British Generalship during the Great War by Simon Robbins

By Simon Robbins

Following the profession of 1 quite unknown First global battle basic, Lord Horne, this ebook provides to the starting to be literature that demanding situations long-held assumptions that the 1st global struggle was once a mindless massacre performed via unimaginative and incompetent generals. as an alternative it demonstrates that males like Horne built new strategies and methods to accommodate the unconventional difficulties of trench struggle and in so doing seeks to re-establish identical to the British generals and clarify the explanations for the disasters of 1915-16 and the successes of 1917-18 and the way this extraordinary swap in functionality was once completed by way of a miles maligned team of senior officials. Horne's very important occupation and noteworthy personality sheds gentle not just at the significant battles within which he was once concerned; the growth of the battle; his relationships together with his employees and different senior officials; the unconventional difficulties of trench war; the assimilation of recent guns, strategies and coaching tools; and the problems posed via the German defences, but additionally at the attitudes and professionalism of a senior British commander serving at the Western entrance. Horne's occupation hence presents a car for learning the functionality of the British military within the first sector of the 20 th Century. It additionally supplies a tremendous perception into the attitudes, ethos and professionalism of the officer corps which led that military to victory at the Western entrance, exposing not just its flaws but additionally its many strengths. This examine as a result presents a judgment not just on Horne as a character, innovator and common of significant significance but in addition on his contemporaries who served with the British Armies in South Africa and France in the course of an period which observed a revolution in army affairs giving beginning to a latest type of struggle which nonetheless prevails to today.

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17 The City of London Illustrated, Military Number, Volume XI, Number 1, January & February 1919, p. 5, Horne Papers 41/3, IWM. 18 The City of London Illustrated, Military Number, Volume XI, Number 1, January & February 1919, p. 5, Horne Papers 41/3, IWM. 19 Horne, Diary, 17 and 21 May 1910, Horne Papers, IWM. 20 General Sir Archibald Wavell, Allenby: A Study in Greatness, p. 35. 21 See Duff Cooper, Haig, p. 166; Lord Geddes, ‘Unworthy Apologia’, National Review, February 1953, p. 109, Liddell Hart Papers 15/2/23, LCMA; and Ca[ptain] Sir Basil Liddell Hart to Victor Bonham-Carter, 2 March 1964, Liddell Hart Papers 1/90/36, LHCMA.

5, Horne Papers 41/3, IWM. 204 Unidentified and undated newspaper cutting, Horne Papers 109/4, IWM. 205 Foreword by Field Marshal Lord Milne to Major-General Sir Herbert Uniacke. ‘General The Lord Horne of Stirkoke’, p. 2, Horne Papers, IWM. 206 Lieutenant-General Sir Hastings Anderson, ‘Lord Horne as an Army Commander’, pp. 417 and 408. 207 Foreword by Field Marshal Lord Milne to Major-General Sir Herbert Uniacke, ‘General The Lord Horne of Stirkoke’, pp. 2–3, Horne Papers, IWM. 208 Horne, Hunting Diary, November 1907 – December 1910, Horne Papers, IWM.

31 The Brigade: The Official Organ of the Church Lads’ Brigade, Volume XXXVI, Number 9, September 1929, p. 159, Horne Papers 124/1, IWM. 32 Foreword by Field Marshal Lord Milne to Major-General Sir Herbert Uniacke, ‘General The Lord Horne of Stirkoke’, p. 3, Horne Papers, IWM. 33 Lieutenant-General Sir Hastings Anderson, ‘Lord Horne as an Army Commander’, p. 12. 39 Horne noted again later that “I tell you all that I honourably can” as “Officers are on their honour not to put things on paper & the censor trusts their honour”.

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