British Generalship during the Great War by Simon Robbins

By Simon Robbins

Following the profession of 1 quite unknown First international conflict normal, Lord Horne, this publication provides to the growing to be literature that demanding situations long-held assumptions that the 1st international battle was once a mindless massacre performed via unimaginative and incompetent generals. as a substitute it demonstrates that males like Horne built new strategies and strategies to house the radical difficulties of trench battle and in so doing seeks to re-establish just like the British generals and clarify the explanations for the mess ups of 1915-16 and the successes of 1917-18 and the way this striking swap in functionality used to be completed via a miles maligned staff of senior officials. Horne's very important occupation and memorable personality sheds gentle not just at the significant battles within which he used to be concerned; the growth of the battle; his relationships along with his employees and different senior officials; the radical difficulties of trench struggle; the assimilation of latest guns, strategies and coaching tools; and the problems posed through the German defences, but additionally at the attitudes and professionalism of a senior British commander serving at the Western entrance. Horne's profession hence offers a automobile for learning the functionality of the British military within the first area of the 20th Century. It additionally provides a massive 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 in addition its many strengths. This learn for this reason presents a judgment not just on Horne as a character, innovator and normal of significant 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 contemporary kind of war which nonetheless prevails to today.

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163 Horne to his wife, 26 July 1918, Horne Papers, IWM. 164 Horne to his wife, 4 and 5 February 1918, Horne Papers, IWM. 165 Field Marshal Lord Kitchener to Field Marshal Sir John French, 11 July [1915], French Papers 75/46/11, IWM. 166 The Countess Haig, The Man I Knew, pp. 36–7. 167 Brigadier-General Sir James Edmonds, Remarks on the Staff College, undated, Edmonds Papers I/2B/6, LHCMA. 168 Brigadier-General Sir James Edmonds, Memoirs, Chapter XIV, Edmonds Papers III/2/13–14, LHCMA. 174 On the whole the British Army elite was overwhelmingly a Protestant group, supporting the established Church of England and advocating a muscular Christianity.

This self-recruitment from among the sons of professional officers was extremely widespread among the British military elite. G. ’, pp. 1–4, Kirke Papers, IWM.  See Peter Gordon, The Wakes of Northamptonshire, pp. 174–97.  Obituary of Brigadier Archer Clive, The Times, 17 April 1995, p. 17.  Birth certificate for Henry Sinclair Horne, 19 February 1861, Horne Papers 6/2, IWM.  Unidentified and undated newspaper cutting, Horne Papers 109/4, IWM.  Major-General Sir Herbert Uniacke, ‘General the Lord Horne of Stirkoke’, p.

H. 57 The British Army’s regimental system remains unique, exemplifying the close affinity and bonds that wielded its officer corps together. Senior officers had strong links and loyalties to their regiments. Families could become associated with regiments. O. Charlton, Charlton, p. 29. 53 Horne’s Address at the Laying of the Memorial Stone of the Harrow School War Memorial by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Founder’s Day, 6 October 1921, Horne Papers 165/13, IWM. 54 The Harrovian, 26 October 1929, p.

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British Generalship during the Great War by Simon Robbins
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