Blind Obedience

February 13th, 2005  
Fix bayonets

Topic: Blind Obedience

Blind obedience is when soldiers or people follow an order without question not regarding the consequences an example of this is at Gallipoli 1915 when the Austratlian Light Horse attacked the Turkish trenches four times even though each time they were mowed down before they could get 5 yards but they followed the order to attack repeatedly.

Can anyone else think of any miliatry examples of blind obedience?
February 13th, 2005  
A Can of Man
February 13th, 2005  
Many german officers at auschwitz claimed blind obediance.
February 14th, 2005  

Topic: Blind Obedience; The Neck

I don't think this is a good example of "Blind Obedience".
The attacks at the Neck by the 9th and 10th Light Horse was to attract attention away from several other actions by the Allies and aid the New Zealanders who were attacking Chunuk Bair, as well as aid the English landings at Suvla?
If the light Horse had taken the trench system they would have gained a better position and negated the cross fire and height advantage the Turks had at the "chessboard" for example.
Tactically a disaster due to many variables but not an attack of blind obediance.
Quite a few Australian officers argued continuing the attacks after the first wave had been cut down.
it was , at the troopers level a feeling of not letting your mates down and getting the job done that sent over 300 men to unquestionably climb the firestep into the face of up to 30 turkish maxims.
I would think Calleys leadership at Mai Lai and his mens "Blind Obediance" to his orders a better example?????
Or the Old Gaurd forming square at Waterloo knowing the battle was lost.
Just my thoughts
February 14th, 2005  
Many german officers at auschwitz claimed blind obediance.
I wouldent call Auswitz a Military act , Than again, I wouldent call those maniacs "Officers"...
February 14th, 2005  
Charge 7
Neither was Mai Lai a sanctioned military action. The fact that Calley and his men were prosecuted certainly spells that out. If you want to read a balanced account of it go here:
February 14th, 2005  
Near the end of Iwo Jima, the terrain often precluded the use of armor, and the tiny area held by the Japanese placed the Marines in virtually face-to-face lines, which often precluded the usuage of artillery and mortars. All efforts to get the Japanese to surrender failed. The battle was essentially over. There was no way the Japanese could mount an effective counterattack. They were trapped and could have been effectively contained.

The Marines, with all battalions operating at shockingly low rates of combat efficiency (cooks, clerical, communications, construction, etc. operating at the front as replacement riflemen,) went in anyway, and thousands were wounded and killed.
February 14th, 2005  
How about the Japanese Officer who was using Guerilla tactics on civilians decades after the war was over? That's blind obedience, even though he got the air-dropped pamphlets and heard the loud-speakers proclaim that the war was over.
February 14th, 2005  
Mark Conley
Maybe not exactly blind obedience..but certainly a story of great military discipline at its height...

Under the command of Captain Robert Salmond, H.M.S. Birkenhead left Portsmouth in January 1852 taking troops to fight in the Frontier War in South Africa. The Birkenhead, one of the first iron hulled paddle steamers in service travelled to southern Ireland, before heading for the Cape on 17th January.

The troops onboard included drafts of Fusiliers, Highlanders, Lancers, Foresters, Rifles, Green Jackets and assorted other regiments.

After taking on fresh water and supplies the Birkenhead steamed out of Simon's Bay near Cape Town, in the late afternoon of 25th February, with about 634 men, women and children on board. With weather conditions perfect, a clear blue sky and a flat and calm sea, the Birkenhead continued steadily on her passage.

Captain Salmond, whose family had served in the Royal Navy since the reign of Elizabeth I, had received orders to use all possible haste to reach his destination of Algoa Bay. In order to speed up the trip he decided to hug the South African coastline as closely as possible. This course kept the Birkenhead within approximately three miles of the coast, maintaining a speed of approximately 8 knots.

It was in the early hours of 26th February, approaching a rocky outcrop called Danger Point, some 180 km from Cape Town that disaster struck. With the exception of the duty watch, everyone else was tucked up asleep in their quarters. The watch were scanning the clear glowing waters ahead and the Leadman had just called “Sounding 12 Fathoms” when the Birkenhead rammed an uncharted rock.

The churning paddle wheels of the Birkenhead drove her on with such force that the rock sliced through into the hull ripping open the compartment between the engine-room and forepeak. Water flooded into the forward compartment of the lower troop deck filling it instantly. Hundreds of soldiers were trapped and drowned in their hammocks as they slept.

All the surviving officers and men who could, assembled on deck. Some of the soldiers stood barefoot dressed only in their night-clothes, others less lucky were naked and many with the injuries sustained as they clawed their way from the flooded troop quarters. The senior officer on board, Lieutenant-Colonel Seton of the 74th Royal Highland Fusiliers took charge of all military personnel. He immediately summoned his officers around him and stressed the importance of maintaining order and discipline amongst the inexperienced soldiers.

Distress rockets were fired, but there was no help at hand.

Realising the hopeless position they were in, the captain ordered the lifeboats to be lowered. Much of the lowering equipment would not function, due to a lack of maintenance and a thick layer of paint that clogged the mechanisms.

That night under a clear starry sky the great naval tradition of “women and children first” was established as eventually two cutters and a gig were launched and the seven women and thirteen children were rowed away from the wreck to safety.

The horses were cut loose and thrown overboard. Only then did Captain Salmond shout to the men that everyone who could swim must save themselves by jumping into the sea and make for the boats.

Lieutenant-Colonel Seton, the soldier's commanding officer, quickly recognized that such a rush would mean that the lifeboats could be swamped and the lives of the women and children onboard would thus be endangered. He drew his sword and ordered his men to stand fast. The untried soldiers did not move even as the ship split in two and the gallant company slipped down into the waves.

The Birkenhead sank only twenty-five minutes after she had struck the rocks, only the topmast and sailcloth remained visible above the water with about fifty men still clinging to them. The sea was full of men desperate for anything that could float. Death by drowning came quickly to many of them, but the more unfortunate were taken by the Great White sharks.

The next morning the schooner Lioness reached the lifeboats rescuing those onboard, after which she headed for the scene of the disaster reaching the wreck that afternoon, picking up the remaining survivors. Of the 634 people onboard the Birkenhead, only 193 were saved.

Rudyard Kipling immortalized the silent heroes when he wrote;

‘To stand and be still

to the Birken’ead Drill

is a damn tough bullet to chew’.