Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green

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9780718829339: Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green
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The British success at Goose Green was seen as a legendary victory, but by using interviews with participants in the battle, this book argues that it actually highlighted serious flaws in the British army's command culture. The author's knowledge of recent attempts to reform the army's command system and of the ongoing tactics debate allows him to elucidate the two basic models of command system identifiable in the Falklands War. This book is the basis of the first of Channel 4's 1996 series of documentaries, "Secret History", entitled "The Battle of Goose Green". "Restrictive control", traditionally preferred in the British army and still the accepted doctrine in 1982, holds that military action can be planned in detail in advance and expected to run according to plan if subordinates obey orders. "Directive command", on the other hand, recognizes that the chaos of battle cannot be controlled without overwhelming material superiority and therefore seeks to establish a more flexible system. This allows greater freedom of action for subordinates to deal with the unfolding tactical situation as appropriate. Applying this to Goose Green, the book suggests that the British achieved greater success when departing from the army's usual methodology than when adhering to the practices taught at officer training establishments. The conclusion from this assessment is that inaccurate reporting and the unquestioning glorification of its performance have hindered the army's efforts at modernizing its command system. The author argues that armies often fail to learn from their experiences.

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Fitz-Gibbon, Spencer
Published by Lutterworth Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0718829336 ISBN 13: 9780718829339
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Spencer Fitz-Gibbon
Published by Lutterworth Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0718829336 ISBN 13: 9780718829339
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