- Victory disease
Victory disease afflicts
militarycommanders and armies who, after victories, become weak and susceptible to defeat [http://www.army.mil/professionalwriting/volumes/volume1/september_2003/9_03_5.html] .
The signs are:
* use of previously victorious patterns of fighting, "and" not developing new tactics to anticipate enemy advances,
stereotypesof enemies, underestimating enemies,
ignoranceof contrary intelligence or refusal to recognize it.While the winning side grows complacent, arrogant, feeling , the enemy adapts. Military disaster ensues.
While "victory disease" does not automatically foretell failure, it is a strong indicator. The term applies outside the military world (see references).
The origin of the term ("(戦勝病 senshoubyou)" in Japanese, [http://groups.google.hu/group/soc.history.war.world-war-ii/browse_thread/thread/109cee3784b63713] ) is associated with the
Japanese advance in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where, after attacking Pearl Harbor in 1941, they won a series of nearly uninterrupted victories against the Alliesin Southeast Asiaand the Pacific[http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199903/victory-at-sea/3] , [http://books.google.com/books?id=GZCNhrm9eOYC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=%22Victory+Disease%22&source=web&ots=MdG3-CFSbe&sig=yhamaYsO7WwY9toggaJ66nL1-ng&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA18,M1] .
Although they had planned to establish a perimeter and go on the defensive, victories encouraged them to continue expanding to where it strained
logisticsand navy. This led to 1942's Battle of Midway, a catastrophic defeat to the Japanese navy— all four of their aircraft carriers involved were sunk. The decision of Japan to start a war against the United Statesis viewed as victory disease.
* Spanish naval assault on
Englandin 1588 suffered the defeat of the "unsinkable" Spanish Armada
* The decision of
Napoleonto invade Russiain 1812. A force of about 500,000 French soldiers invaded, and about 20,000 returned.
* United States victories in the
Mexican–American Warand the Indian Warsmade Union forces over-confident going into the American Civil War, losing their first battle — they expected a quick victory. The Confederates similarly stereotyped the Union, at times leading to military disaster.
* Confederate decisions made at and before their loss at the
Battle of Gettysburg, after their outnumbered-five-to-two victory at the Battle of Chancellorsvilleduring the Civil War.
* The 1876
Battle of the Little Bighorn, in which the Siouxnearly annihilated the entire 7th Cavalryof Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. Expecting a repeat of the Battle of Washita River, Custer ignored contrary intelligence or did not seek it out.
* Japan's decision to attack Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. This followed wins in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)and the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War.
* [http://www.army.mil/professionalwriting/volumes/volume1/september_2003/9_03_5.html U.S. Army Professional Writing Collection on victory disease]
* [http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/army/csi_karcher_victory.pdf Long article from the US military with much on Little Bighorn & Task Force Ranger]
* [http://www.bartleby.com/65/na/Napoleon1.html On Napoleon's disaster]
* [http://groups.google.hu/group/soc.history.war.world-war-ii/browse_thread/thread/109cee3784b63713 Origin of the term]
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