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Armies/Units with good training but poor morale

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  • Armies/Units with good training but poor morale

    There many things and characteristics that define a unit's or a whole armies combat effectiveness. Theoretically, one could be good or bad at any one trait at random. In reality, some traits seem to go together.
    In this thread I want to ask about units or whole armies that were well trained, but lacked morale (in the unit-cohesion sense of course). History has plenty of armies that were poorly trained and had poor morale. One can easily find elite outfits with excellent training and high morale. And of course there are units with poor training but high morale (nice setup for a beloved underdog story). But what about units that were highly skilled but lacking in bravery? I get the impression that a strong unit-cohesion comes almost always along with good training. Does anyone have example to the contrary? Again, I am asking for units that very well trained, but lacked cohesion, bravery and the like.
    Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
    Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
    USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Acheron View Post
    There many things and characteristics that define a unit's or a whole armies combat effectiveness. Theoretically, one could be good or bad at any one trait at random. In reality, some traits seem to go together.
    In this thread I want to ask about units or whole armies that were well trained, but lacked morale (in the unit-cohesion sense of course). History has plenty of armies that were poorly trained and had poor morale. One can easily find elite outfits with excellent training and high morale. And of course there are units with poor training but high morale (nice setup for a beloved underdog story). But what about units that were highly skilled but lacking in bravery? I get the impression that a strong unit-cohesion comes almost always along with good training. Does anyone have example to the contrary? Again, I am asking for units that very well trained, but lacked cohesion, bravery and the like.

    Well you need also expierence for example take Napoleonic recruits in various battles that would be scared from random events and rout

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    • #3
      I know little about the Napoleonic times, but did these recruits really qualify as well trained?
      Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
      Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
      USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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      • #4
        James II's army when William of Orange landed. James had greatly expanded the army, ensured they had some of the best training along French lines and gave them the best equipment.

        Didn't win their loyalty though as most of them mutinied and went over to William.
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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        • #5
          WWII American Glider Troops. Good training, bad morale.
          "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

          BoRG

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
            WWII American Glider Troops. Good training, bad morale.
            Can understand why. No jump pay. No fancy jump boots. No jump wings. And forced to go into battle in an aircraft specifically designed to crash.

            All rectified by the end of the War, though. Except for the crashing aircraft part.

            Cheers,
            Dan.
            So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

            Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

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            • #7
              I heard that regular paratroopers looked down on the glider troops, the later apparently getting little recognition for the dangerous job they were doing. But while they had reason for poor morale, how did it manifest itself?
              Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
              Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
              USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

              Comment


              • #8
                Are we also talking about those highly trained units that developed poor morale because of endless campaigning? Alexander the Great's battle hardened and proven Macedonians comes to mind.
                Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                Prayers.

                BoRG

                http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                • #9
                  There is an old movie called "Battleground". It was about some Glider Troops in the Ardennes. It might shed some light on the "poor morale". I think you could look at the Italians and Hungarians and maybe the French in 1940 for good training and bad morale.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                    There is an old movie called "Battleground". It was about some Glider Troops in the Ardennes. It might shed some light on the "poor morale". I think you could look at the Italians and Hungarians and maybe the French in 1940 for good training and bad morale.

                    Pruitt
                    As for the Italians, Hungarians, and French..........would you care to expand on that?
                    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                    Prayers.

                    BoRG

                    http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                    • #11
                      I don't have a lot of time right now, but I will say that the French were certainly well trained in 1940. I think their morale was due to a feeling among the men of that "Didn't we have to do this 20 somethings years ago?". They also remembered the casualty lists.

                      The Italians and Hungarians were also well trained. What did they have to fight for? Mussolini and Admiral Horthy? They were also poorly equipped on the Eastern Front. They had a shortage of motor vehicles and their antitank equipment never caught up to the Germans. Any war aims the Hungarians had were met by German political machinations, vis a vis Yugoslavia and Romania. The Italians were poorly equipped in just about everything. They had no business fighting in this war.

                      Pruitt
                      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                      • #12
                        If I'm reading your question correctly, I would say the French at the end of WWI. By then, they became a modern fighting force, but they were on the edge of mutiny due to their leadership and disastrous casualties. I would also go with the Prussians of the early Napoleonic Era. Prussian training and drill was supposed to be second to none, but they routed at Jena and Auerstadt. I guess it could be argued that the Prussian Army had declined dramatically since Frederick the Great and the their command structure was so mired in tradition that it was nearly non-functional.
                        TTFN

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                        • #13
                          Alice,

                          I agree with the French Army in late WW I, but please remember they HAD already mutinied! They wanted more home leave and no more Offenses!

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think a case could easily be made for the United States Army in Vietnam (USARV) starting from 1970. The training the individual soldier received prior to deploying overseas was, at that time, as good as an American soldier ever got. By then the entire training system was geared to preparing soldiers for Vietnam service. As well, American weaponry was state of the art for that period.

                            Two things, I believe, contributed to the lessening of morale. First, by 1970 the war had become a politically divisive issue in America which put the individual soldier in a quandary as to whether or not he (or she) had the support of the nation (in this case the citizenry) in this endeavour.

                            Secondly, President Nixon had announced Vietnamization and American withdrawal the year before (1969). This had the effect of making it seem that the soldier's participation, and possible death, was all in vain. Ultimately, no one wanted to be the last soldier to die in a war that America was walking away from without a victory.

                            Cheers,
                            Dan.
                            So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

                            Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Interesting posts, thanks. II would contest that the Italian soldiers in WWII were well trained though, except for a couple of units, like the Bersaglieri or Alpini, but these also had rather good morale. I do not know anything about the Hungariam army.

                              Just FYI: I am asking the question because it seems to me, that good training and good morale usually go hand in hand, that you soldiers who have been well trained also usually have good morale and good unit-cohesion, so I was wondering about exceptions. So, any common characteristics of these exceptions? It generally seems that failures of the political leadership made morale suffer, probably throughout the army, so the well-trained elites lost heart along with the rank-and-file?
                              Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                              Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                              USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

                              Comment

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