History Main / CripplingOverSpecialization

25th Jun '16 12:31:50 PM karstovich2
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** The saber-tooths, whose massive choppers were designed for hunting large megafauna such as mastodons, woolly rhinos, and giant bison. But when the megafauna died out at the end of the ice age, the sabers were unable to adapt to a diet of smaller game, and so followed their massive prey to oblivion.

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** The saber-tooths, whose massive choppers were designed for hunting large megafauna such as mastodons, woolly rhinos, and giant bison. But when the megafauna died out at the end of the ice age, age due to a combination of climate change and the arrival from Africa of [[ExpospeakGag an adaptable, omnivorous animal that proved to be much better at hunting large megafauna than the sabers]], the sabers were unable to adapt to a diet of smaller game, and so followed their massive prey to oblivion.
12th Jun '16 3:28:28 AM Morgenthaler
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** In a TreehouseOfHorror episode Homer is standing in a bunker when France launches a 6 megaton nuclear missle at Springfield. Homer is lucky that it was a 6 megatonner, because the shelter is designed for 4 megatons, "no more, no less."

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** In a TreehouseOfHorror WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror episode Homer is standing in a bunker when France launches a 6 megaton nuclear missle at Springfield. Homer is lucky that it was a 6 megatonner, because the shelter is designed for 4 megatons, "no more, no less."
9th Jun '16 2:23:54 PM AnotherDuck
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** Cheetahs, specializing in ultimate sprinting, have a very light build and not much strength compared to other large African predators. Against lions, hyenas, leopards and hunting dogs, all a cheetah can do is run. When it comes to prey, anything larger than a Thompson's gazelle is off-limits to most cheetahs (some males can become large and robust enough to take down yearling wildebeests). However, it may be subverted, as some cheetahs have learned to bring down larger prey by hunting in groups.
*** Cheetah mothers sometimes have their cubs eaten by baboons, being unable to defend them. While baboons have an impressive build and sharp teeth, this is not something they could get away with against, for instance, a leopard.

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** Cheetahs, specializing in ultimate sprinting, have a very light build and not much strength compared to other large African predators. Against lions, hyenas, leopards and hunting dogs, all a cheetah can do is run. When it comes to prey, anything larger than a Thompson's gazelle is off-limits to most cheetahs (some males can become large and robust enough to take down yearling wildebeests). However, it may be subverted, as some cheetahs have learned to bring down larger prey by hunting in groups.
***
groups. Cheetah mothers sometimes have their cubs eaten by baboons, being unable to defend them. While baboons have an impressive build and sharp teeth, this is not something they could get away with against, for instance, a leopard.



** Many sea animals descended from land fauna such as seals, sea snakes, and the prehistoric ocean reptiles have special adaptations that enable them to be fast and agile in the water but at the cost of being near-helpless on land (since streamlining often calls for reduced limbs). Seals have lost their hind legs and so on land must flop about like a giant worm, while sea snakes have no belly scutes (and so cannot slither on land as well like other snakes.)
** The same thing occurs with any domesticated animal. In the wild, an animal may develop a specialized trait, like say, running to avoid predators, but there are a number of other factors that will determine its survival, like diseases. Under human care, it lives in a controlled environment and are usually bred for a single specific purpose, say, racing. They may develop genetic disorders or be susceptible to diseases and such.



** This is particularly prevalent in insect reproduction, where in some species, the male insects only function is to mate with the female and die afterwards to feed the female or the offspring. Some don't even have mouths or digestive tracts, making their only lot in life what is described above. This has been found notably also on the deep sea Anglerfish, where the male anglerfish - which is many times smaller than the female - literally melts in to the female and becomes a pair of testicles. And a single female can have several of them.



** The United States followed with the exact opposite aircraft - the Brewster F2A Buffalo. Built under a Naval directive of extreme durability, the Buffalo was so overloaded on structural material and armor that the engine and armament were heavily reduced. Deployed by the US and Britain only in the in the Pacific Theater during the beginning of the war, it was woefully inadequate compared to the far lighter and faster Japanese fighters. One general went as far as saying that in deploying a pilot in a Buffalo, one should consider them lost after takeoff. The Pilots themselves? They nicknamed the plane [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "the Flying Coffin" ]]. One of the reasons for this: while the skin of the plane was heavily armored, the area directly around the pilot had '''none'''.
*** And yet, the [[FinnsWithFearsomeForests Finnish]] Air Forces were able to use the Brewster to good effect against Russian bombers. Fear the Finns.
** In the same period, the Royal Italian Navy was crippled by two simple government decisions: the Royal Italian Air Force would get complete control on any and all aircrafts that weren't recon seaplanes (with no direct link between the fleet and the aircraft squadrons), and warship design would concentrate on speed to the expense of armour or range. This resulted in a fleet with no carriers and air support and ships that were either embarassingly more fragile than most of their counterparts (destroyers, light cruisers and heavy cruisers) or short ranged (the ''Littorio''-class battleships, that were fast, well-armoured, better armed than even the ''Bismarck'', and extremely short ranged). While this would have made sense had they fought the carrier-less French Navy as expected[[note]] In fact the Italian ships were designed ''specifically'' to take on the French ships, with battleships taking on the enemy heavy cruisers and battleships, heavy cruisers taking on the equally fast but outgunned French light cruisers, light cruisers chasing down and destroying the enemy large destroyers, and destroyers acting as commerce raiders and using their extreme speed for torpedo runs on enemy battleships[[/note]], especially in light of Italy's position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea theorically allowing the Italian Royal Air Force to send their planes wherever was necessary, against the more aggressive, equilibrate and carrier-supported Royal Navy it was a major disaster, resulting in many avoidable defeats (the most crushing being the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which torpedo bombers put the battleship ''Vittorio Veneto'' out of commission for months and indirectly caused the loss of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers) and, ultimately, the loss of almost all of Italy's merchant fleet and defeat in the North African campaign.

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** * The United States followed with the exact opposite aircraft - the Brewster F2A Buffalo. Built under a Naval directive of extreme durability, the Buffalo was so overloaded on structural material and armor that the engine and armament were heavily reduced. Deployed by the US and Britain only in the in the Pacific Theater during the beginning of the war, it was woefully inadequate compared to the far lighter and faster Japanese fighters. One general went as far as saying that in deploying a pilot in a Buffalo, one should consider them lost after takeoff. The Pilots themselves? They nicknamed the plane [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "the Flying Coffin" ]]. One of the reasons for this: while the skin of the plane was heavily armored, the area directly around the pilot had '''none'''.
***
'''none'''.\\
\\
And yet, the [[FinnsWithFearsomeForests Finnish]] Air Forces were able to use the Brewster to good effect against Russian bombers. Fear the Finns.
** * In the same period, the Royal Italian Navy was crippled by two simple government decisions: the Royal Italian Air Force would get complete control on any and all aircrafts that weren't recon seaplanes (with no direct link between the fleet and the aircraft squadrons), and warship design would concentrate on speed to the expense of armour or range. This resulted in a fleet with no carriers and air support and ships that were either embarassingly more fragile than most of their counterparts (destroyers, light cruisers and heavy cruisers) or short ranged (the ''Littorio''-class battleships, that were fast, well-armoured, better armed than even the ''Bismarck'', and extremely short ranged). While this would have made sense had they fought the carrier-less French Navy as expected[[note]] In fact the Italian ships were designed ''specifically'' to take on the French ships, with battleships taking on the enemy heavy cruisers and battleships, heavy cruisers taking on the equally fast but outgunned French light cruisers, light cruisers chasing down and destroying the enemy large destroyers, and destroyers acting as commerce raiders and using their extreme speed for torpedo runs on enemy battleships[[/note]], especially in light of Italy's position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea theorically allowing the Italian Royal Air Force to send their planes wherever was necessary, against the more aggressive, equilibrate and carrier-supported Royal Navy it was a major disaster, resulting in many avoidable defeats (the most crushing being the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which torpedo bombers put the battleship ''Vittorio Veneto'' out of commission for months and indirectly caused the loss of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers) and, ultimately, the loss of almost all of Italy's merchant fleet and defeat in the North African campaign.



* The Space Shuttle. It was intended to become the United States' sole space launch vehicle during the 1980s, to an extent that other launch systems - such as the Titan and Atlas rocket families - were wound down. While the Shuttle was reusable and could carry very large payloads, the technical demands of creating a reusable vehicle meant that the Shuttle couldn't achieve anything close to geostationary orbit. As satellite communications went through a massive expansion, this became a big limitation. The liquid-fuelled Centaur booster rocket that was supposed to solve this problem was abandoned because of the risks inherent in loading the Shuttle's cargo bay with a hydrogen-oxygen rocket. Ultimately the Shuttle failed to meet its ambitious launch targets and the Challenger disaster seriously damaged the program's reputation. By the mid-1980s, the US found itself facing a dearth of launch vehicles, until production of the Atlas could be resumed. The Shuttle program was discontinued in 2011, in part because NASA had a backlog of manned missions beyond near-earth orbit that the Shuttle wouldn't have been able to handle.



* This is ''usually'' averted in the sport of UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, where it's pretty much universal that you ''have'' to have ''some'' proficiency at wherever the fight goes, even if it's purely defensive. Even keeping the fight where you want it pretty much requires learning the opposite of the techniques useful in the situation you're trying to keep in. You're going to end up on the ground very quickly if you don't know much grappling (as most techniques to get a man to the ground where grappling is more useful are in themselves grappling-based), and if you're no good at striking, chances are you'll be beaten to a bloody pulp before you can get anywhere near the ground where striking is less useful.
** UFC fighter Cody McKenzie has an absolutely lethal guillotine choke, one which has felled the vast majority of his opponents. When that fails, however, he's highly vulnerable on the ground, succumbing to rear-naked chokes against Yves Edwards and Vagner Rocha. Conversely, Bellator's Giva Santana, "The Arm Collector," specializes in armbars but has an impressive grappling game in addition.
** Rousimar Palhares fell victim to this trope when his [[SignatureMove trademark leglocks]] didn't work on [[JackOfAllStats Alan Belcher]], as he had no way to stop his opponent's ground and pound, and lost by TKO. Ironically, leglocks would also prove Palhares' downfall in a fight that he ''won''... when he not only didn't let go of a fighter's leg when the fighter tapped but even seemed to resist the referee's own attempt to separate them, he was not only denied a Submission of the Night monetary bonus but dismissed.
** Likewise, this proved to be the main chink in Ronda Rousey's armor. She is an excellent grappler who's pretty much [[CurbStompBattle guaranteed victory in seconds]] the moment she brought her opponent to the ground, but when she went up against a striker in the form of Holly Holm, she wound up not only knocked out rather quickly but seriously injured on top of it.
** Some specialized martial arts play this trope straight, but especially jodo. It is intended to defeat one single type of weapon (katana) on the hands of an unarmoured opponent who is assumed to fight fair. Against any other opponents jodo is pretty much useless.
* While it's usually averted in the sport of roller derby (most blockers can also jam in a pinch, and most jammers can throw a good hit,) happens from time to time. Some jammers are fast and agile enough to get through the pack without any help at all, [[FragileSpeedster but if they get so much as a love tap,]] [[GlassCannon they go down hard.]]
* Many sole proprietorships and independent businesses - particularly those in retail.
* Anyone who become highly skilled in niche software, either the coding or the running, and then been forced to try and change careers.

to:

* This is ''usually'' averted in the sport of UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, where it's pretty much universal that you ''have'' to have ''some'' proficiency at wherever the fight goes, even if it's purely defensive. Even keeping the fight where you want it pretty much requires learning the opposite of the techniques useful in the situation you're trying to keep in. You're going to end up on the ground very quickly if you don't know much grappling (as most techniques to get a man to the ground where grappling is more useful are in themselves grappling-based), and if you're no good at striking, chances are you'll be beaten to a bloody pulp before you can get anywhere near the ground where striking is less useful.
** UFC fighter Cody McKenzie has an absolutely lethal guillotine choke, one which has felled the vast majority of his opponents. When that fails, however, he's highly vulnerable on the ground, succumbing to rear-naked chokes against Yves Edwards and Vagner Rocha. Conversely, Bellator's Giva Santana, "The Arm Collector," specializes in armbars but has an impressive grappling game in addition.
** Rousimar Palhares fell victim to this trope when his [[SignatureMove trademark leglocks]] didn't work on [[JackOfAllStats Alan Belcher]], as he had no way to stop his opponent's ground and pound, and lost by TKO. Ironically, leglocks would also prove Palhares' downfall in a fight that he ''won''... when he not only didn't let go of a fighter's leg when the fighter tapped but even seemed to resist the referee's own attempt to separate them, he was not only denied a Submission of the Night monetary bonus but dismissed.
** Likewise, this proved to be the main chink in Ronda Rousey's armor. She is an excellent grappler who's pretty much [[CurbStompBattle guaranteed victory in seconds]] the moment she brought her opponent to the ground, but when she went up against a striker in the form of Holly Holm, she wound up not only knocked out rather quickly but seriously injured on top of it.
**
Some specialized martial arts play this trope straight, but especially jodo. It is intended to defeat one single type of weapon (katana) on the hands of an unarmoured opponent who is assumed to fight fair. Against any other opponents jodo is pretty much useless.
* While it's usually averted in the sport of roller derby (most blockers can also jam in a pinch, and most jammers can throw a good hit,) happens from time to time. Some jammers are fast and agile enough to get through the pack without any help at all, [[FragileSpeedster but if they get so much as a love tap,]] [[GlassCannon they go down hard.]]
* Many sole proprietorships and independent businesses - particularly those in retail.
* Anyone who become highly skilled in niche software, either the coding or the running, and then been forced to try and change careers.
useless.



* OlderThanFeudalism: [[TheGloryThatWasRome Roman legionaries]] were trained to fight as a cohesive unit, not as individuals. While this strategy worked for them quite well most of the time, it hit a massive snag during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. The thick woods and rough terrain of the region forced the Romans to split into smaller groups, which enabled the Germanic tribesmen, who were better fighters individually, to overwhelm and defeat them. The defeat proved to be psychologically devastating for Rome, bringing an abrupt halt to its then-relentless expansion.
** Also, Roman armies at the end of the Republic and the first years of the Empire (around the same time of Teutoburg) had specialized on shock infantry, with light infantry with ranged weapons and cavalry being provided by allies and client states (compare with Roman armies of the UsefulNotes/PunicWars, in which they had their own heavy shock infantry, light ranged infantry and cavalry, with allies and clients providing additional units). The Romans usually won even when deprived of allied support because their infantry could hold off cavalry charges and the shields could resist enemy arrows long enough for them to exhaust their munitions... Until the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae Battle of Carrhae]], in which an undersupported Roman army (35,000 legionaries with 4,000 light infantrymen and 4,000 horsemen) fought a's Parthian army of 9,000 mounted archers (also fast enough to avoid Roman cavalry), 1,000 armoured horsemen and 1,000 ''supply camels with spare arrows'', with the Roman ''testudo'' formation apt to block arrow fire but hampering their ability to resist a cavalry charge and looser formations being capable of fighting off cavalry charges but vulnerable to arrow fire. [[CurbStompBattle Three quarters of the Romans plus their commander and his staff were killed or captured, while the Parthians are reported to have suffered only a hundred losses]].
*** The Parthians themselves later fell prey to this trope, as they only had cavalry and most generals weren't smart enough to bring with them large numbers of spare arrows while the Romans learned their lesson and started bringing with them adequate numbers of light infantry, armoured cavalry and even mounted archers: in about 150 years of conflict, the Parthian victories would be very few, while the Romans overran Ctesiphon (the Parthian capital) ''five times'' and being prevented from utterly annexing the Parthians due being overstretched. Their Sasanid successors would fare much better (while ultimately defeated and weakened to the point the Arabs could overran their whole empire, they resisted much longer and, right before the campaign that left them crippled, they come extremely close to ''winning'') precisely because they ''weren't'' overspecialized, supporting their cavalry with infantry (both barely-trained and lightly-equipped conscripts, good quality heavy infantry and capable archers) and war elephants (useless against the Romans but useful against other enemies).

to:

* OlderThanFeudalism: [[TheGloryThatWasRome Roman legionaries]] were trained to fight as a cohesive unit, not as individuals. While this strategy worked for them quite well most of the time, it hit a massive snag during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. The thick woods and rough terrain of the region forced the Romans to split into smaller groups, which enabled the Germanic tribesmen, who were better fighters individually, to overwhelm and defeat them. The defeat proved to be psychologically devastating for Rome, bringing an abrupt halt to its then-relentless expansion.
** Also, Roman armies at the end of the Republic and the first years of the Empire (around the same time of Teutoburg) had specialized on shock infantry, with light infantry with ranged weapons and cavalry being provided by allies and client states (compare with Roman armies of the UsefulNotes/PunicWars, in which they had their own heavy shock infantry, light ranged infantry and cavalry, with allies and clients providing additional units). The Romans usually won even when deprived of allied support because their infantry could hold off cavalry charges and the shields could resist enemy arrows long enough for them to exhaust their munitions... Until the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae Battle of Carrhae]], in which an undersupported Roman army (35,000 legionaries with 4,000 light infantrymen and 4,000 horsemen) fought a's Parthian army of 9,000 mounted archers (also fast enough to avoid Roman cavalry), 1,000 armoured horsemen and 1,000 ''supply camels with spare arrows'', with the Roman ''testudo'' formation apt to block arrow fire but hampering their ability to resist a cavalry charge and looser formations being capable of fighting off cavalry charges but vulnerable to arrow fire. [[CurbStompBattle Three quarters of the Romans plus their commander and his staff were killed or captured, while the Parthians are reported to have suffered only a hundred losses]].
***
The Parthians themselves later fell prey to this trope, trope in the first century, as they only had cavalry and most generals weren't smart enough to bring with them large numbers of spare arrows while the Romans learned their lesson and started bringing with them adequate numbers of light infantry, armoured cavalry and even mounted archers: in about 150 years of conflict, the Parthian victories would be very few, while the Romans overran Ctesiphon (the Parthian capital) ''five times'' and being prevented from utterly annexing the Parthians due being overstretched. Their Sasanid successors would fare much better (while ultimately defeated and weakened to the point the Arabs could overran their whole empire, they resisted much longer and, right before the campaign that left them crippled, they come extremely close to ''winning'') precisely because they ''weren't'' overspecialized, supporting their cavalry with infantry (both barely-trained and lightly-equipped conscripts, good quality heavy infantry and capable archers) and war elephants (useless against the Romans but useful against other enemies).



** Spartan soldiers had a reputation for being the most well-trained in Ancient Greece. However, they only trained one kind of troop - the heavy-infantry hoplite - and in fact trained their troops [[TheSpartanWay so hard]] that their army was relatively small. They had no cavalry, navy, or light infantry. The tactics they were able to execute were severely limited, and their army was too small to maintain extended conflicts.
*** An enemy who refused to fight them head on could inflict them horrendous casualties. In the battle of Sphacteria 425 BC, the Athenian light skirmishers simply refused to fight them hand-to-hand and instead harassed them with javelins, running away in the face of danger. At the end of the day the Spartans were completely demoralized and surrendered. The Athenians had not suffered one single casualty.

to:

** Spartan soldiers had a reputation for being the most well-trained in Ancient Greece. However, they only trained one kind of troop - the heavy-infantry hoplite - and in fact trained their troops [[TheSpartanWay so hard]] that their army was relatively small. They had no cavalry, navy, or light infantry. The tactics they were able to execute were severely limited, and their army was too small to maintain extended conflicts.
***
conflicts.\\
\\
An enemy who refused to fight them head on could inflict them horrendous casualties. In the battle of Sphacteria 425 BC, the Athenian light skirmishers simply refused to fight them hand-to-hand and instead harassed them with javelins, running away in the face of danger. At the end of the day the Spartans were completely demoralized and surrendered. The Athenians had not suffered one single casualty.



* In 1906 the Royal Navy started building battlecruisers, very big 'super scouts' whose special task would be to destroy enemy armoured cruisers, whom they should be able to both run down and then outgun. Essentially they carried a dreadnought's artillery and were able to reach speeds normally associated with destroyers, but they were much more lightly armoured than a battleship. This worked well enough in the battle of the Falklands in 1914, where the two British battlecruisers were, as designed, in a situation to chase down and destroy enemy armoured cruisers (although in that battle the German forces were so outclassed that even if the Royal Navy had used armoured cruisers instead of battlecruisers the result would have been the same). However, seeing the new battlecruisers essentially made armoured cruisers obsolete, the German Navy started building battlecruisers of its own in 1907. These were more heavily armoured but carried slightly lighter guns and proved to be able to more than hold their own against the British ones during World War I. It is worth noting that while the British regarded their designs as cruisers with lots of big guns, the German designs were more 'faster battleships' and never actually refered to their own ships as battlecruisers. In the battle of Jutland it emerged that the British battlecruisers were especially vulnerable to plunging fire, so that two of them simply blew up after a couple of hits. The Royal Navy's problem was that their intended role had gone. With improvements to aircraft they were no longer needed to scout for the fleet, which left them solely with a combat role. However Battlecruisers simply were too big and carried too big guns for them to be used just against smaller fry but were essentially too vulnerable to be used against German battleships and battlecruisers.
** A few years after the introduction of battlecruisers Admiral Fisher introduced another new type called light battlecruisers. [[GlassCannon These were even more lightly armoured and carried fewer but even bigger guns]]. Lord Fisher intended to use them for operations against the Baltic coast of Germany, but during World War I it soon became clear that mines and submarines made the Baltic a no-go area for British capital ships. It also emerged that some of "Fisher's Follies" were so lightly built that they suffered structural damage from firing their own guns. In the end all three ships (HMS Glorious, Courageous and Furious) were converted to aircraft carriers.
** The Battlecruiser as originally designed rapidly became an evolutionary dead end. With improvements to engines navies discovered they could build what became know as 'Fast Battleships' and invested in these types of ships instead. Existing ships were mostly happily scrapped at the end of UsefulNotes/WW1 and ones in development (the USS Lexington for example) converted into aircraft carriers.
* During the early 40s US tank doctrine was that the role of tanks was to support infantry, while the role of actually fighting ''enemy'' tanks was to be taken by dedicated "tank destroyers". Hence entire classes of [[TanksButNoTanks Tanks but No Tanks]] were developed parallel to the actual tanks with the difference that tank destroyers were given complete priority on gun development. This may not have been so bad if the tanks were allowed to have the same more powerful guns as the tank destroyers, but since the experts knew best, US tanks (which in this case was the M4 Sherman) were given next to zero prioty in being upgunned.[[note]]The Sherman, and most other American tanks produced during the war, were actually JackOfAllStats or MasterOfNone, since they didn't prioritize any one trait (speed, armor, anti-infantry ability, anti-tank ability) and instead built most tanks to be a blend of all of them). The tank destroyers, however, did tend to fall into this trope.[[/note]] As a result US tank forces spent the rest of UsefulNotes/WW2 playing catch up in terms of firepower, and suffered as a result. The actual tank destroyers, which in most cases had less armour and were open topped, were also often forced into acting like 'tanks', a mission they had not been designed for, and suffered as a result.[[note]]One thing that contributed to the problem, and partly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] the up-gunning issue was that obsolete tank models were frequently remade into tank destroyers, as the chassis could support a larger gun than it originally could.[[/note]] Germany tended to suffer this even worse with their increasing fixation on developing heavy tanks toward the end of the war. Sure, the Tiger, Tiger II, Elefant, and Jadgtiger were all impressively well armored and sporting enormous main guns that could destroy Shermans and T-34s from 1000 yards away, but they were also [[MightyGlacier slow]], [[TheAllegedCar prone to mechanical breakdowns]], so heavy that they couldn't easily move over unimproved roads or bridges, and really expensive to build. The Elefant tank destroyer even took it a step further as it mounted no machine-guns for anti-infantry duty: it was capable of destroying any tank it came across, but was helpless against enemy troops who were on foot.
* Pretty much as soon as guided missiles (and later smart bombs) were developed, entire classes of combat aircraft became overspecialized and went extinct. A large air force in World War 2 might have heavy bombers, medium bombers, light bombers, fighter-bombers, dive-bombers, torpedo-bombers, ground attack aircraft, and fighters, and even the fighters would often be specialized into night fighters, high altitude escorts, high-speed interceptors, and so on. As soon as technology allowed an aircraft to carry out multiple roles merely by changing the weapons loadout, allowing the same aircraft to fight other aircraft in all weather, precisely drop munitions, or fire missiles at targets on the ground, floating on the ocean, or in the air, such overspecialization became pointless.
* Steam locomotives. Since a steam engine works on constant force (instead of constant power, like electric motors and internal combustion engines), gearing a steam engine is extremely difficult, hence the gigantic flywheels. Since different railroad tasks require different performance (a freight train must have a lot of torque while a passenger train must be fast and a local train must have good acceleration), it was impossible to build an all-purpose steam engine, but the various tasks required highly sophisticated special engines. Freight train engines have usually multiple small traction wheels and idlers, while passenger train engine has few traction wheels and they are large, and shunt engines have no idlers but are all-traction. This overspecizalization was both crippling and extremely expensive for the railroad companies. The diesel and electric engines superceded the steam engines almost overnight in the 1950s in many countries. The same diesel or electric engine can be used to pull both freight, passenger and local trains, being true all-purpose engines.
* Many workers with a labouring and/or factory background have dropped out of the job market, ever since [[JobStealingRobot robots and computers replaced humans in a lot of the most repetitive jobs]].
* Governments and organizations whose leadership operate under VetinariJobSecurity are a particularly disaster-inducing example of this. When the leader hinges basically everything upon themselves (intentionally or not), they create a powder-keg where everything will collapse once that leader dies or is otherwise prevented from directing things. Many a country has been devastated or even flat-out destroyed because it became completely dependent on the leader to fix everything. The Soviet Union crumbled apart in a decade or two after Stalin died, simply because no one else could properly hold things together. History will doubtlessly repeat itself for Russia when Vladimir Putin dies; the whole reason he's even still in power is because pretty much all of his political opponents are complete fools who would send Russia back into [[TheNewRussia the economic disaster it went through back in the 90's]].
** After the massive devaluation of the ruble, the sharp decline in oil prices, and the massive embargoes after Putin's adventurism in Ukraine, it seems that economic decline happened anyway.
* This specific type of overspecialization is referred to as "the bus factor" in engineering. The idea goes like this: take a group and think about how many people would need to get hit by a bus for the group to stop functioning properly. If only one or two guys can get hit before shit hits the fan, then the group isn't very practical or useful and needs some work done on it ASAP. If a large part of the group can get hit before the group stops working, then you're good.



* Places that are reliant on a single industry can transform into {{Dying Town}}s virtually overnight in the event of that industry falling on hard times. A major reason for the emergence of the "Rust Belt" in the Midwest, and similar economically depressed industrial zones in Western Europe, was because many towns and cities depended on one factory or mine (or a handful of them in larger towns and cities) for employment and economic activity, many of which could not survive the economic challenges of TheSeventies. Likewise, the reason the late '00s housing crisis was so severe in some places (particularly the distant exurbs of major cities) was because their economies depended on home construction to power the local economy.



* Going into WWI, Britain was convinced that its navy rendered it utterly impermeable, that they would never, ever suffer on the homefront. Thus, the development of U-Boats (which the navy couldn't fight), dreadnoughts (which could bombard British territory from sea), and zeppelins (which the navy couldn't fight and which could, and did, drop bombs from the sky) by the Germans were ''absolutely terrifying'' to the British people.
* Unions and other organizations invoke this trope to create jobs. "Sorry, I'm the truck driver. I can't ''unload'' the truck. We need the cargo specialist to come unload the vehicle, then the inventory support specialist to take inventory, then the data entry clerk to enter the inventory into the computer..." The term is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Featherbedding featherbedding]], or "make-work". There's significant debate among economists as to just how beneficial (if at all) it actually is; one perspective argues that it corrects for inefficiencies that would otherwise cause runaway unemployment, while others argue that it leaves companies with bloated workforces that can't weather a downturn very well.
* That's basically how most {{One Note Cook}}s are, while they're excellent at creating one type of dish or a cuisine, they're average to poor on cuisines outside of their level. See their main page for more details.



* An EnforcedTrope for (almost) all American rail vehicles. They ''have to'' be built for "buff strength", meaning that they basically can take a hit against a brick wall at full speed and still not have a single dent. This of course means they are heavier than their European and Asian counterparts which are more built for crash ''evasion'' and keeping the people (or goods) on the train alive rather than protecting the train as such. Needless to say the added weight leads to higher fuel consumption as well as maintenance problems. Whether or not those rules make sense is [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment best not discussed here]]
9th Jun '16 2:03:13 PM AnotherDuck
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* For many years [=TASVideos=].org would reject any SpeedRun video that lacked "entertainment value". What constituted "entertainment value" (never explained anywhere on the site) was up to...well, [[OneJudgeToRuleThemAll one person]], occasionally two. This despite the fact that the purpose of the site was to showcase the fastest possible time to complete a game, and that certain genres were ''inherently'' "unentertaining" to speedrun. HUNDREDS of videos were rejected because of this nebulous standard. Eventually the site relented and created three tiers, of which the Vault now contains those previously scorned games. The most "entertaining" runs are in the Stars tier, while Moons is in the middle.
31st May '16 10:51:39 AM zequeins
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** Subverted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''. The Epyon is the only mobile suit without ''any'' ranged option whatsoever, perhaps the only one across the whole franchise. [[note]]It even lacks the machine guns used to shoot down incoming missiles, which is standard issue even for Mook Mobile Suits.[[/note]] This doesn't stop it from being the most powerful Mobile Suit of the series (tied with Wing Zero) thanks to [[CombatClairvoyance the Zero System]].
28th May '16 5:19:42 AM anza_sb
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* In ''Literature/KonoSubarashiiSekaiNiShukufukuO'', this is basically the reason why Kazuma's team is such a handful.
** Fitting for a goddess, Aqua's Arch-Priest abilities are top-notch, able to purify even the most powerful undead, but she does not do much combat, let alone use her abilities due to the rarity of undead encounters. The one time she does use one of her offensive spells ends up destroying large parts of the city and saddling the party with a huge debt.
** Megumin is an extremely skilled and powerful mage, but can only use one spell per day because she refuses to expend her mana for anything other than the extremely taxing Explosion. Using that spell once also drains her to the point that she collapses and needs to be carried.
** Darkness is a Crusader with an insane defense, but is absolutely terrible at hitting things with her weapon.
27th May '16 6:43:15 PM Quanyails
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** [[VideoGame/KidIcarus Palutena]] is underwhelming in almost every aspect that is not named Lightweight or Super Speed (both of which are custom specials and thus cannot be used in with anyone mode). This alone makes Palutena easily one of the biggest [[TierInducedScrappy Tier Induced Scrappies]] in the Wii U and 3ds versions.

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** [[VideoGame/KidIcarus Palutena]] is underwhelming in almost every aspect that is not named Lightweight or Super Speed (both of which are custom specials and thus cannot be used in with anyone mode). This alone makes Palutena easily one of the biggest [[TierInducedScrappy Tier Induced Scrappies]] in the Wii U and 3ds 3DS versions.
11th May '16 3:06:17 AM NNinja
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** Ruby herself is very skilled with her scythe in combat. But if she's ever unarmed, she's completely helpless.
29th Apr '16 7:57:42 AM redandready45
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* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': In "Bobby Goes Nuts", Bobby decides to win fights by kicking his opponents in the testicles after attending a woman's self-defense course. He eventually kicks Hank, who tries to ground Bobby and take away his video games, but is still too injured. Peggy eventually goes after Bobby herself, who finds out that woman don't have testicles, and is quickly taken down.
27th Apr '16 11:43:42 PM F-Lambda
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** This can even be as specific as the type of screws/joints used in a desk or other furniture. This can lead to situations where the first worker disassembles the desk partially, then finds a joint he's not certified to work with; they can call in someone else to undo that joint; the first worker comes back and finishes disassembling it; then another worker packs it up and moves it to the new location; the first worker starts to reassemble it; the second worker assembles the problem joint; and finally, the first worker finishes assembling the desk. That's seven steps to move a single desk.

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** This can even be as specific as the type of screws/joints joints/connections used in a desk or other furniture. This can lead to situations where the first worker disassembles the desk partially, then finds a joint he's not certified to work with; they can then call in someone else to undo that joint; the first worker comes back and finishes disassembling it; then another worker packs it up and moves it to the new location; the first worker starts to reassemble it; the second worker assembles the problem joint; connection; and finally, the first worker finishes assembling the desk. That's seven steps to move a single desk.desk, involving at least three different workers. And they wonder why costs are so high....
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.CripplingOverSpecialization