Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Victims of the Peter Principle

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Victims of the Peter Principle

    Apologies if this has already been done, but I thought a list of commanders on both side who fell victim to the Peter Principle would be kind of neat:

    Confederate

    Gen. Hood -- already being discussed in another thread on this board.

  • #2
    For the Union:
    Banks
    Hunter
    Fremont
    Pope
    Alexander McCook
    Butler

    Burnside was a good independent commander, but in command of the AoP was too much for him.

    For the South:
    Polk
    Zollicofer
    Price
    Van Dorn (except as a raider)
    Pemberton
    Pillow
    Floyd
    The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

    Comment


    • #3
      For the Union, I would add McClellan as he proved to be more competent early on with a smaller force.

      Then again, his success was probably due more to operating in friendly territory. He had trouble ascertaining the truth in enemy territory which swayed his decision making. So McClellan may be a victim of horrible intel.

      Many others on your list are questionable. Several raise the question, "Were they ever good?". Others may just be a matter of making at the time seemed to be sound decisions/tactics, but which just didn't play out well. While history and historians have not been kind to him Pemberton comes across to me this way. He was just put in an impossible situation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe Hooker on the Union side. Did well at division and corps command. Not so well with army command. Same thing with Pope.
        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JBM View Post
          For the Union, I would add McClellan as he proved to be more competent early on with a smaller force.

          Then again, his success was probably due more to operating in friendly territory. He had trouble ascertaining the truth in enemy territory which swayed his decision making. So McClellan may be a victim of horrible intel.

          Many others on your list are questionable. Several raise the question, "Were they ever good?". Others may just be a matter of making at the time seemed to be sound decisions/tactics, but which just didn't play out well. While history and historians have not been kind to him Pemberton comes across to me this way. He was just put in an impossible situation.
          I believe much of McClellan's early "success" was attributable to William Rosecrans' exertions, not his own. I also believe that McClellan was already 'running for office' and that if he could win the war without casualties, he would. In doing so, he undererstimated the South's willingness to fight. He seemed to look at everyone involved as a future vote - not as friend or foe.

          Regarding Pemberton, no doubt he was in a tough spot (especially since he was receiving conflicting orders from Johnston and Richmond). He did make several errors which could have alleviated his stress though. He had a real chance to nip Grant's amphibious attack in the bud (apologies to Barney Fife) and left Bowen in a difficult situation at Port Gibson. He also overreacted to the Grierson Raid, leaving him with an inadequate amount of quality cavalry in the area.
          I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
            For the Union:

            For the South:
            Polk
            Zollicofer
            Price
            Van Dorn (except as a raider)
            Pemberton
            Pillow
            Floyd
            I would have to add the Texan General Hood, he was a brillant brigade commander, a good divisional command, an average Corp commander and a terrible Army Commander. A classic example of the Peter principle.
            War is less costly than servitude

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JBM View Post
              Many others on your list are questionable. Several raise the question, "Were they ever good?". Others may just be a matter of making at the time seemed to be sound decisions/tactics, but which just didn't play out well. While history and historians have not been kind to him Pemberton comes across to me this way. He was just put in an impossible situation.
              Yeah, maybe I was just used to the "bad generals thread" & put down some folks I thought were incompetent. You are right that several of those don't adhere to the Peter Principle-they were always bad!
              The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

              Comment


              • #8
                What's the Peter principle and why is it called that?
                How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                  What's the Peter principle and why is it called that?
                  The Peter Principle is where you promote somebody continuously till that person reaches a level where he goes from competent to incompetent. Why it is called that--I have no clue.


                  I have a lot of sympathy for "Rosey" Burnsides. He knew he was being tossed into waters over his head, but being a good soldier tried to do his best, I feel, IMHO, that his problems at Fredericksburg was not from a tactical inflexibility but pure indecision. It didn't help that his first battle was one of a tactical complexity that would have bedeviled even a more experienced General.
                  Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                  "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                  What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                    The Peter Principle is where you promote somebody continuously till that person reaches a level where he goes from competent to incompetent. Why it is called that--I have no clue.
                    The author of the book that formulated the idea that became the Peter Principle was a Dr. Peter.
                    Legate Postumius Valerius Oceanus, Legio VI Italia

                    Napoleonic Wars
                    PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingMississippi View Post
                      The author of the book that formulated the idea that became the Peter Principle was a Dr. Peter.
                      Not the same one who shot Van Dorn, I trust?
                      I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TomDeFranco View Post
                        I believe much of McClellan's early "success" was attributable to William Rosecrans' exertions, not his own. I also believe that McClellan was already 'running for office' and that if he could win the war without casualties, he would. In doing so, he undererstimated the South's willingness to fight. He seemed to look at everyone involved as a future vote - not as friend or foe.
                        I've no idea how you can reach this opinion from the weight of evidence. Can you justify your opinion?
                        "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post
                          I've no idea how you can reach this opinion from the weight of evidence. Can you justify your opinion?
                          Opinion? It is generally understood that Rosecrans actually won the 1861 battles in westrern Virginia like Rich Mountain.

                          From Rebels At The Gates by W. Hunter Lesser, page 98:

                          "If a frontal assault was required, McClellan looked to his most experienced brigadier, the "silly, fussy goose," William Rosecrans."

                          Rosecrans was responsible for bringing a local civilian to McClellan to help in approaching the Confederates without the necessity of a frontal attack. After the civilian pleaded his case to McClellan, Little Mac did not seem convinced. It took Rosecrans to get McClellan to alter his plans accordingly.

                          On page 99 here is the following: "Rosecrans ushered Hart away and offered McClellan a plan. "Now General", he intoned, "if you will allow me to take my brigade I will take this guide and, by a night's march, surprise the enemy at the gap, get possession of it, and thus hold his only line of retreat. You can then take him on the front. If he gives way we shall have him; if he fights obstinately I will leave a portion of the force at the gap and with the remainder fall upon his rear."

                          "McClellan listened in silence. Major Marcy piped up, "General I think that is a good plan." Nearly an hour passed before the details were arranged. Rosecrans would start before dawn on July 11, following young Harton a three-hour march to the summit. He expected to reach the Hart farm by 10 A.M.. Upon hearing Rosecrans's musketry in rear of the Rebel works, McClellan would launce the frontal assault."

                          After obstacles like rain, and thus being off schedule the Federals under Rosecrans prevailed. The following is from page 104: " The Battle of Rich Mountain was over. Flushed with success, Rosecrans's troops scattered through the woods after the enemy. Those 310 Confederates had held their ground for more than two hours, despite being outnumbered six to one. By all accounts they had been a "gallant and determined" foe. Yet their defeat on the mountaintop foreshadowed the demise of Camp Garnett and opened the turnpike to Beverly, just five miles east. If Federal troops reached that town, they could trap General Garnett's army at Laurel Hill - then march unimpeded toward the Virginia Central Railroad at Staunton, one hundred five miles southeast. That railroad led another one hundred and twenty miles to the Confederate capitol at Richmond."

                          "From the direction of Camp Garnett there was silence. Contrary to plan, General McClellan had not assailed the Confederate works. His loss of nerve (another evolving trait) left Rosecrans inn a tight spot on top of Rich Mountain. Rosecrans was square between the enemy forces."

                          What more might you need?
                          I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ....Of any of Mac's traits, this seemed most disturbing- he always seemed to leave someone else do the hard fighting, even if he were to support them if it had any risk.
                            Many a good Union officer gave up his life waiting for Mac to act.
                            Of course, his "pets" liked him since he never expected them to fight if it meant a risk, real or not.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mgronski View Post
                              ....Of any of Mac's traits, this seemed most disturbing- he always seemed to leave someone else do the hard fighting, even if he were to support them if it had any risk.
                              Many a good Union officer gave up his life waiting for Mac to act.
                              Of course, his "pets" liked him since he never expected them to fight if it meant a risk, real or not.
                              Yes, and that blasted Napoleon, leaving his Marshals to do all the fighting. Why wasn't he riding off to find Grouchy?

                              It's a strange notion, rooted in a Hollywood promoted "heroic leader" motiff. It has no basis in modern theory.
                              "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X