From Defeat Into Victory by General Fat Bill Slim
via Photon Courier (edited)
The only test of generalship is success, and I had succeeded in nothing that I had attempted.
The commander will go over in his mind the events of the campaign. 'Here,' he will think, 'I went wrong; here I took counsel of my fears when I should have been bold; there I should have waited to gather strength, not struck piecemeal; at such a moment I failed to grasp opportunity when it was presented to me.'
He will recall the look in the eyes of men who trusted him. 'I have failed them,' he will say to himself. He will turn on himself and question the very foundations of his manhood.
And then he must stop! For, if he is ever to command in battle again, he must shake off these regrets and stamp on them, as they claw at his will and his self-confidence.
He must beat off these attacks he delivers against himself, and cast out the doubts born of failure. Forget them, and remember only the lessons to be learnt from defeat--they are more than from victory.