History Main / GeneralFailure

18th Jan '17 3:45:00 PM gb00393
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Rather than brokering his supreme naval power in the west into the wealth and land his people need by supporting one of the powerful factions, Balon Greyjoy decides to pay the iron price and conquer lands he cannot hope to hold. Only the faction he invades spares him a second thought and even they do not divert forces from their main campaign.
** Edmure Tully has a good eye for individual battles but fails to grasp larger strategies, such as when he defeats Gregor Clegane but in the process drives him out of a trap Robb was preparing.
11th Jan '17 6:11:41 PM lorgskyegon
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** Purposely [[AvertedTropes averted]] by the bizarre Helmacrons. To ensure that their leaders never fail, all are killed before being promoted to avoid having to execute them for making a mistake.
7th Dec '16 4:46:01 AM morane
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* In ''WarhammerFantasyBattle'', High Elven Fornerond Breezenimble on 3rd edition rulebook scenario ''Fornerond's Last Stand''.
6th Dec '16 7:45:39 PM BattleMaster
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** The Lyran Commonwealth has an unfortunate history of "social generals" - officers who were promoted not because of actual leadership ability, but because of personal wealth and connections. Naturally, these don't always make the best strategists or tacticians.

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** The Lyran Commonwealth has an unfortunate history of "social generals" - officers who were promoted not because of actual leadership ability, but because of personal wealth and connections. Naturally, these don't always make the best strategists or tacticians. Fortunately for the commonwealth, lower ranking officers have a tradition of being {{Hyper Competent Sidekick}}s who, when things go well, are able to get their superiors to accept their suggestions, at least enough of the time that the Commonwealth has mostly managed to give as good as it gets over the years.
4th Dec '16 4:06:25 PM StarSword
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* In ''Literature/AngelInTheWhirlwind: The Oncoming Storm'', Admiral Morrison plays the HeadInTheSandManagement trope to the hilt, preferring partying to doing his job (which leaves his fleet in horrible disrepair and morale deadly low), and convincing himself that the coming war won't come if he doesn't do anything to antagonize the Theocracy. He's presumed dead after the Theocracy invades, and protagonist Kat Falcone repeatedly laments not having killed him herself, never mind the consequences.
29th Nov '16 5:18:14 AM StFan
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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]][[folder:Anime & Manga]]



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

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[[folder: Comic Books ]][[folder:Comic Books]]



-->'''Spock:''' Captain, we are under attack. Should I call for '''General Alert?'''
-->'''Kirk:''' Where is he?
-->'''Spock:''' This is no laughing matter, Captain. We have a '''major disaster''' here!
-->'''Kirk:''' In that case, have General Alert '''and''' Major Disaster report to the bridge -- at once!

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-->'''Spock:''' Captain, we are under attack. Should I call for '''General Alert?'''
-->'''Kirk:'''
Alert?'''\\
'''Kirk:'''
Where is he?
-->'''Spock:'''
he?\\
'''Spock:'''
This is no laughing matter, Captain. We have a '''major disaster''' here!
-->'''Kirk:'''
here!\\
'''Kirk:'''
In that case, have General Alert '''and''' Major Disaster report to the bridge -- at once!



** Gets even WORSE in ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMax'', with the over-arching BiggerBad being a group of General Failure's who have ''never seen any real combat'', having ascendent through the ranks entirerly through mundane service. By the time the comic takes place, the Generals end up opposing Frank Castle for the sole purpose of saving their own asses from the massively bad decisions they've made throughout their careers. There's even a scene where Nick Fury whips the head general half to death with his belt for his stupdity during one military operation. The entire group is eventually slaughtered by Castle.

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** Gets even WORSE in ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMax'', ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMax'', with the over-arching BiggerBad being a group of General Failure's who have ''never seen any real combat'', having ascendent through the ranks entirerly through mundane service. By the time the comic takes place, the Generals end up opposing Frank Castle for the sole purpose of saving their own asses from the massively bad decisions they've made throughout their careers. There's even a scene where Nick Fury whips the head general half to death with his belt for his stupdity during one military operation. The entire group is eventually slaughtered by Castle.



[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Shining Armor is an interesting (and benevolent) example in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman''. While his Day Guard suffer a massive defeat in a war games exercise, it's mostly because everything he was taught doesn't stand a chance against modern human warfare techniques, rather than personal failings.
* A [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Zhao]] expy in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10518212/3/The-Pride The Pride]]'' falls firmly under this trope. Besides deciding on a head-on charge instead of the suggested long range bombardment (because face to face combat was "more glorious"), he continues his charge after the opposing army uses the Hidden Mist Jutsu to hide their movements and allow The Pride to utterly decimate his forces.
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': Sullamander, Commander of the Celestine Junta, which as a Stratocracy encouraged badasses. Sullamander, however, was by all accounts a god-awful military mare. And as her every action in charge proves it. The implication is that she only got the job simply because she... ''knew'' her predecessor. [[{{Squick}} As a filly]].
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': Gendo is far too focused on his scenario to make smart choices, and his tactical decision's read like a to-do list on how ''not'' to lead a military. Have your troops attack Bardiel in a straight line so they can be picked off one by one? Check. [[spoiler: Fire your best pilots when they adapt to the situation and defeat it without destroying Unit-03?]] Check. Use the dummy plugs (which haven't been field tested) against ''[[HeroKiller Zeruel]]''? Check. Forbid Shinji from helping against Arael and throw him in the brig when he disobeys you to help save the day? Check. That's not even getting into the fact that his BadBoss tendencies have caused everyone to secretly turn against him.

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[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Shining Armor ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'': Jubilation T. Cornpone, a satire of overly romanticized Confederate generals.
* General Halftrack, the CO of Camp Swampy in ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey''
is an interesting (and benevolent) example in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman''. While his Day Guard suffer a massive defeat in a war games exercise, it's mostly because everything he was taught doesn't stand a chance against modern human warfare techniques, rather than personal failings.
* A [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Zhao]] expy in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10518212/3/The-Pride The Pride]]'' falls firmly
just as incompetent as anyone under this trope. Besides deciding on a head-on charge instead of the suggested long range bombardment (because face to face combat was "more glorious"), he continues him, and at times, more so. He once asked his charge after the opposing army uses the Hidden Mist Jutsu secretary Ms. Blipps to hide their movements and allow The Pride to utterly decimate get him his forces.
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': Sullamander, Commander of the Celestine Junta,
pencil - which as a Stratocracy encouraged badasses. Sullamander, however, was by all accounts a god-awful military mare. And as her every action in charge proves it. The implication is that she only got the job simply because she... ''knew'' her predecessor. [[{{Squick}} As a filly]].
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': Gendo is far too focused on
behind his scenario to make smart choices, and his tactical decision's read like a to-do list on how ''not'' ear. Actually trying to lead a military. Have your troops attack Bardiel in a straight line so they can be picked off one by one? Check. [[spoiler: Fire your best pilots when they adapt to the situation soldiers on drills and defeat it without destroying Unit-03?]] Check. Use the dummy plugs (which haven't been field tested) against ''[[HeroKiller Zeruel]]''? Check. Forbid Shinji from helping against Arael and throw him in the brig when he disobeys you to help save the day? Check. That's not even getting into the fact that his BadBoss tendencies have caused everyone to secretly turn against him.training exercises often causes a disaster.



[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Sidorak in ''WesternAnimation/{{Bionicle}} 3: Web of Shadows'' is depicted as a barely capable oaf who can't even hit a target that's bigger than he is, doesn't like to (more likely can't) fight, and is easily manipulated by [[TheStarscream Roodaka]]. In the books, he is actually a pretty decent leader, and his only fault is that he spends ''too much'' time on the battlefield. Unfortunately, the writers picked up his negative portrayal, and now WordOfGod claims he actually ''was'' a weakling who had cheated his way to glory.

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[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Sidorak Shining Armor is an interesting (and benevolent) example in ''WesternAnimation/{{Bionicle}} 3: Web of Shadows'' is depicted as ''Fanfic/DiariesOfAMadman''. While his Day Guard suffer a barely capable oaf who can't even hit massive defeat in a target that's bigger than war games exercise, it's mostly because everything he is, was taught doesn't like stand a chance against modern human warfare techniques, rather than personal failings.
* A [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Zhao]] expy in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10518212/3/The-Pride The Pride]]'' falls firmly under this trope. Besides deciding on a head-on charge instead of the suggested long range bombardment (because face
to (more likely can't) fight, face combat was "more glorious"), he continues his charge after the opposing army uses the Hidden Mist Jutsu to hide their movements and is easily manipulated by [[TheStarscream Roodaka]]. In allow The Pride to utterly decimate his forces.
* ''Fanfic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': Sullamander, Commander of
the books, he Celestine Junta, which as a Stratocracy encouraged badasses. Sullamander, however, was by all accounts a god-awful military mare, as her every action in charge proves it. The implication is actually that she only got the job simply because she... ''knew'' her predecessor. [[{{Squick}} As a pretty decent leader, filly]].
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': Gendo is far too focused on his scenario to make smart choices,
and his only fault is that he spends ''too much'' time tactical decision's read like a to-do list on the battlefield. Unfortunately, the writers how ''not'' to lead a military. Have your troops attack Bardiel in a straight line so they can be picked up off one by one? Check. [[spoiler: Fire your best pilots when they adapt to the situation and defeat it without destroying Unit-03?]] Check. Use the dummy plugs (which haven't been field tested) against ''[[HeroKiller Zeruel]]''? Check. Forbid Shinji from helping against Arael and throw him in the brig when he disobeys you to help save the day? Check. That's not even getting into the fact that his negative portrayal, and now WordOfGod claims he actually ''was'' a weakling who had cheated his way BadBoss tendencies have caused everyone to glory.secretly turn against him.



[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Sidorak in ''WesternAnimation/{{Bionicle}} 3: Web of Shadows'' is depicted as a barely capable oaf who can't even hit a target that's bigger than he is, doesn't like to (more likely can't) fight, and is easily manipulated by [[TheStarscream Roodaka]]. In the books, he is actually a pretty decent leader, and his only fault is that he spends ''too much'' time on the battlefield. Unfortunately, the writers picked up his negative portrayal, and now WordOfGod claims he actually ''was'' a weakling who had cheated his way to glory.
[[/folder]]



* Admiral, later Emperor Pirk in ''WesternAnimation/StarWreck''. Only his incredible luck and keen tactical eye explain why he ever advanced beyond Ensign on his military career.



* Visser Three [[spoiler:later Visser One]] from the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' embodies this trope. That's what you get for having a society basically built on AsskickingEqualsAuthority - ThePeterPrinciple kicks in and your stealth invasion ends up being run by a guy who kills his own troops at the slightest provocation. The heroes occasionally work to keep him in charge, but are hamstrung by the 'stealth' aspect.\\
\\

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* Visser Three [[spoiler:later Visser One]] from the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' embodies this trope. That's what you get for having a society basically built on AsskickingEqualsAuthority - ThePeterPrinciple kicks in and your stealth invasion ends up being run by a guy who kills his own troops at the slightest provocation. The heroes occasionally work to keep him in charge, but are hamstrung by the 'stealth' aspect.\\
\\
\\\



* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Paskevich Ivan Paskevich]] is portrayed as this in ''Literature/TheDeathOfTheVazirMukhtar'', although a) he's actually pretty successful, though this is is usually attributed to his [[HypercompetentSidekick Hypercompetent Sidekicks]] and b) not altogether incompetent - he's a good tactician, just not supreme theatre commander material and a bad strategist, and the latter has actually made him a master of the IndyPloy.

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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Paskevich Ivan Paskevich]] is portrayed as this in ''Literature/TheDeathOfTheVazirMukhtar'', although a) he's actually pretty successful, though this is is usually attributed to his [[HypercompetentSidekick Hypercompetent Sidekicks]] and b) not altogether incompetent - -- he's a good tactician, just not supreme theatre commander material and a bad strategist, and the latter has actually made him a master of the IndyPloy.



[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** Colonel Klink is an example where the good guys ''were'' going out of their way to keep the idiot in charge. Interestingly, this was at the insistence of Klink's actor, Werner Klemperer. Klemperer's Jewish family fled Germany during the Third Reich, and he later enlisted in the American army to help fight in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. He consented to play Klink only on the condition that Hogan and company would always win the day and that Klink was portrayed as a complete idiot rather than a competent Nazi who's simply outplayed by the heroes. This did vary depending on the episode; sometimes he's just an idiot, sometimes he's aware of what they're doing but pretends not to, and a few times he's actively against the Nazi regime himself.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
''Series/HogansHeroes'':
** Colonel Klink is an example where the good guys ''were'' ''are'' going out of their way to keep the idiot in charge. Interestingly, this was at the insistence of Klink's actor, Werner Klemperer. Klemperer's Jewish family fled Germany during the Third Reich, and he later enlisted in the American army to help fight in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. He consented to play Klink only on the condition that Hogan and company would always win the day and that Klink was portrayed as a complete idiot rather than a competent Nazi who's simply outplayed by the heroes. This did vary depending on the episode; sometimes he's just an idiot, sometimes he's aware of what they're doing but pretends not to, and a few times he's actively against the Nazi regime himself.



* ''[[Series/{{MASH}} M*A*S*H]]'':

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* ''[[Series/{{MASH}} M*A*S*H]]'': ''Series/{{MASH}}'':



[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'': Jubilation T. Cornpone, a satire of overly romanticized Confederate generals.
* General Halftrack, the CO of Camp Swampy in ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' is just as incompetent as anyone under him, and at times, more so. He once asked his secretary Ms. Blipps to get him his pencil - which was behind his ear. Actually trying to lead the soldiers on drills and training exercises often causes a disaster.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':

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[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'': Jubilation T. Cornpone, a satire of overly romanticized Confederate generals.
* General Halftrack, the CO of Camp Swampy in ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' is just as incompetent as anyone under him, and at times, more so. He once asked his secretary Ms. Blipps to get him his pencil - which was behind his ear. Actually trying to lead the soldiers on drills and training exercises often causes a disaster.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':



[[folder: Video Games]]

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[[folder: Video [[folder:Video Games]]



** Horace Warfield in ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}'' doesn't ever seem to be able to accomplish anything except get shot down. Eventually, he joins the ground war and lets the player do the commanding, though in ''Starcraft II'' he's defended the Dominion against the zerg and has led no less than ''five'' counterattacks against them. In ''Heart of the Swarm'', however, Warfield fares reasonably well against the zerg Queen Zagara, leveraging the Dominion's [[StoneWall superior defensive technology]] and [[DeathFromAbove air and missile superiority]] for all they're worth. It's implied that he would eventually have won had [[PlayerCharacter Kerrigan]] not come to direct matters personally.

to:

** Horace Warfield in ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}'' ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' doesn't ever seem to be able to accomplish anything except get shot down. Eventually, he joins the ground war and lets the player do the commanding, though in ''Starcraft II'' he's defended the Dominion against the zerg and has led no less than ''five'' counterattacks against them. In ''Heart of the Swarm'', however, Warfield fares reasonably well against the zerg Queen Zagara, leveraging the Dominion's [[StoneWall superior defensive technology]] and [[DeathFromAbove air and missile superiority]] for all they're worth. It's implied that he would eventually have won had [[PlayerCharacter Kerrigan]] not come to direct matters personally.



[[folder: Web Original]]

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[[folder: Web Original]][[folder:Web Animation]]
* Admiral, later Emperor Pirk in ''WebAnimation/StarWreck''. Only his incredible luck and keen tactical eye explain why he ever advanced beyond Ensign on his military career.



* Applies to ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'' during the Curbstomp War of 2008; there's several cases of daemon generals who ''[[WrongGenreSavvy just don't get it]]''. It doesn't help that the human militaries are actively attempting to deny them, but their mistakes compound the inevitable and turn mere defeats or could-have-been-surrenders into massacres.



[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Applies to ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'' during the Curbstomp War of 2008; there's several cases of daemon generals who ''[[WrongGenreSavvy just don't get it]]''. It doesn't help that the human militaries are actively attempting to deny them, but their mistakes compound the inevitable and turn mere defeats or could-have-been-surrenders into massacres.



[[folder: Western Animation]]

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[[folder: Western [[folder:Western Animation]]



23rd Nov '16 4:34:04 PM ImpudentInfidel
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** Colonel Klink is an example where the good guys ''were'' going out of their way to keep the idiot in charge. Interestingly, this was at the insistence of Klink's actor, Werner Klemperer. Klemperer's Jewish family fled Germany during the Third Reich, and he later enlisted in the American army to help fight in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. He consented to play Klink only on the condition that Hogan and company would always win the day and that Klink was portrayed as a complete idiot rather than a competent Nazi who's simply outplayed by the heroes.

to:

** Colonel Klink is an example where the good guys ''were'' going out of their way to keep the idiot in charge. Interestingly, this was at the insistence of Klink's actor, Werner Klemperer. Klemperer's Jewish family fled Germany during the Third Reich, and he later enlisted in the American army to help fight in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. He consented to play Klink only on the condition that Hogan and company would always win the day and that Klink was portrayed as a complete idiot rather than a competent Nazi who's simply outplayed by the heroes. This did vary depending on the episode; sometimes he's just an idiot, sometimes he's aware of what they're doing but pretends not to, and a few times he's actively against the Nazi regime himself.
15th Nov '16 10:42:08 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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Occasionally, TheWatson, the MetaGuy, or other GenreSavvy characters will [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim question]] the BigBad's ludicrous schemes, but since they're not in charge, that will be it. Very often TheStarscream is the only one who opposes the leader at all, making him look like the OnlySaneMan on their side.

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Occasionally, TheWatson, the MetaGuy, or other GenreSavvy characters will [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim question]] the BigBad's ludicrous schemes, but since they're not in charge, that will be it. Very often TheStarscream is the only one who opposes the leader at all, making him look like the OnlySaneMan on their side.
15th Nov '16 10:41:19 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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Common phrases of the General usually include [[WroteTheBook "I wrote the]] [[BigBookOfWar manual]] [[WroteTheBook on military tactic X,"]] or [[TheMunchausen "This reminds me of the time we fought enemy X in an improbable location, what a tale that is!"]]

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Common phrases of the General usually include [[WroteTheBook "I wrote the]] [[BigBookOfWar manual]] [[WroteTheBook the manual on military tactic X,"]] or [[TheMunchausen "This reminds me of the time we fought enemy X in an improbable location, what a tale that is!"]]
15th Nov '16 10:35:02 PM TheSinful
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* Warchief Grom Hellscream in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' never shows any real tactics beyond ZergRush and calling his opponents cowards as he flees to his final stronghold. Notably, by the end of the first patch of ''Warlords of Draenor'' Gul'dan calls him out on promising conquest but bringing only failure, having lost almost all of his lieutenants and most of his forces in general, before overthrowing Grom.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.GeneralFailure