Shared April 29, 2017
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A look at the tragic consequences of underestimating the enemy. During the Second World War, the British commander of Singapore believed it to be an impregnable fortress until a numerically inferior Japanese Army overran it. Similarly, 12 years on, the French lost the mountain garrison at Dien Bien Phu after failing to anticipate the resourcefulness of General Giap and his Vietmanese peasant army.
We have long saluted military genius and bravery. But the other side of the coin is military incompetence – a largely preventable, tragically expensive, yet totally absorbing aspect of human behaviour.
From the Crusades to Vietnam, history is littered with examples of stupidity, obduracy, brutality and sheer breath-taking incompetence. Lack of communication, technological failure and a misplaced sense of superiority have led to the deaths of thousands of ordinary soldiers, let down by their masters and betrayed by arrogance. Using a combination of history, human interest and archive footage underpinned by powerful story-telling, Great Military Blunders charts man’s folly and cruelty in a series of stunning debacles, spanning almost a thousand years of conflict.
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