Major-General J.F.C. Fuller has been called "the most brilliant, most stimulating, and most arrogant and aggravating military writer of the twentieth century." This book helped end his military career, for in it he presents a devastating critique of the decline of Western military thought, and in particular of the collapse of active leadership. He dates this to the end of the American Civil War, after which Western generals became increasingly removed from the battlefield. Fuller argues that the three pillars of generalship are moral courage, creative intelligence, and physical fitness - a requirement for surviving near the front lines. His thesis that most of the great generals of history were young men who personally led and inspired their armies from the front, rather than anonymously pushing them forwards from the rear, did little to endear him to the aging and reactionary military establishment of the day. The evidence, however, remains on Fuller's side.
Table of Contents:
Generalship in the World War
The Essentials in Generalship
Examples of the Personal Factor
The Diseases Diagnosed
The Remedies Suggested
Appendix: The Ages of 100 Generals