Click here to download the lesson plan.

One of our aims at The Cove is to provide unit and sub-unit leaders with some assistance in delivering their Professional Military Education (PME) programs. We know that units are extremely busy balancing a high operational tempo, corporate governance demands, and some occasional, well-deserved downtime. We also know that many people would love to dedicate more time to training and education pursuits, but it takes a lot of effort to prepare sessions when you have a million other priorities to attend to on your never ending 'to do' list.

There are units and individuals across Army that have volunteered a number of their basic lesson plans to The Cove to assist others. By providing these, we aim to reduce the overall preparation time needed for running unit PME sessions - so ideally, you can review the plan quickly, arrange resources if necessary, and then deliver (or delegate the lesson to a subordinate to deliver as a development opportunity) the lesson in a reduced time frame than if you were coming up with all the ideas from scratch by yourself.  They are designed to generate discussion and debate within your sub-units or messes, not provide a set of 'answers'.

This lesson plan comes courtesy of Sally Graham who has generously shared several lessons she developed for her team.  The lesson uses case studies from the fall of Singapore and Battles of Gaza to acknowledge that while defeat is the antithesis of an Army's purpose, there is surprising value to be had in discussing defeats and contextualising their significance.  The lesson is focused on conducting a number of readings, then facilitating a group discussion. She has done the bulk of the work for you by providing links to the resources as well as a summary of the key readings.

Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, The Cove is unable to directly give you copies of additional references (not essential for this lesson, but you may wish to access them for your own learning). So it may require a little lead time to seek out the additional references.  Additional resources are available from the Defence Library Service, so you can send them an email (email: and they will arrange to send you material that you can use for your session. If you have unit-based PME lessons that you think will benefit others and you would like to share them on The Cove, please contact us at