British Generalship during the Great War by Simon Robbins

By Simon Robbins

Following the occupation of 1 really unknown First global conflict common, Lord Horne, this ebook provides to the starting to be literature that demanding situations long-held assumptions that the 1st international struggle used to be a mindless massacre carried out through unimaginative and incompetent generals. as an alternative it demonstrates that males like Horne built new strategies and methods to accommodate the radical difficulties of trench war and in so doing seeks to re-establish similar to the British generals and clarify the explanations for the disasters of 1915-16 and the successes of 1917-18 and the way this awesome switch in functionality was once completed via a miles maligned team of senior officials. Horne's vital profession and noteworthy personality sheds mild not just at the significant battles within which he was once concerned; the development of the battle; his relationships along with his employees and different senior officials; the unconventional difficulties of trench battle; the assimilation of latest guns, strategies and coaching tools; and the problems posed by way of the German defences, but additionally at the attitudes and professionalism of a senior British commander serving at the Western entrance. Horne's profession therefore presents a motor vehicle for learning the functionality of the British military within the first zone of the 20 th Century. It additionally provides an immense 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 accordingly presents a judgment not just on Horne as a character, innovator and basic of serious value but additionally 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 delivery to a latest variety of struggle which nonetheless prevails to at the present time.

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Fuller, The Army in My Time, p. 62. 196 See Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges, Alarms and Excursions, pp. 7–11 and 56–8; General Sir John Burnett-Stuart, Memoirs, Chapter V, p. 55, Burnett-Stuart Papers, LHCMA. 197 See, for example, General Sir Eric de Burgh, Memoir, p. 5, de Burgh Papers 7306–67, NAM; General Sir Sidney Muspratt, Memoir, pp. O. Clarke, The Times, 21 October 1963. 198 Foreword by the Hon. , and General Sir Alexander Godley, GCB, KCMG, 1898–1932, pp. 5–6. 199 Obituary, May 1935, Liddell Hart Papers 1/48, LHCMA.

The Kirkes had been the squires of Mirfield Hall, East Markham, Nottinghamshire,  General Lord Horne to his wife, 17 November 1917, Horne Papers, IWM.  Horne to his wife, 24 September 1914, Horne Papers, IWM.  Horne to his wife, 2, 10, 11, 13, 17 and 24 January 1916, Horne Papers, IWM.  Horne was thus born both a Scot (like his patron, Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig) and a Highlander. 12 A significant proportion of officers were either sons of serving officers or had relatives in the services.

202 General Sir Charles Bonham-Carter, Autobiography, Chapter IX, pp. 27–8, Bonham-Carter Papers, CCC. 203 The City of London Illustrated, Military Number, Volume XI, Number 1, January & February 1919, p. 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.

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