World War I

British Generalship during the Great War by Simon Robbins

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By Simon Robbins

Following the profession of 1 particularly unknown First global battle normal, Lord Horne, this ebook provides to the growing to be literature that demanding situations long-held assumptions that the 1st global warfare used to be a mindless massacre performed through unimaginative and incompetent generals. as an alternative it demonstrates that males like Horne built new strategies and strategies to house the radical difficulties of trench war and in so doing seeks to re-establish clone of the British generals and clarify the explanations for the disasters of 1915-16 and the successes of 1917-18 and the way this amazing swap in functionality used to be completed by means of a far maligned workforce of senior officials. Horne's very important profession and noteworthy personality sheds mild not just at the significant battles within which he used to be concerned; the development of the conflict; his relationships along with his employees and different senior officials; the unconventional difficulties of trench war; the assimilation of latest guns, strategies and coaching equipment; and the problems posed by means of the German defences, but additionally at the attitudes and professionalism of a senior British commander serving at the Western entrance. Horne's occupation therefore presents a car for learning the functionality of the British military within the first sector of the 20th Century. It additionally provides a big 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 research accordingly presents a judgment not just on Horne as a character, innovator and normal of serious value but in addition 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 sort of war which nonetheless prevails to at the present time.

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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. 175 But a significant minority of officers, including Horne himself, were much more strictly religious, notably the deeply religious, Colonel D.

150 Horne to his wife, 22 and 28 April 1918, Horne Papers, IWM. 151 Field-Marshal Lord Birdwood to Colonel D. Rintoul, 16 October 1916, Birdwood Papers WRB/1, IWM. 152 Horne, Speech at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, 22 December 1925, Horne Papers 70/9, IWM. 153 Horne to his wife, 8–11 May 1918, Horne Papers, IWM. 154 General Sir Charles Bonham-Carter, Autobiography, Chapter IX, p. 28, BonhamCarter Papers, CCC. 155 General Sir Sidney Clive, Diary, 28 January, 1915, Clive Papers II/1/90–91, LHCMA.

47 Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Philip Game to his wife, 6 December 1917, Game Papers PWG/16, IWM. 48 Brigadier-General Sir Archibald Home, Diary, 15 March 1915, Home Papers, IWM. 49 Horne to Mrs Kate Blacklock (later Lady Horne), 23 February 1891, Horne Papers, IWM. 50 Oliver Lyttelton, Viscount Chandos, The Memoirs of Lord Chandos, p. 50. 51 See Simon Robbins, British Generalship on the Western Front, 1914–18, p. 11. 52 Typically of senior army officers who served in the First World War, Horne was educated at Southlea Preparatory School at Malvern in Worcestershire and then at Harrow from 1874.

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