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On the Psychology of Military Incompetence


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction PART ONE 2. Generalship 3. The Crimean War 4. The Boer War 5. Indian Interlude 6. The First World War 7. Cambrai 8. The Siege of Kut 9. Between the Wars 10. The Second World War 11. Singapore 12. Arnhem PART TWO 13. Is There a Case to Answer? 14. The Intellectual Ability of Senior Military Commanders 15. Military Organizations 16. 'Bullshit' 17. Socialization and the Anal Character 18. Character and Honour 19. Anti-Effeminacy 20. Leaders of Men 21. Military Achievement 22. Authoritarianism 23. Mothers of Incompetence 24. Education and the Cult of Muscular Christianity PART THREE 25. Individual Differences 26. Extremes of Authoritarianism 27. The Worst and the Best 28. Exceptions to the Rule? 29. Retreat

About the Author

Dr. Norman F. Dixon, M.B.E., Fellow of the British Psychological Society, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University College London. After ten years' commission in the Royal Engineers, during which time he was wounded ("largely through my own incompetence"), Dixon left the Army in 1950 and entered university where he obtained a first-class degree in Psychology. He received the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in 1956 and Doctor of Science in 1972, and in 1974 was awarded the University of London Carpenter Medal 'for work of exceptional distinction in Experimental Psychology'.


"One does not have to share all, or even most, of Dixon's often rebarbative views to agree that this penetrating, self-knowing, often hilarious, and sometimes alarming book is a must-read. It is a classic of military history awaiting rediscovery today." --Brendan Simms, author of Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy "An original, scientifically impressive and fascinating book ... a minor classic." --Tablet "An absorbing, perceptive and often very funny study in human frailty." --Listener "It should be compulsory reading wherever future officers are selected or trained, and deserves a very wide readership among psychologists and laymen." --New Society "An intelligent man's guide to the defects of the military mind... Its conclusions are incontrovertible." --Books and Bookmen

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