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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth insight into the man himself., 15 Oct 2003
This review is from: Field Marshal Earl Haig (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Field Marshal Haig is undoubtedly the most controversial character in British military history, and this work by historian/biographer Philip Warner, will dispell many myths surrounding this extremely complex character. Warner does not seek to offer eulogy, nor condemnation, but his book could certainly be used as counter-argument to the much taunted "lions led by donkeys" ideal of the British Army in the Great War (Warner points out the dogged, dour resiliance of the British soldier). Warner argues that Haig's battle plans were based both on adequate strategic sources, as well as his own past experiences - the author also debunks the myth that Haig was "obsessed" with his past as a cavalry officer.
The author goes to great lengths to point out the strategic beginnings of the colossal battles at the Somme and Passchendaele, and how Haig was caught between loyalty to his own subordinates, and an obligation to defer the ultimate decisions to the French Generals. Warner purposefully seeks to offer alternatives to Haig's chosen strategies, and it must be noted that (for the most part) he discovers very little in such a field.
In short, the author argues that whilst Haig did make strategic errors, his own achievements in the great victory of 1918 deserve serious attention to detail, as does Haig, as man thrust into limelight to command an army of great proportions, never before seen in the vast, intricate history of the British Armed Services.
A recommended read for anyone interested in British (of Great War) military history.
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