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* Senator Valtome, Duke of Culbert in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]''. His first act as general of Tellius' largest and most powerful army? Sending troops to a horrible, fiery death in an attempt to ''search for the enemy's corpses''. Of course, this ''also'' makes him very practical, since he knows full-well the NeverFoundTheBody trope.

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* Senator Valtome, Duke of Culbert in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]''.''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn''. His first act as general of Tellius' largest and most powerful army? Sending troops to a horrible, fiery death in an attempt to ''search for the enemy's corpses''. Of course, this ''also'' makes him very practical, since he knows full-well the NeverFoundTheBody trope.


* 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, which the best theory being "because The Snake sees a useful pawn in him".

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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, which the best theory being "because The Snake sees a useful pawn in him". He's actually somewhat aware of this himself; after his first few attacks fail (one only because The Snake double crossed him) he decides to reinforce his own strongholds and call for aid from his "allies", only for them to refuse and intimidate him into wasting so many men in futile attacks that his own castle is left critically undermanned in his last stand.


** Also in ''Film/TheLastJedi'', this is Zigzagged with Vice Admiral Holdo. Her plan to evacuate to an abandoned base is a sound idea yet her leadership has hampered its execution. She refuses to reassure the crew of her ship despite morale being at an all-time low and her refusal to disclose her plan to Poe Dameron ultimately leads to [[spoiler:mutiny]]. [[JerkassHasAPoint Even if she is right that Poe Dameron is a loose cannon for disobeying orders and challenging her authority]], [[IdiotBall one has to wonder why she didn't throw him in the brig]]. In short, while she is a good strategist, she has questionable leadership that only hinders her plans.

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** Also in ''Film/TheLastJedi'', this is Zigzagged with Vice Admiral Holdo. Her plan to evacuate to an abandoned base is a sound idea yet her leadership has hampered its execution. She refuses to reassure the crew of her ship despite morale being at an all-time low and her refusal to disclose her plan to Poe Dameron ultimately leads to [[spoiler:mutiny]]. [[JerkassHasAPoint Even if she is right that Poe Dameron is a loose cannon for disobeying orders and challenging her authority]], [[IdiotBall one has to wonder why she didn't throw him in the brig]].brig or taken any form of disciplinary action]]. In short, while she is a good strategist, she has questionable leadership that only hinders her plans.

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** Subsequent books show this is a frequent problem for the militaries fighting under the banner of the Church. The competent officers, like Thirsk, are constantly saddled with other officers and leaders who don't recognize that warfare is undergoing a massive change, and they have to deal with the strategic incompetence of Zhaspahr Clyntahn who has a habit of invoking YouHaveFailedMe on people who weren't able to carry out his stupid plans.


* Blue Laser Commander in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'''s ShowWithinAShow ''WebAnimation/CheatCommandos'' is a brutal parody of Cobra Commander. Ironically, Blue Laser Commander's failures are attributable less to his own incompetence and more to the fact that the Cheat Commandos are [[TooDumbToLive generally a danger to themselves and everything else]].

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* Blue Laser Commander in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'''s ShowWithinAShow ''WebAnimation/CheatCommandos'' is a brutal parody of Cobra Commander.Commander, with his plans having included building a secret headquarters in his nana's backyard and somehow concluding that mildew in the shower was the only thing keeping him from conquering the world. Ironically, Blue Laser Commander's failures are attributable less to his own incompetence and more to the fact that the Cheat Commandos are [[TooDumbToLive generally a danger to themselves and everything else]].


This trope does not happen too much in RealLife. Really incompetent officers usually never even graduate from the military academy: incompetent officers mostly don't tend to get promoted past Captain (Lieutenant in the Navy) level. Most real life officers appearing as General Failures are simply unlucky ones (and conversely many military "geniuses" just got lucky and afterwards announced IMeantToDoThat). In the mid-19th Century there was (more room for) nepotism and military ranks and jobs had to be bought and were only available to people of the right class/social standing. But even in the 1850s there were limits to how much incompetence a military establishment would tolerate before you got demoted, some of the people dying under your command saw to it [[UnfriendlyFire you got hit by a stray bullet]], or you and your remaining troops were captured by a foe with more competent leaders. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement But there have been some truly notable exceptions]].

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This trope does not happen too much in RealLife. Really incompetent officers usually never even graduate from the military academy: incompetent officers mostly don't tend to get promoted past Captain (Lieutenant in the Navy) level. Most real life officers appearing as General Failures are simply unlucky ones (and conversely many military "geniuses" just got lucky and afterwards announced IMeantToDoThat). In the mid-19th Century there was (more room for) nepotism and military ranks and jobs had to be bought and were only available to people of the right class/social standing. But even in the 1850s there were limits to how much incompetence a military establishment would tolerate before you got demoted, some of the people dying under your command saw to it [[UnfriendlyFire you got hit by a stray bullet]], or you and your remaining troops were captured by a foe with more competent leaders. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment But there have been some truly notable exceptions]].


** 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.

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** 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. Due to the Ironborn's inferior numbers, inferior training for fighting on land, and difficulty in supplying and reinforcing their troops the further inland they go, this ends with spectacular failure. Only the faction he invades spares him a second thought and even they do not divert forces from their main campaign. In Season 6, Yara calls him out on how all of his plans for the Ironborn have ended in ruin for them.


* General Pong Krell in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' is this when PlayedForDrama. His first command is to order his battalion to march through hostile territory along an open road surrounded by trees, to attack a fortified city. They never make it there, because it turns out that the road was covered in landmines. When the commanding clone, Rex, orders a retreat after a withering assault, Krell threatens to remove him from command. He then follows this up by making no attempts at reconnaissance against an enemy with completely unfamiliar technology, forcing exhausted soldiers on multi-day forced marches, ordering valuable special forces units to the front lines, leading from the rear instead of using his Jedi powers to fight alongside them (sowing disrespect and low morale in his men in the process), insulting and belittling the clones with regular bigoted remarks, and court-martialing soldiers for disobedience, even when their disobedience saved thousands of lives. However, this is 100% deliberate on his part; [[spoiler: he's TheMole, and actively doing everything in his power to sabotage his own side with his command style]].

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* General Pong Krell in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' is this when PlayedForDrama. His first command is to order his battalion to march through hostile territory along an open road surrounded by trees, to attack a fortified city. They never make it there, because it turns out that the road was covered in landmines. When the commanding clone, Rex, orders a retreat after a withering assault, Krell threatens to remove him from command. He then follows this up by making no attempts at reconnaissance against an enemy with completely unfamiliar technology, forcing exhausted soldiers on multi-day forced marches, ordering valuable special forces units to the front lines, leading from the rear instead of using his Jedi powers to fight alongside them (sowing disrespect and low morale in his men in the process), insulting and belittling the clones with regular bigoted remarks, and court-martialing soldiers for disobedience, even when their disobedience saved thousands of lives. However, [[spoiler:However, this is 100% deliberate on his part; [[spoiler: he's TheMole, and actively doing everything in his power to sabotage his own side with his command style]].


* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Edmure Tully is a minor example, being defeated in almost every battle. The one time he manages to win one it ends up screwing up his side's longer term strategy (though granted he wasn't ''told'' of the longer-term strategy).
** The military commanders of Yunkai appear to be this universally, so used to fighting mock battles and paying real enemies to go away that they have no idea how to conduct a campaign. They dress their soldiers in ridiculous, impractical armor, and are nearly routed by untrained ex-slaves led by a [[ElCidPloy corpse strapped to horse]].



* ''Literature/TheCitizenSeries'' is a rare example where the General Failure is the ''protagonist''. Allen Allenson is based on UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington and, like Washington, loses a lot more battles than he wins. His main talent as a commander is on the strategic level: maintaining his troops' morale and discipline and minimizing casualties while forcing his usually numerically superior enemies to win [[PyrrhicVictory Pyrrhic victories]].



* ''Literature/TheCitizenSeries'' is a rare example where the General Failure is the ''protagonist''. Allen Allenson is based on UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington and, like Washington, loses a lot more battles than he wins. His main talent as a commander is on the strategic level: maintaining his troops' morale and discipline and minimizing casualties while forcing his usually numerically superior enemies to win [[PyrrhicVictory Pyrrhic victories]].



* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** General Lord Ronald Rust from ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', part of the Literature/{{Discworld}} series, a man who believes nursery stories qualify as military precedent and will deliberately pursue a moronic strategy because the enemy won't expect it.
** These are so common on the Disc, perhaps in service to narrative causality, that when Sam Vimes runs across an officer who actually ''has a brain'' in ''Discworld/NightWatch'', his first reaction is '[[OhCrap Uh-oh...]]'
** 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.



* Salgant of the Harp, an Elf-Lord in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'', was one of Gondolin's nobility, and one of the highest Elf-Lords of the Noldori people. However, he was cowardly, lazy, gluttonous, and failed at almost every military attempt he made, his only thinkable strategies being deception and betrayal. He got no respect from his own men or from his fellow Elf-Lords, but was arrogant in and of himself, and thus decided to aid Maeglin, Morgoth's ally, in the Siege of Gondolin. While Maeglin led his troops out to fight their former kinsmen, Salgant stayed locked up in his house, terrified of his own troops' disobedience.



* ''Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy: The Crystal Shard'': Akar Kessel decides to magically enslave an army to conquer all he surveys. If he knew anything about commanding an army, he might have actually won. It's repeatedly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by both [[TheDragon Errtu]] and [[ArtifactOfDoom the Crystal Shard]] itself, who both offer him good advice that he continually rejects, mostly to indulge his ControlFreak tendencies.



* ''Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy: The Crystal Shard'': Akar Kessel decides to magically enslave an army to conquer all he surveys. If he knew anything about commanding an army, he might have actually won. It's repeatedly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by both [[TheDragon Errtu]] and [[ArtifactOfDoom the Crystal Shard]] itself, who both offer him good advice that he continually rejects, mostly to indulge his ControlFreak tendencies.
* General Lord Ronald Rust from ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', part of the Literature/{{Discworld}} series, a man who believes nursery stories qualify as military precedent and will deliberately pursue a moronic strategy because the enemy won't expect it.
** These are so common on the Disc, perhaps in service to narrative causality, that when Sam Vimes runs across an officer who actually ''has a brain'' in ''Discworld/NightWatch'', his first reaction is '[[OhCrap Uh-oh...]]'
** 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.



* Salgant of the Harp, an Elf-Lord in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'', was one of Gondolin's nobility, and one of the highest Elf-Lords of the Noldori people. However, he was cowardly, lazy, gluttonous, and failed at almost every military attempt he made, his only thinkable strategies being deception and betrayal. He got no respect from his own men or from his fellow Elf-Lords, but was arrogant in and of himself, and thus decided to aid Maeglin, Morgoth's ally, in the Siege of Gondolin. While Maeglin led his troops out to fight their former kinsmen, Salgant stayed locked up in his house, terrified of his own troops' disobedience.

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* Salgant ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'': The first book has Faidel Ahlverez, Duke of Malikai and "Admiral General" of the Harp, an Elf-Lord in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'', was one of Gondolin's nobility, Dohlaran Navy. He has no sailing expertise and one of is incredibly arrogant about the highest Elf-Lords mere idea that a professional seaman like his subordinate Earl Thirsk could actually know how to command better than him, because of the Noldori people. However, his lofty birth. Not surprisingly, he was cowardly, lazy, gluttonous, and failed at dies.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Edmure Tully is a minor example, being defeated in
almost every battle. The one time he manages to win one it ends up screwing up his side's longer term strategy (though granted he wasn't ''told'' of the longer-term strategy).
** The
military attempt he made, his only thinkable strategies being deception commanders of Yunkai appear to be this universally, so used to fighting mock battles and betrayal. He got paying real enemies to go away that they have no respect from his own men or from his fellow Elf-Lords, but was arrogant in and of himself, and thus decided idea how to aid Maeglin, Morgoth's ally, in the Siege of Gondolin. While Maeglin led his troops out to fight conduct a campaign. They dress their former kinsmen, Salgant stayed locked up soldiers in his house, terrified of his own troops' disobedience.ridiculous, impractical armor, and are nearly routed by untrained ex-slaves led by a [[ElCidPloy corpse strapped to horse]].



* In ''Literature/StarksWar'', the army's officer corps contains almost nothing but. There ''are'' good officers, but they end up sidelined – it's the ones who focus on political games and sucking up to their superiors who are rewarded, not the ones who actually do their jobs. And since officers rotate through positions so quickly (and can jump ship to cushy jobs with a MegaCorp if need be), they're never held to account for failure.



* ''StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]:

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* ''StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]:''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':



** ''Comicbook/XWingSeries'': Ysanne Isard, aka Iceheart, provides a rare [[JustifiedTrope justified example]]. As head of Imperial Intelligence she was a terrifying, {{manipulative|Bastard}} [[TheSpymaster spymaster]] who broke captives down into {{Manchurian Agent}}s and [[KlingonPromotion murdered her way]] into becoming a major power behind the throne. But when she tried her hand at running a war, her WeHaveReserves mentality (with an astonishing degree of YouHaveFailedMe) didn't work so well given that, post-Endor and a BalkanizeMe between various warlords (Isard at one point has to ''rent'' an Interdictor cruiser from High Admiral Teradoc), the Empire no longer had effectively unlimited resources. As time went on she also started putting more emphasis on [[RevengeBeforeReason getting revenge against Rogue Squadron than the war's ultimate success]]. The result was a VillainousBreakdown along with MotiveDecay that even Isard could see, while her empire fell apart as her underlings abandoned her. One defecting admiral even called Isard out with a lengthy TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* In ''Literature/StarksWar'', the army's officer corps contains almost nothing but. There ''are'' good officers, but they end up sidelined – it's the ones who focus on political games and sucking up to their superiors who are rewarded, not the ones who actually do their jobs. And since officers rotate through positions so quickly (and can jump ship to cushy jobs with a MegaCorp if need be), they're never held to account for failure.

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** ''Comicbook/XWingSeries'': ''Literature/XWingSeries'': Ysanne Isard, aka Iceheart, provides a rare [[JustifiedTrope justified example]]. As head of Imperial Intelligence she was a terrifying, {{manipulative|Bastard}} [[TheSpymaster spymaster]] who broke captives down into {{Manchurian Agent}}s and [[KlingonPromotion murdered her way]] into becoming a major power behind the throne. But when she tried her hand at running a war, her WeHaveReserves mentality (with an astonishing degree of YouHaveFailedMe) didn't work so well given that, post-Endor and a BalkanizeMe between various warlords (Isard at one point has to ''rent'' an Interdictor cruiser from High Admiral Teradoc), the Empire no longer had effectively unlimited resources. As time went on she also started putting more emphasis on [[RevengeBeforeReason getting revenge against Rogue Squadron than the war's ultimate success]]. The result was a VillainousBreakdown along with MotiveDecay that even Isard could see, while her empire fell apart as her underlings abandoned her. One defecting admiral even called Isard out with a lengthy TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* In ''Literature/StarksWar'', the army's officer corps contains almost nothing but. There ''are'' good officers, but they end up sidelined – it's the ones who focus on political games and sucking up to their superiors who are rewarded, not the ones who actually do their jobs. And since officers rotate through positions so quickly (and can jump ship to cushy jobs with a MegaCorp if need be), they're never held to account for failure.
TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.



* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'':
** General Sir Anthony Hogmanay Melchett, a parody of [[ModernMajorGeneral British WWI generals]].
** Then there was this series' version of Field Marshal Haig, whose primary battle plans involved British soldiers walking slowly across the battlefield, which had already been tried 18 times without success.



* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth''
** General Sir Anthony Hogmanay Melchett, a parody of [[ModernMajorGeneral British WWI generals]].
** Then there was this series' version of Field Marshal Haig, whose primary battle plans involved British soldiers walking slowly across the battlefield, which had already been tried 18 times without success.



* Emerald in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is one of the highest-ranked Gems in Homeworld's hierarchy...yet she keeps getting outwitted by [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits societal outcasts with no combat training]], and she refuses to step up her game because [[SkewedPriorities she doesn't want to damage the ship they have in their possession]].

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* Emerald in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is one of the highest-ranked Gems in Homeworld's hierarchy... yet she keeps getting outwitted by [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits societal outcasts with no combat training]], and she refuses to step up her game because [[SkewedPriorities she doesn't want to damage the ship they have in their possession]].

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[[folder:Webcomics]]

* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'': While everyone shown is reasonably competent (it's a military story, so if they weren't competent they'd be dead), [[DeusEstMachina Petey]] [[OvershadowedByAwesome makes them all look like idiots]].
-->'''Petey:''' I know you want to keep it all to yourself, but that will eventually result in a net loss, and that's before adding in the massive loss of life.\\
'''Admiral:''' We have tactical projections that suggest otherwise.\\
'''Petey:''' ''I'' have tactical projections. You have wishful thinking, an abacus, and some space-meeples.

[[/folder]]


* Salgant of the Harp, an Elf-Lord in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', was one of Gondolin's nobility, and one of the highest Elf-Lords of the Noldori people. However, he was cowardly, lazy, gluttonous, and failed at almost every military attempt he made, his only thinkable strategies being deception and betrayal. He got no respect from his own men or from his fellow Elf-Lords, but was arrogant in and of himself, and thus decided to aid Maeglin, Morgoth's ally, in the Siege of Gondolin. While Maeglin led his troops out to fight their former kinsmen, Salgant stayed locked up in his house, terrified of his own troops' disobedience.

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* Salgant of the Harp, an Elf-Lord in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', ''Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth'', was one of Gondolin's nobility, and one of the highest Elf-Lords of the Noldori people. However, he was cowardly, lazy, gluttonous, and failed at almost every military attempt he made, his only thinkable strategies being deception and betrayal. He got no respect from his own men or from his fellow Elf-Lords, but was arrogant in and of himself, and thus decided to aid Maeglin, Morgoth's ally, in the Siege of Gondolin. While Maeglin led his troops out to fight their former kinsmen, Salgant stayed locked up in his house, terrified of his own troops' disobedience.

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* ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'' depicts Guy of Lusignan as this. An InadequateInheritor to the role of King of Jerusalem, his big break as commander of its armies is to abandon a position next to a lake to instead march armored soldiers through miles of desert without any kind of real resource chain to meet the armies of Saladin. Needless to say, half his troops seem to be dying of dehydration before the battle even starts. (This is largely TruthInTelevision; there's a reason the Battle of Hattin is so often described with labels like "greatest military disasters.")

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** Clan generals have the same tendencies as the above Combine example. For centuries, Clan society focused around the gaining of honour through fair-minded, minimal-waste engagements fought entirely on the tactical level. High-ranking commanders in Clan society tended to be [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority those who could kick the most ass inside a 'mech cockpit]], not those [[TheStrategist who could lead two hundred 'mechs to victory in a large battle]], or prepare the logistics needed to use those 'mechs to take a dozen worlds. Thus, when the time came to invade the gigantic Inner Sphere, the Clan leaders (with two exceptions) proved unable to think of the invasion in strategic terms and treated the whole thing as they would any inter-Clan struggle, bidding down their armies and engaging the Inner Sphere in 'fair' fights to obtain maximum honour for each warrior. Despite the element of surprise, the Inner Sphere being weakened by civil war, and superior infantry and [=BattleMechs=], the Clans failed to capture less than a fifth of the Inner Sphere before the invasion ground to a halt. This got so bad that when Khan Ulric of the Wolf Clan (one of the two aforementioned exceptions) kept on moving his front lines because he'd actually prepared for fighting the Inner Sphere, the other Khans accused him of cheating.


** ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'': If you want an AbsoluteXenophobe of a GeneralRipper, Colonel Bosque Ohm of the Titans is your man. If you want a military leader who actually ''accomplishes'' anything other than gassing colony after colony of innocent civilians... best look elsewhere. This guy is so hellbent on gassing Spacenoids that he literally assigns a colony gassing operation as the ''very first mission'' for a new defector for the AEUG. Luckily for him said defector doesn't have much moral fiber and goes through with the colony gassing. Unsurprisingly, DarkMessiah Paptimus Scirocco doesn't think much of him, and even resident PsychoForHire Yazan doesn't hesitate to shoot him down on Scirocco's orders.

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** ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'': If you want an AbsoluteXenophobe of a GeneralRipper, Colonel Bosque Ohm of the Titans is your man. If you want a military leader who actually ''accomplishes'' anything other than gassing colony after colony of innocent civilians... best look elsewhere. This guy is so hellbent on gassing Spacenoids that he literally assigns a colony gassing operation as the ''very first mission'' for a new defector for from the AEUG. Luckily for him said defector doesn't have much moral fiber and goes through with the colony gassing. Unsurprisingly, DarkMessiah Paptimus Scirocco doesn't think much of him, and even resident PsychoForHire Yazan Gable doesn't hesitate to shoot him down on Scirocco's orders.



* ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}'': General Sam Lane is pretty much an AlternateCompanyEquivalent of Marvel's General Ross mentioned above, just with Superman swapped out for the Hulk as [[BullyingTheDragon the dragon he can't stop bullying]]. Later General Lane shifts his irrational hatred onto the [[FantasticRacism Kryptonians as a whole]], which ''really'' doesn't end well for him when he decides to start a war with a ComicBook/NewKrypton being protected by Superman's EvilCounterpart General Zod.



* The 1968 version of ''Film/TheChargeOfTheLightBrigade'' is ''made'' of this trope. Very much TruthInTelevision here.
* 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.
** 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.
* General Brigham from ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'' is an interesting example. It’s actually unclear how competent he is, because the enemy’s time-travel abilities mean that they can retroactively turn any decision he makes into the worst possible one. The overall effect is of a particularly spectacular GeneralFailure, but only because he’s unaware of his outlandish situation and has understandably serious difficulty wrapping his brain around it once he is informed.



* In ''Film/{{Kagemusha}}'', [[GloryHound Katsuyori Takeda]] disregards the defensive strategy set by his father and the other generals, [[spoiler:with catastrophic results]].
* Brad Whitaker from ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'' is explicitly mentioned as being such, or rather is mentioned as having failed to achieve any true military rank within the U.S. Armed Forces due to having cheated while studying at West Point. So instead, he resorted to arms smuggling across the world's war-torn regions, making a fortune through his dealings and becoming a self-styled colonel of sorts, even entering a partnership with the Soviets to supply their war in Afghanistan. However, for all of his fascination with military power, those who know better of his military service rarely hesitate to point out that his rank is in truth self-appointed.
* General Zod from ''Film/ManOfSteel'' is a tragic case of a WellIntentionedExtremist turned into one of these because he couldn't [[GrewBeyondTheirProgramming grow beyond his own programming]]. The product of an alien SuperBreedingProgram, Zod was conceived from day one to be a military leader, and as a result can't conceive of any other way to approach problems other than through overwhelming force. If he'd been of a less forceful temperament he could have allied with his old friend Jor-El, but instead he launches a coup d'état against the ObstructiveBureaucrat-laden Council that rules Krypton, turning Jor-El against him (though unwittingly also saving himself and his subordinates from dying with the world). Later his AttackAttackAttack mentality hamstrings him again when he decides to re-establish the Kryptonian race. Despite being in possession of a terraforming device that would allow him to transform any planet in our galaxy into one habitable to Kryptonians, he decides to go to war with the one ''inhabited'' planet in said galaxy, which alienates yet another El against him and mires him in another war he can't win. Perhaps most tragic is that Zod seems ''aware'' on some level that he is self-sabotaging his own efforts, as seen in a melancholy dialogue with a program of his old friend Jor-El and later a flat-out AntagonistInMourning speech when [[spoiler:Kal exiles every other Kryptonian but him back to the Phantom Zone]]. Most Failures here are so by their own pride and stupidity, but Zod is a failure because he's literally hardwired to be one.
* The second ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum'' film has the reanimated General George A. Custer, who has more bravado than good sense. His great plan to surprise the enemy is to loudly announce his decision to attack before attacking. When the flaw is pointed out, he thinks for a while and comes up with a "better" plan: loudly announce they're ''not'' going to attack, and then attack. Later on in the film however, he admits that he is indeed an incompetent fraud whose greatest achievement is leading his men to their deaths in a moment of panic.
* In ''Film/{{Ran}}'', Jiro deliberately ignores Kurogane's veteran military wisdom and commits to foolhardy strategies that ultimately lead [[spoiler:to the destruction of his kingdom]].



* The second ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum'' film has the reanimated General George A. Custer, who has more bravado than good sense. His great plan to surprise the enemy is to loudly announce his decision to attack before attacking. When the flaw is pointed out, he thinks for a while and comes up with a "better" plan: loudly announce they're ''not'' going to attack, and then attack. Later on in the film however, he admits that he is indeed an incompetent fraud whose greatest achievement is leading his men to their deaths in a moment of panic.
* In ''Film/{{Kagemusha}}'', [[GloryHound Katsuyori Takeda]] disregards the defensive strategy set by his father and the other generals, [[spoiler:with catastrophic results]].
* In ''Film/{{Ran}}'', Jiro deliberately ignores Kurogane's veteran military wisdom and commits to foolhardy strategies that ultimately lead [[spoiler:to the destruction of his kingdom]].
* The 1968 version of ''Film/TheChargeOfTheLightBrigade'' is ''made'' of this trope. Very much TruthInTelevision here.
* Brad Whitaker from ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'' is explicitly mentioned as being such, or rather is mentioned as having failed to achieve any true military rank within the U.S. Armed Forces due to having cheated while studying at West Point. So instead, he resorted to arms smuggling across the world's war-torn regions, making a fortune through his dealings and becoming a self-styled colonel of sorts, even entering a partnership with the Soviets to supply their war in Afghanistan. However, for all of his fascination with military power, those who know better of his military service rarely hesitate to point out that his rank is in truth self-appointed.
* 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.
** 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.
* General Brigham from ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'' is an interesting example. It’s actually unclear how competent he is, because the enemy’s time-travel abilities mean that they can retroactively turn any decision he makes into the worst possible one. The overall effect is of a particularly spectacular GeneralFailure, but only because he’s unaware of his outlandish situation and has understandably serious difficulty wrapping his brain around it once he is informed.



** Played with in Visser Three's superior and political rival, Visser One. She could have run the Earth invasion single-handedly and probably pulled it off without a hitch, but due to orders from the [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering Council of Thirteen]] she is forced to relinquish command of the invasion to Visser Three and only shows up on Earth to sabotage his efforts or take advantage of its resources for use in invasions on other planets. Later however she plays this straight when the Council makes the frankly ''harebrained'' decision to keep Visser Three in charge on Earth and send Visser One off to the new Anati galaxy. Having a mindset and leadership style that heavily favors the slow-and-steady infiltration style of invasion, Visser One is caught completely flat-footed by whatever it is that Anati throws at her and is ultimately recalled from her position and sentenced to death for her failure to take Anati (all while Visser Three has continued to make zero progress in retaking Earth and is not punished in any way. The guy's ''gotta'' have a friend or two on that Council...) She had similar problems with the Leeran, who, having PsychicPowers, had basically no problems rooting out her attempts at infiltration, forcing her to resort to a flatly bizarre plan involving genetically-modified sharks.

to:

** Played with in Visser Three's superior and political rival, Visser One. She could have run the Earth invasion single-handedly and probably pulled it off without a hitch, but due to orders from the [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering Council of Thirteen]] she is forced to relinquish command of the invasion to Visser Three and only shows up on Earth to sabotage his efforts or take advantage of its resources for use in invasions on other planets. Later however she plays this straight when the Council makes the frankly ''harebrained'' decision to keep Visser Three in charge on Earth and send Visser One off to the new Anati galaxy. Having a mindset and leadership style that heavily favors the slow-and-steady infiltration style of invasion, Visser One is caught completely flat-footed by [[OutOfFocus whatever it is is]] that Anati throws at her and is ultimately recalled from her position and sentenced to death for her failure to take Anati (all while Visser Three has continued to make zero progress in retaking taking Earth and is not punished in any way. The guy's ''gotta'' have a friend or two on that Council...) She had similar problems with the Leeran, Leerans, who, having PsychicPowers, had basically no problems rooting out her attempts at infiltration, forcing her to resort to a flatly bizarre plan involving genetically-modified sharks.


** Played with in Visser Three's superior and political rival, Visser One. She could have run the Earth invasion single-handedly and probably pulled it off without a hitch, but due to orders from the [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering Council of Thirteen]] she is forced to relinquish command of the invasion to Visser Three and only shows up on Earth to sabotage his efforts or take advantage of its resources for use in invasions on other planets. Later however she plays this straight when the Council makes the frankly ''harebrained'' decision to keep Visser Three in charge on Earth and send Visser One off to the new Anati galaxy. Having a mindset and leadership style that heavily favors the slow-and-steady infiltration style of invasion, Visser One is caught completely flat-footed by whatever it is that Anati throws at her and is ultimately recalled from her position and sentenced to death for her failure to take Anati (all while Visser Three has continued to make zero progress in retaking Earth and is not punished in any way. The guy's ''gotta'' have a friend or two on that Council...)

to:

** Played with in Visser Three's superior and political rival, Visser One. She could have run the Earth invasion single-handedly and probably pulled it off without a hitch, but due to orders from the [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering Council of Thirteen]] she is forced to relinquish command of the invasion to Visser Three and only shows up on Earth to sabotage his efforts or take advantage of its resources for use in invasions on other planets. Later however she plays this straight when the Council makes the frankly ''harebrained'' decision to keep Visser Three in charge on Earth and send Visser One off to the new Anati galaxy. Having a mindset and leadership style that heavily favors the slow-and-steady infiltration style of invasion, Visser One is caught completely flat-footed by whatever it is that Anati throws at her and is ultimately recalled from her position and sentenced to death for her failure to take Anati (all while Visser Three has continued to make zero progress in retaking Earth and is not punished in any way. The guy's ''gotta'' have a friend or two on that Council...)) She had similar problems with the Leeran, who, having PsychicPowers, had basically no problems rooting out her attempts at infiltration, forcing her to resort to a flatly bizarre plan involving genetically-modified sharks.

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