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More Revisionist History
on 22 August 2009
Brian Bond writes with blinders on. He is adept at taking snippet quotes of, say, historian John Keegan, and turning it into a whitewashed revisionist position. Bond is as flighty on facts as the subject of his biography.
Brian Bond is, after all, one of the new 21st century's revisionist historians, who, despite showing some merit here in examining some of the television and movie interpretations of the Great War, whines on consistently about the high moral leadership of the inept and self-righteous Douglas Haig, whilst undercutting more serious research/historians who have gathered the facts and presented them in a methodical way.
"Chateaux General" Haig never bothered to visit the forward field hospitals, speak to survivors as they came out of battle, or question the intelligence estimates which his fawning underlings gave him. As a result of the Battle of the Somme, Haig should be remembered as the greatest serial murderer in British twentieth-century history; guilty of the crime of stubbornness. This man was personally responsible for the slaughter of the cream of the British population, the new volunteer army that had been raised.
Brian Bond's Haigiography testifies to the power of British patriotism and loyalty into which, as a British general, Haig tapped. Bond's defense of Haig's asininity horsed cavalry convictions is only exceeded by defense of Haig when he was faced by the evidence that his major push into the Somme had failed...and let's not forget his deceit and outright lies to the British government and public in covering up the enormity of that failure. Brian Bond omits how Haig and his headquarter staffs concealed and ignored British casualties, while reporting only the numbers of enemy troops captured!
In this book, like his "Haig: A Reappraisal 80 Years On," Brian Bond ignores the fact that, by retrospectively changing the purpose of his non-battle plan, Haig was able to avoid disgrace or dismissal....it was brilliant strategy for keeping his position...but which squandered the lives of British and Commonwealth soldiers...it was, in essence, a most elaborate perversion of historical truth.
Bond's 101 page diatribe (I omit his 5 page self-congratulation in being part of the Lees Knowles Lectures, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the main thesis of his book) of glossed-over facts, and poor research, is quickly read and poorly researched. Don't waste your time or money. Brian Bond is the archetype of revisionist history.