositions, Grant acted with a fundamental understanding of what Lincoln wanted. Lincoln felt he had to master the details of war; he had an understanding of the interplay of war and politics - this made him the greatest American commander in chief. Notes on the qualities which these four leaders share, state: They have intuition and genius; they comprehend a multiplicity of forces and conditions; they each have the quality to persist; they have courage and are willing and able to dismiss their generals. All four are well read in history, politics, and literature and have mastered the art of speech and writing. All had moderation and could also be ruthless. Each had a deep streak of the willingness to do terrible things. Other notes contrast this scenario with Vietnam: "Fault in Vietnam was a deadly combination of inept strategy and excessively weak civilian control. LBJ picked weak leaders." -- Annotations by Brian Lamb in the margins and underlining of pertinent phrases throughout the book.