Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This is coolbert:

Here is a quote attributed to Dwight David Eisenhower.

"There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."

-- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

For the devoted readers of my blog.

1. Can someone confirm or deny that this quote is correctly attributed to Ike?

2. Also, can someone comment at least with regard to military strategy, is this correct!!?? Can the amateur excel over the professional??!!

Consider the case of Genghis Khan. Totally unlettered [an illiterate]! And yet, was a strategist, tactician, and military organizer of the first magnitude. At the time of Genghis, there would have been recognized the amateur and the professional to begin with. Perhaps NOT!

There are other candidates out there?

Napoleon when he first assumed command [26 years old] of the French armies for his Italian campaign [1796-1797]?

"Napoleon said there's nothing theoretical about war. You do what you have to do. You do it fast, and you surprise the enemy and shock him if you can. Move quickly and be ruthless about it."

Grant during his campaign along the Mississippi river opposite Vicksburg?

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." - - U.S. Grant.

General Giap. Defeated and flummoxed the best French and American general officers during Indo-China War I and II. WAS A SCHOOLTEACHER WITHOUT ANY MILITARY TRAINING, EXPERIENCE, OR HIGHER EDUCATION OF ANY SORT??!!



Blogger Fabius Maximus said...

General U Grant was a professional, West Point Class of 1843. Served in the Mex-Am war. Hence had both training and experience by the time of Vicksburg.

Napoleon graduated from the elite École Royale Militaire in 1785 and was then commissioned as a 2nd LT.

For tribal warrior societies like the Mongols and American Indians the pro vs. amateur distinction has little meaning.

Perhaps the finest example of the genius amateur is Caesar.

8:39 PM


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