Daniel Von Fange

Life, Code, and Cool Stuff

Juniors Speak First

<p>Eliciting insights from junior officers during Moltke&#8217;s <a href="http://www.strategypage.com/articles/default.asp?reader=long&#38;target=WARGHIS2.htm&#38;Prev=418&#38;BeginCnt=476">staff rides</a>:</p>

<p><blockquote>Periodically Moltke would take the entire student body of the War College and as much of his General Staff as he could spare and literally ride on horseback to one of the actual invasion corridors into Prussia. Moltke would then personally describe the situation he viewed the most likely first clash between invading and Prussian forces.</p>

He would then turn to the most junior student present and ask for his plan of battle.  He would then ask the second most junior, then the third until he would ask the opinion of the most senior General present. Why? If the most senior spoke first would any junior disagree?  Besides the younger officers might come up with something innovative. They would then ride to a hill overlooking where Moltke felt the next phase of the battle would be fought and the process was repeated.</blockquote>

<p>Interesting. I just read about the same technique being used in the Russian army during the first Chechen war. Vyacheslav Mironov wrote in his &#8220;<a href="http://kulichki.ru/moshkow/MEMUARY/CHECHNYA/chechen_war.txt">Assault on Grozny Downtown</a>&#8221;.</p>

<blockquote>The time will come  for me to stand up  and  express my  point of view, like any other present here.  First, the lowest ranking officers will speak, then, all the way up the pyramid. It  is done deliberately, so that the opinion of the higher-ranking officers wasn&#8217;t weighing on their shoulders. At the end, com-brig  will do the  summing  up.</blockquote>