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12:03pm on Saturday, 8th August, 2020:



Here's a quotation from a famous German general, talking about army officers:

I distinguish four types. There are clever, hardworking, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and hardworking; their place is the General Staff. The next ones are stupid and lazy; they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the mental clarity and strength of nerve necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is both stupid and hardworking; he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always only cause damage.

I was thinking about how this might map onto my Player Types model, so being the academic I am I looked for the source.

The sentiment that the quotation expresses is almost universally attributed to Helmuth Johannes Ludwig Graf von Moltke. The form in which it is expressed is almost universally attributed to Erich von Manstein, paraphrasing von Moltke's view. However, it's also attributed to Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freigerr von Hammerstein-Equord, whom von Manstein knew. Von Moltke died 18 Jun 1916, when von Manstein was 28 (and von Moltke was 68), and von Molke was a field marshal; von Manstein ended the Great War as a captain.

It looks, then, as if von Hammerstein-Equord might be the actual source, but von Moltke has the higher name recognition (his uncle was also a famous general).

Who actually did perform the initial categorisation, then?

I'd look into it further but it's too much work.

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