Fictional military commanders who would get fragged by their men

One for military Dopers, especially. Which fictional military leaders, if they were given command of men going into a real combat scenario, would be most likely to find a friendly frag grenade tossed into their tent for use of Hollywood tactics, jerkassness or sheer incompetence (or more likely relieved of duty immediately, but fragging gets the idea across better)?

Inspired by this thread where reboot Kirk is brought up in this context, a swaggering jackass with the experience and gravitas of a kipper who is given the command of a starship. Haven’t seen Into Darkness though, maybe he gets better.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way - Zapp Brannigan for his tendency to throw waves and waves of his own men at the problem.

Renegade Shepard from the Mass Effect series, who in the first game has a disturbing tendency of gunning down helpless asari (blue-skinned space babes) when the opportunity presents itself and by the third has graduated to gunning down former members of his squad.

Douglas C. Niedermeyer. That is all.

Just who I was gonna mention! The where-are-they-now end credits even confirm it. And how about:

Adm. Helena Cain, on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.

Just about any of the busybody commodores and admirals in the various incarnations of Star Trek who throw their weight around and endanger the ship.

Maj. Frank Burns on MASH*, if he ever actually tried to exercise battlefield command.

The evil Col. Sebastian Moran from the Sherlock Holmes stories, ditto.

Not many people saw The Twilight Zone movie, but during Vic Morrow’s segment, there’s a brief scene in Viet Nam where we see some GIs slogging though a rice paddy. One says “We’re lost,” and another whines, “I wish we didn’t kill Lieutenant Niedermeyer.”

Not coincidentally, that segment was directed by John Landis.
To be a LITTLE more serious, the commanders who get fragged aren’t necessarily the MEANEST guys. Sometimes soldiers LOVE sergeants who treat them like crap, just as many football players LOVE coaches who scream and curse at them constantly.

Soldiers, like athletes, will perform for a mean boss PROVIDED they believe the boss knows what he’s doing, and that they’ll win/succeed/survive if they do what he tells them. If they DON’T believe that, if they believe the boss is an asshole who’s going to bring them to disaster (or already has), then they’ll turn on him.

A well-meaning, nice fool has more to fear from his men than a smart, competent prick.

Commander Kargan, of the Klingon ship Pagh.

I was thinking of starting a thread about him. He has to be the most incompetent commander ever. Without Riker’s help, he would have lost his ship and killed his entire crew over ignorance. He’s so out of his league, the only reason I figure he got command was he was bigger and badder physically than the previous commander.

One could hope that Klag will eventually “relieve” Kargon of command in the proper Klingon manner.

Disagree with this one - according to the books, he was quite competent and a noted and charismatic leader (though evil): Moriarty uses him as his second in command. Can’t picture him being incompetent or a jerkass to his men.

His men in battle are unlikely to care too much that he liked ripping off and murdering the nobility for cash.

Also, fragging his would not be safe - best shot in the army. :wink:

I was going to suggest the officers of the USOS Seaview (movie version), but that’s mainly because the crew—and a number of the officers—just seemed to be on the verge of mutiny as a matter of course, rather than because of anything the CO actually did murdericiously wrong.

(And I keep meaning to start a thread for “The Worst Failure(s) of a Fictional Military Operation.” The Sulaco’s LV-426 rescue mission figures high on the list.)

Can I nominate General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett VC DSO? I think fragging him is the only thing Blackadder didn’t try! :smiley:

Disagree completely on Kirk. His crew goes along because his shit works. Eventually, I would surmise, that even the most SABR-friendly crew member gets swayed and admits that Kirk leads a charmed life. Until the day when his shit didn’t work and everyone was ****ed.

Fortunatly Starfleet is headed by some Bill James types and they try and stop Kirk before all his bunting and stealing blows up in his face. But try as they might Kirk keeps ending up in the Big Chair. Here is the Command history of the reboot Enterprise

Captain Pike: 2 hours
Spock: 2 hours
Kirk: 2 years
Pike: 2 days
Kirk : 1 week
Spock: 2 weeks
Kirk: Present commander

You are right that up until the ‘present’, Kirk has no business being in charge of a starship. But between Khan’s recapture and the last scene of ST: ID, I’m guessing that Kirk has finally matured. But before then…yes…he ran that ship on sheer charisma and a ton of “Trust me!!”'s

But he wasn’t going to get fragged.

nm Zapp got mention in the OP

Lt. Colonel Nicholson, “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

Perhaps, but I’m sure he considered it before realizing he’d just be replaced by some other incompetent upper-class blowhard who’d be the same or even worse.

From the Sharpe series, the thoroughly horrible Sergeant Obidiah Hakeswill.

Not that it would be successful, mind. :smiley: Many tried - and died.

Yes, Kirk got results. He was a very successful starship captain in TOS, the movies and the J.J. Abrams reboot, and his crew seemed to love him. ISTR Roddenberry, in the novelization for ST:TMP, noted that Kirk had far lower casualties (redshirt jokes notwithstanding) than the Starfleet average during his five-year mission.

He usually did the fragging himself; Hakeswill killed quite a few officers who didn’t subscribe to his curious view of hierarchy {“It says so in Scriptures”}. And I don’t think Moran was mad or incompetent, he was unorthodox, but totally professional and dangerously competent: he’d probably chafe a bit within a conventional command structure, but would be an excellent guerrilla commander.

Well, Horatio Hornblower took his ship, the Sutherland, manned by the usual gutter scrapings, prisoners and pressed conscripts, up against four ships of the line. I’m a bit surprised that the men didn’t quietly drop him over the rail and drop the flag. Especially as Hornblower wasn’t the most lovable or charismatic guy in the fleet.

And Aragorn’s half-baked plan to buy the Ringbearer more time by taking a totally out-matched army right to the gates of Mordor might have had me, as a foot soldier, seriously considering a more lucrative career in the orc infantry.

That reminds me of near the end of NuBsg…SPOILERS

Adama asks rather than orders the crew for the final mission. By TV standards the mission is fine and noble…but a mere 1/3 or so stand by him.

I’d figure him as canny enough to be a favorite with his troops. He might, in fact, be too popular, and not sufficiently disciplinarian. He’d give them what they think they want: booze and native girls.

(He might get offed by a studious junior lieutenant who knows what’s good for the Empire.)

Kim Newman did a lovely job with him in Moriarty: the Hound of the D’Urbervilles.

One of the sillier things about Star Trek is how few mutinies there have been. Like three or so, and only one I can think of that was done by a crew free of outside influences. And THAT was for something fairly innocuous. A Captain engaged in sanctioned (but treaty breaking) experiments.

What?, no call for Janeway? Frag her, turn the ship around, take a slap on the wrist from starfleet like everyone else seems to get, and the series is over in one episode