Adventures in Research: Process Theory
While researching the novel I am currently writing, which is partially set during the Franco-Prussian war; as well as my first novel, partially set during WWI, I have been using Henry Gore Bishop’s Elements of Modern Field Artillery, 1914, for technical information.
On the subject of workplace dynamics, among artillerymen, Bishop quotes (late 19th century military analyst) Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen:
“The little they had to learn more than other soldiers in order to discharge the duties of their profession was exaggerated into a great science, which being surrounded by a veil of impenetrable mystery, kept soldiers of other arms at a distance as its substance appeared more wearisome by the diffuseness of its treatment…..the gunner of those days took pleasure in a mask of learning under a veil of mystery, which, though it estranged the other arms of the artillery, yet caused them to entertain a certain respect for it on account of its unknown erudition.”
Bishop goes on to discuss a management structure in the Prussian army of that era, requiring artillery officers to take primary responsibility, and to be held accountable for decisions with which they disagreed—leading to a workplace environment of dishonesty and secrecy.