Wednesday, April 3, 2013


1. Was Maj. Gen. Pritchard right to relieve Davenport?

Pritchard feels that Davenport is a "first rate guy" and respects him, but after Savage puts a bug in his ear and he goes to observe Davenport, he determines that he "overidentifies" with his men. The last straw is Davenport's refusal to can the navigator that caused the unit to be late on target which resulted in heavy losses. Davenport does the right thing in assuming responsibility, but Pritchard needs a tougher commander apparently.

I personally think the decision was premature based on the facts presented to the general. Were there a surplus of good commanders at the time to where you could remove someone as good as Davenport? How about a forced leave or at least a talk about tough love? With that said, once the movie has Savage replace Davenport, it reveals that the group was poorly disciplined. Now that would have been a good reason to remove him.

One other thing to ponder? Suppose Davenport had made the decision to go on to the secondary target because he was three minutes late. Would he not have been criticized for not giving the "maximum effort"? Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

2. Describe Savage's leadership style and philosophy

Savage believes in tough love. His arrival is similar to Patton's arrival at II Corps. He accuses Gately of cowardice and puts him in command of The Leper Colony. He meets the crews and proclaims that it is back to basics. He tells them that they need to stop feeling sorry for themselves. They also need to stop thinking about the future. Consider yourself already dead. (The same philosophy as Speirs in "Band of Brothers"!) His whole plan is to build unit pride by being successful on their missions.

3. Was Savage right in how he handled the unit?

Yes. If the "player's coach" is not successful, try the strict disciplinarian and vice versa. If you take the hard ass approach like Savage, lighten up only after you have gained respect. He was right that officers should not be too close to their men. A commander must have the moral courage to accept losses for the greater cause. Of course, moral courage could lead to a mental breakdown.
"You're all ready dead"

Check out my review at:  12 O'Clock High
1.  Compare the leadership styles of Napoleon and Wellington
2.  What strengthes and weaknesses of Napoleon are depicted in the movie?
 Part 1 

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