History Main / GeneralFailure

21st Feb '18 10:21:14 AM Vox
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* ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'': Crown Prince Ladisla proves to be an utter imbecile even by UpperClassTwit standards, and manages to turn his first (and only) command from a mere defeat into an utter catastrophe. Ignoring the advice of more seasoned officers in favor of sycophantic young lords, he takes an army made up mostly of untrained, poorly equipped peasant levies against hardened Northern veterans, and abandons a defensive position to take the fight to them in the certainty that 'boldness' will carry the day. His first order wastes an elite heavy cavalry unit against an obvious diversion, the Northern counterattack causes him to descend into panicked confusion, and his army is mostly slaughtered in the ensuing rout.
19th Feb '18 9:02:33 AM Medinoc
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* The Rat, formally known as Duc de Puce, in ''VideoGame/{{Stronghold}}'' is a prime example. One of the five main antagonists of the game, Duc de Puce fancies himself as an imperial conqueror, forging his mighty empire throughout the remnants of the player's father's kingdom. Born into nobility, he is extremely arrogant and extremely sure of himself and his troops, and is unafraid to use dirty tricks and scheming to win the day... Except he ''never'' wins the day. He's also an extremely cowardly, easily-panicked, grovelling wimp with no semblance of actual tactical or strategic skill. How he got accepted into the ranks of his much more intimidating and competent allies, and how his troops even obey his often-suicidal orders, is a complete mystery.

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* The Rat, formally known as Duc de Puce, in ''VideoGame/{{Stronghold}}'' is a prime example. One of the five main antagonists of the game, Duc de Puce fancies himself as an imperial conqueror, forging his mighty empire throughout the remnants of the player's father's kingdom. Born into nobility, he is extremely arrogant and extremely sure of himself and his troops, and is unafraid to use dirty tricks and scheming to win the day... Except he ''never'' wins the day. He's also an extremely cowardly, easily-panicked, grovelling wimp with no semblance of actual tactical or strategic skill. How he got accepted into the ranks of his much more intimidating and competent allies, and how his troops even obey his often-suicidal orders, is a complete mystery.mystery, which the best theory being "because The Snake sees a useful pawn in him".
7th Feb '18 11:13:33 PM Kazmahu
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** All the Begnion senators are like this. They haven't a shred of tactical acumen to go around, but they are very aware their personal levies rival the size of the other nations' entire armies. Their long-suffering field commanders and a plethora of dirty tricks are the only reasons their forces don't get slaughtered.
3rd Feb '18 12:55:08 AM WillBGood
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** Later on in the same book, as the army makes a [[LeeroyJenkins]] frontal assault on his positions, Vimes is moved to sympathy for them, wondering how Ankh-Morpork ever won its wars.

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** Later on in the same book, as the army makes a [[LeeroyJenkins]] [[LeeroyJenkins frontal assault assault]] on his positions, Vimes is moved to sympathy for them, wondering how Ankh-Morpork ever won its wars.
21st Jan '18 11:14:59 PM Nintendoman01
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* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': As a warrior, Adam Taurus is a force to be reckoned with. As a leader, he's probably the worst thing that's ever happened to the White Fang; he's hot-tempered, spiteful and petty, with his growing mental instability leading him to make increasingly stupid moves: [[spoiler: on top of pushing away valuable allies like Hazel out of petty pride and bigotry, the supremely boneheaded decision to put a hit out on Blake's parents to hurt her and subsequent failure of said assassination attempt, which [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Blake uses to rally all of Menagerie against him]], was just the tip of the iceberg. When cornered at Haven, [[TakingYouWithMe Adam attempts to blow himself]] [[BadBoss and his troops up]] with everyone else instead of risk trying to fight his way out, and after his troops are defeated, he [[KnowWhenToFoldEm runs away]] and abandons them to their fate.]]
21st Jan '18 5:00:25 PM TheBigBopper
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* ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'': Jubilation T. Cornpone, a satire of overly romanticized Confederate generals. President Abraham Lincoln was so grateful to Cornpone for helping the Confederacy to lose the Civil War that he designated his monument in Dogpatch, USA as a national shrine!

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* ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'': Jubilation T. Cornpone, a satire of overly romanticized Confederate generals. President Abraham Lincoln was so grateful to Cornpone for helping the Confederacy to lose the Civil War War, that he designated his Cornpone's monument in Dogpatch, USA as a national shrine!
17th Jan '18 10:47:54 AM MBG159
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** General Lee Oliver, or "General Wait-And-See" as many of his troops call him. According to Boone, he received his position because he's friends with President Kimball. His strategy (or "Tunnel Vision" as Mr. House calls it) to defend Hoover Dam from Caesar's Legion consists of one glorious slaughterhouse on the dam, in an effort to overshadow Ranger Chief Hanlon's more tactically nuanced defense of the dam four years earlier. This means his only tactic is to mass troops on the Dam, leaving other territories and bases deeply undermanned and open to the Legion's attacks.

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** General Lee Oliver, or "General Wait-And-See" as many of his troops call him. According to Boone, he received his position because he's friends with President Kimball. His strategy (or "Tunnel Vision" as Mr. House calls it) to defend Hoover Dam from Caesar's Legion consists of one glorious slaughterhouse on the dam, in an effort to overshadow Ranger Chief Hanlon's more tactically nuanced defense of the dam four years earlier. This means his only tactic is to mass troops on the Dam, leaving other territories and bases deeply undermanned and open to the Legion's attacks. It's actually possible to convince Lanius, the opposing commander, to back down on the basis that the defenses before him have been placed so incompetently and the battle so easy that it has to be a trap, like with Joshua years earlier. It's not a trap; Oliver's just that dumb.
10th Jan '18 6:40:54 PM NogaiKhan
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* Adolf Hitler is presented as this in ''Film/{{Downfall}}''. Hitler revokes control of his troops from his more experienced (and sane) commanders for perceived failures and increasingly tries to micromanage his units. He shows a weak grasp of tactics by declaring that battalions and divisions on the verge of being overrun [[LastStand will hold their ground and fight]] [[HonourBeforeReason no matter what]], and at times even grossly overestimating the fighting capacity of units which are so under-supplied and under-manned that they may as well not exist. Even the other members of his inner circle give each other nervous looks as he makes these costly decisions. After the last offensive ordered by his generals, Unternehmen Zitadelle/The Battle of Kursk of July 1943, failed and lead to a spectacular reversal which cost them Ukraine and all the Reich's (experienced) Panzer forces, this became Truth in Television for the remainder of the war.

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* Adolf Hitler is presented as this in ''Film/{{Downfall}}''. Hitler revokes control of his troops from his more experienced (and sane) commanders for perceived failures and increasingly tries to micromanage his units. He disparages the generals in Berlin as idiots who don't know what they're doing. Despite this he himself shows a weak grasp of tactics by declaring that battalions and divisions on the verge of being overrun [[LastStand will hold their ground and fight]] [[HonourBeforeReason no matter what]], and at times even grossly overestimating the fighting capacity of units which are so under-supplied and under-manned that they may as well not exist. Even the other members of his inner circle give each other nervous looks as he makes these costly decisions. After the last offensive ordered by his generals, Unternehmen Zitadelle/The Battle of Kursk of July 1943, failed and lead to a spectacular reversal which cost them Ukraine and all the Reich's (experienced) Panzer forces, this became Truth in Television for the remainder of the war.war.
** While not touched upon in the film itself, most of the seemingly 'sane' German generals surrounding Hitler were this in RealLife. The reason Hitler felt so compelled to make major decisions and ignore the advice of the General Staff and High Command (as opposed to operational commanders like Manstein and Rommel, who he generally gave free reign) was because whenever he went against their advice early in the war, it was generally the right decision. For instance, throwing the bulk of his forces at Poland in a massive armored push in three columns rather than keeping half of his forces on the French border (as High Command mistakenly thought the French would attack their rear; Hitler recognized that the French army was not at all prepared for offensive operations) enabled the conquest of Poland in five weeks with (initially) less than 50,000 casualties, when High Command insisted it would take 13 weeks and hundreds of thousands of casualties. Meanwhile, his rejection of OKW's invasion plan in favor of adopting the Manstein Plan led to France falling in three weeks with less than 200,000 casualties, rather than after two years and a million casualties as his generals predicted their plans would result in. Whenever he left High Command to their own devices, they usually gave him disasters like Kursk (which Hitler called off prematurely, probably saving several divisions worth of experienced Panzer forces that would've otherwise been encircled in the Soviet counterattack). [[GeniusBonus This gives more context to the way he acts in the movie.]] When he complained that he was SurroundedByIdiots, he wasn't entirely wrong.
5th Jan '18 4:33:13 PM laserviking42
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*** Balon's son Theon doubles down on this by sneakily capturing Winterfell with only a few men. However, as is pointed out to him, he is too far away from the coast for resupply and reinforcements and holding a city that gives the Greyjoys little of strategic value.
31st Dec '17 10:37:45 AM StarSword
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* Admiral Kendal Ozzel from ''Franchise/StarWars''. In the EU, he once served in the Clone Wars and was willing to senselessly sacrifice hundreds of clones and Jedi to win, and when things start to go south, he would surrender to save his own skin. The only reason why he even got such a high position was because he has connections with Palpatine. Vader remembers Ozzel, and years later, [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack the next time]] Ozzel screwed up in front of him [[YouHaveFailedMe was his last]].
** Kylo Ren in ''Film/TheLastJedi'' proves to be one. For all his skill in the Force, none of that translates into tactical or strategic skill, which becomes a huge problem when [[spoiler:he becomes the new Supreme Leader after Snoke dies]]. He shows very little understanding of how tactics work and lets his personal anger distract him from more important matters. He orders an entire fighter squadron away from a major battle to uselessly chase after the ''Millennium Falcon'', then [[NoKillLikeOverkill wastes a massive barrage of firepower to try and kill one guy]], which doesn't even work because [[spoiler:Luke wasn't there, just [[AstralProjection Astral Projecting]].]] A visibly disgusted General Hux has to countermand him right in front of the troops and yell at the gunners to stop blasting a patch of ground. Ren than insists on confronting [[spoiler:Luke]] alone and ''stops the attack'' to do so, [[spoiler:giving the Resistence the time they needed to escape, [[BatmanGambit which is exactly what Luke intended]].]] To say his underlings are unimpressed is an understatement.

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* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
**
Admiral Kendal Ozzel from ''Franchise/StarWars''. In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', whom Vader {{Force choke}}s to death for incompetence in his only scene, telling him "{{You have failed me}} for the EU, he last time, Admiral." This was explained in ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': He once served in the Clone Wars and was willing to [[WeHaveReserves senselessly sacrifice hundreds of clones and Jedi to win, win]], and when things start to go south, he would surrender to save his own skin. The only reason why he even got such a high position was because he has had connections with Palpatine. Vader remembers Ozzel, and years later, [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack the next time]] time Ozzel screwed up in front of him [[YouHaveFailedMe was his last]].
** Kylo Ren in ''Film/TheLastJedi'' proves to be one. For all his skill in the Force, none of that translates into tactical or strategic skill, which becomes a huge problem when [[spoiler:he becomes the new Supreme Leader after Snoke dies]]. He shows very little understanding of how tactics work and lets his personal anger distract him from more important matters. He orders an entire fighter squadron away from providing close air support during a major battle to uselessly chase after the ''Millennium Falcon'', then [[NoKillLikeOverkill wastes a massive barrage of firepower to try and kill one guy]], which doesn't even work because [[spoiler:Luke wasn't there, just [[AstralProjection Astral Projecting]].]] A visibly disgusted General Hux has to countermand him right in front of the troops and yell at the gunners to stop blasting a patch of ground. Ren than insists on confronting [[spoiler:Luke]] alone and ''stops the attack'' to do so, [[spoiler:giving the Resistence Resistance the time they needed to escape, [[BatmanGambit which is exactly what Luke intended]].]] To say his underlings are unimpressed is an understatement.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.GeneralFailure