Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War — Military failures have long been studied piecemeal, but there are few scholarly attempts to quantify and systematize them. Here, two professors of military history reduce the study of command blunders to a science. Several intellectual shortfalls, such as the failures to learn, to anticipate, to adapt, are analyzed. Each is then followed by the study of a pivotal battle or campaign which easily could have turned out differently, but for the “pathways to misfortune” which intervened. The work is painstaking, detailed, and thoughtful. This was one of the most systematic books on a study of failure I’ve read.
Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch, Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War, Vintage Books, New York, New York, 1991 (246 pages, excluding appendices)
Recommended by Sid Heal in Episodes 1 & 2