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A relentless and detailed demolition of one of the most controversial military commanders of World War 1. Sir Douglas Haig was the commander of British and Empire (including Canada and Newfoundland) troops through 1915 to the end of the war. Thus being in command for such horrific battles as The Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele, considered by many to exemplify the nadir of military stupidity and callousness. In spite (or because of) this Haig still has defenders in Britain who insist that his stubborn, methodical approach was the only way to win the war, and that he was constantly undercut by the despised lilly-livered politicians like David Lloyd George. Winter methodically destroys such arguments with admirable thoroughness; carefully digging through mountains of official records and notes (at least the ones not destroyed) from a variety of sources and nations he paints a overwhelming case for Haig as a a stubbornly clueless bungler. Perhaps worse Haig is revealed as a shameless liar and intriguer who spent an incredible amount of effort to alter, hide and destroy official records that would have proven his ineptitude. Also damning is the role that others in the British military and government played in this shell game, even decades after everyone involved in the war has been long dead. Amazingly even now some records are still confidential, as if German spies working for the Kaiser still lurk in the shadows. It seems that the need of governments and militarizes to protect their own continues long after death, especially if any such questions might reveal an institutional incompetence and indifference towards their public. In spite of all the temptations to do so Winter did not write a pacifist screed though, he is a respected military historian who has some praise for some of Haig's contemporaries, especially the Canadian commander Arthur Currie and the French Marshal Foch an he is even more disdainful of the still revered American General Black Jack Pershing.
The Battle 88 7 Cambrai
The Tool 131 9 The Execution
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