918Bomber GroupWaris a difficult activity that calls for enormous resilience, precision, courage,quick thinking and quick decision, emotional detachment and many otherqualities that are normally lacking in ordinary human beings. In the 1949American war film, Twelve O’clock High, the 918 Bomber Group was amilitary group that was tasked with the duty of bombing the Nazi Germany (MSSResearch, n.
d). But one thing that stood on the way to this group’s success wasleadership or lack of it. The Group Commander was not meeting the expectationsthat his soldiers had of him. The failing Group Commander was known as ColonelKeith Davenport. Thus, if I were part of this group of soldiers, I would havepreferred to be led by a different person.IfI were serving in the 918 Bomber Group, I would have preferred to GeneralSavage, and not Colonel Keith Davenport as our Group Commander. There arevarious reasons why I would have preferred the former as the group leader, andnot the latter.
A Group Commander should be somebody who makes quick decisions.War is a competition between two groups on which one can kill the others fast.Therefore, any delay in deciding on the course of action can lead to theelimination of the whole group. Colonel Keith Davenport had become a slowdecision maker, and this had already cost the group. So reluctant was ColonelKeith Davenport that when one day he received orders to fly a mission at a lowaltitude, he decided to share his doubts with a junior officer, General Savage(Mike and Vicki, n.d).
This show of indecisiveness can cost lives, therefore isa dangerous thing in war. Besides, it is better to die fighting than to bekilled because one failed to make a quick decision to fight. In war, the best defense is going on theoffensive. On his part, General Savage showed maturity and leadership skills bysharing his doubts about Colonel Keith Davenport with another GeneralPritchard, a commanding general. Thesecond reason why I would not have preferred Colonel Keith Davenport as myGroup Commander is because the man was easily demoralized. Sustaining a warrequires abundant resilience and unending fortitude. Indeed, when a soldier isthe leader of the group, he or she has no option but to be endlesslyoptimistic.
Any sign of being demoralized would quickly spread to other membersand make the whole mission a disastrous adventure. After one of theunsuccessful missions, Colonel Keith Davenport openly showed his that he wasboth exhausted and demoralized (MSS Research, n.d). As expected, other membersof his group caught the feeling. At the very minimum, a leader should concealsuch feeling- in any case, he has them- so that other members of the group donot become downbeat.
General Savage showed more resilience than his leader. Thefinal reason I would have preferred General Savage, and not Colonel KeithDavenport as our Group Commander, is because the man had developed an emotionalattachment to his men. War is a mission that involves killing and being killed.Indeed, even a Group Commander can never know who will survive and who will bekilled. Therefore, the duty of a Group Commander is to draw a good plan for themission and let the soldiers do their parts. There should be no emotionalattachment to it.
This became one of the failings of Colonel Keith Davenport.