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Field Marshal Earl Haig (Cassell Military…

Field Marshal Earl Haig (Cassell Military Paperbacks)

by Philip Warner

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030435645X, Paperback)

The commander of the British forces on the Western Front from late 1915 to the end of the First World War, Haig has been reviled and revered in equal measure. Often critical of Haig, Philip Warner's biography is nonetheless scrupulously fair. The portrait that emerges is of a flawed but courageous individual who almost certainly achieved as much as anyone could have done under the circumstances. Haig withstood the strain of high command at hideous personal cost and was ultimately ground down by the burden. As Warner reveals, Haig probably hastened his own premature death by the energy with which he dedicated himself to the welfare of his former soldiers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:07 -0400)

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Douglas Haig is probably the most controversial figure in British military history. No previous commander ever oversaw such enormous casualties. By 1917 Haig commanded the largest army Britain had ever put into the field; over two million men. The horrors of the First World War still stun the imagination and make it almost impossible for the ordinary reader to reach a calm appraisal of Haig, particularly since opinions among military historians and biographers have varied widely. He has been condemned by critics as a butcher who condoned mass slaughter, while sympathetic writers have shown him as a sound professional who did astonishingly well when faced with a virtually impossible task. Philip Warner's new biography of Haig's is neither a eulogy nor a condemnation. It sets out to assess objectively the task Haig faced and what measure of success he achieved. In so doing Warner traces the development of a man who at the outset of his career seemed to his contemporaries merely an undistinguished, industrious junior officer, but became a leader or iron self control who presided over the army that won the most grueling war in history.… (more)

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