Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton (1868-1951) was a military writer and British Army officer. Swinton is credited with influencing the development and adoption of the tank by the British during the First World War. He is also known for popularising the term "no-mans land". Swinton was born in Bangalore, India in 1868. He was educated at University College School, Rugby School, Cheltenham College, Blackheath Proprietary School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He became an officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1888, serving in India and becoming Lieutenant in 1891. He received the Distinguished Service Order during the Second Boer War. After the war, he wrote his book on small unit tactics, The Defense of Duffer's Drift, a military classic on minor tactics that has been used by the United States military to train its officers. In the years leading up to the First World War, he served as a staff officer and as an official historian of the Russo-Japanese War. The War Minister, Lord Kitchener appointed Swinton as the official British war correspondent on the Western Front. Journalists were not allowed at the front and Swinton's reports were censored leading to an effectively uncontroversial although even-handed reporting.
The Defence of Duffer's Driftby Ernest Dunlop Swinton
"If left to you, for defence make spades."-Bridge Maxim.I felt lonely, and not a little sad, as I stood on the bank of the river near Duffer's Drift and watched the red dust haze, raised by the southward departing column in the distance, turn slowly into gold as it hung in the afternoon sunlight. It was just
"Any fool can get into a hole."-Old Chinese proverb.
"If left to you, for defence make spades."-Bridge Maxim.I felt lonely, and not a little sad, as I stood on the bank of the river near Duffer's Drift and watched the red dust haze, raised by the southward departing column in the distance, turn slowly into gold as it hung in the afternoon sunlight. It was just three o'clock, and here I was on the banks of the Silliaasvogel river, left behind by my column with a party of fifty N.C.O.'s and men to hold the drift. It was an important ford, because it was the only one across which wheeled traffic could pass for some miles up or down the river
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