There’s a commonly held view that Douglas Haig was a bone-headed, callous butcher, who through his incompetence as commander of the British Army in WWI, killed a generation of young men on the Somme and Passchendaele. On the other hand there are those who view Haig as a man who successfully struggled with appalling difficulties to produce an army which took the lead in defeating Germany in 1918, winning the greatest series of victories in British Military history. Just as the success of the Alanbrooke war diaries can be put down to its ‘horse’s mouth’ view of Churchill and the conduct of WWII, so Haig’s Diaries, hitherto only available in bowdlerised form, give the C-in-C’s view of Asquith — he records him getting drunk and incapable — and his successor Lloyd George, of whom he was highly critical. As Haig records the relationship it was stormy (‘I have no great opinion of L.G as a man or leader’ — Sept 1916).
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