The Great War Generals on the Western Front
By Robin Neillands
The verdict of history on the British generals of the First World War – Haig, French, Plumer, Gough and Byng – has been damning.
They sent hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths on the Western Front. Many historians have criticised them heavily for this needless loss of life. But is the criticism fair?
In this explosive book, Robin Neillands challenges the popular myth about the incompetence and callousness of the Great War generals. Instead, he examines the battles of the Western Front through the eyes of the officers to explain the circumstances that led them to plan and fight as they did. The death toll on the Western Front provides the main evidence against the generals but Neillands examines many other factors, asking the questions:
· Why was Britain so unprepared for a European war in 1914?
· What role did the British politicians play?
· Was any general really equipped with the knowledge and information to deal with the horrors of trench warfare?
This thoroughly researched and controversial book shatters many assumptions about the commanders who led the British Army through the Great War. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the conflict.