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"Great Expectations: The Case of Horatio Nelson and " Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2018 8:48 p.m. PST

… the Role of Confidence in Military Genius

"Charles Dickens fans should note that this article is not about one of your favorite Victorian novels. Rather, it examines the case of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Baron of the Nile, and how his expectations of what his military operations might accomplish often matched the results. Secondarily, this characteristic of great expectations aligns nicely with attributes in Carl von Clausewitz's exposition of military genius in On War.[1] Finally, both Nelson's approach, and Clausewitzian examination of the concept of military genius have a direct bearing on how officers command at sea.

A firm belief in a high payoff is not unique to either Nelson or Clausewitz's ideal of the military genius. Instead, this belief can be found in all great commanders at the operational level and higher (although most of these commanders were proficient, if not brilliant, at the tactical level as well). One can posit that great self-expectations are critical to those who will lead the U.S. military of the 21st century and beyond as they support the national interests of the United States…."
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