The leadership styles used by Grant and Hitler resemble and differ in several ways. In this essay, I will first discuss the differences followed by similarities. First, Grant‘s leadership style becomes demonstrated as unheroic while Hitler’s style becomes demonstrated as false heroic.
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Second, Grant was a strategist who wanted the best out of himself and his soldiers while Hitler did not mind much about the well being of his soldiers and most of his strategies involved murder. Lastly, Grant’s style of leadership was humble and democratic, while Hitler’s style of leadership was that of dictatorship.
On the other hand, both leaders led to loss of lives during the attacks and the strategies they employed became influenced by earlier experiences. Considering the styles of leadership by the two leaders, Grant was more heroic than Hitler, as he gave his troop autonomy to do what they deem best, as opposed to Hitler who ruled by the supreme command.
Differences between Grant and Hitler
According to Keegan, Grant used unheroic style of leadership because he resisted leading from the front (18). Grant’s ability to embrace new and creative methods of fighting in the war and his down to earth attitude of taking himself like a mere soldier or commander while still leading his soldiers into places that would result to losses of lives is what makes Grant the symbol of an unheroic hero (Keegan 168).
Other traits that made Grant seem unheroic include his appearance and mode of dressing. Grant did not appear to have power, from the outside look. He was, also, not handsome as he paid less attention to his physical appearance and he wore cluttered clothes.
Besides, Grant watched over the soldiers in the vanguard and often assisted soldiers who found themselves in trouble. Grant ensured that his troops did not surrender through encouraging them and providing reinforcements.
Conversely, Keegan demonstrates Hitler’s leadership style as false heroic (154). He uses the fact that Germany finally lost the battle to support his argument. He further argues that Hitler, at some point, lacked the confidence and aptitude to carryout operations on a daily basis.
Hitler did not embrace new fighting techniques from his soldiers, as he solely formulated strategies and made vital decisions with no consultation from his fellow army men. This implies that the troop had to abide by all Hitler’s military ventures despite the fact that some of these ventures were not viable.
Keegan, also, demonstrates Grant as a committed strategist who wanted the best out of himself and his soldiers as he quotes him saying “I finally decided to have (no communications) – to cut loose altogether from my base and move my whole force without a rear link.” (18). In other words, Grant preferred not to address his troops as he regarded it as needless, and he always listened to their views.
Grant was, as well, tactical in planning the last attack in the story. He felt that there was no need for his army to establish a permanent base in a war of people against people and a dispersed land. He planned how military supplies could be drawn by railroad and river. Grant advocated for hard work, discipline and faith, in his strategies.
Conversely, Hitler frequently addressed his troops, as he gave them all the orders. He did not also listen to them as he was the supreme commander. In addition, most of Hitler’s strategies involved practices of suicide as an equivalent of death in the appearance of an enemy. Only a few suicides become heroic, and Hitler’s strategies of suicide did not earn the heroic status.
Grant’s style of leadership was humble, and he believed that his soldiers could lead, as well. Conversely, Hitler’s style of leadership was that of dictatorship, despite the fact that his soldiers had more knowledge and experience in wars than him.
Similarities between Grant and Hitler
Both leaders killed people, during the combat, although Grant’s butcher method had lots of shortcomings. Grant loved his soldiers and did not want to lose any one of them. However, this did not stop him from commanding them to slaughter opponents during assaults like Petersburg and the Cold Harbor, whereby he lost over 60, 000 men.
Although Grant regrets that he steered the battle, Keegan explains that it is this battle that taught Grant to conquer his moral struggles of sending his soldiers to death (162). The battle, also, shaped his skills as a leader on the combat zone at Shiloh.
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Also, both leaders had prior experience in wars and these experiences had an effect on their strategies. Hitler gained experience during the Western Front and the beginning of the Second World War, and he, also, learnt much about trench maps during the First World War. Grant, also, obtained military experience during his early years.
In conclusion, several similarities and differences can be noted in the leadership styles of Hitler and Grant. Grant’s style of leadership was humble, and he accepted the views of his soldiers. Conversely, Hitler led his soldiers to war and ruled by the supreme command.
Also, Hitler did not care about the loss of his own soldiers while Grant did not want to lose his own. On the other hand, both Grant and Hitler’s attacks led to loss of lives. Besides, the strategies they employed became influenced by earlier experiences.
Keegan, John. The Mask of Command, New York: Penguin, 1989.Print.