Great Military Blunders is a six part documentary series which was originally aired in 2000, the series itself provides a fascinating examination of the key factors which lead to some of the greatest military disasters in history.
In war we typically find that defeat stems from mistakes which include making bad plans or not seeing good ones through, a lack of understanding with regards to your enemy or fighting terrain and over the course of these six episode we see how many of these mistakes were made.
Episode 1: Gods and Monsters
We explore the three sins which many great leaders seem to possess – arrogance, ambition and vanity and how in particular these attributes manifested themselves in the leadership of the Second World War, from Field Marshall Montgomery and General MacArthur.
Episode 2: Unfit to Lead?
In this episode we explore the mistakes of General Elphinstone, who took charge of the disastrous British retreat from Kabul in 1839 and several other military leaders whom made decisions which ultimately ended in disaster for them.
Episode 3: Tin Soldiers
As advancements in technology were made throughout the years, these advancements were often worked into the framework of war in an belief that technology would bring about cleaner wars, ultimately reducing the loss of life, these notions are confounded in this episode as we examine the affects of modern warfare from the Battle of the Somme to the Gulf War.
Episode 4: Best Laid Plans
A look into Operation Fuller, a critical WWII mission forged on the orders of Churchill with the sole purpose of destroying two German battle-cruisers, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau which were trapped in a French port. However, when it came time execute this operation the plans were locked in a safe and the only man with a key was away on holiday. Disaster quickly ensued.
Episode 5: Politics by Other Means
Exploring the strategic failures of politicians. To be specific, the defeat of the Crusaders at the battle of Hattin in 1187. We also see how Fascist Italy led by Benitto Mussolini invades Ethiopian territory in 1935; and how Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in 1983.
Episode 6: Who’s Sorry Now?
We witness the true cost of underestimating ones enemy.