'Well written and persuasive ...objective and well-rounded....this scholarly rehabilitation should be the standard biography' - Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday
'A true judgment of him must lie somewhere between hero and zero, and in this detailed biography Gary Sheffield shows himself well qualified to make it ... a balanced portrait' - The Sunday Times
'Solid scholarship and admirable advocacy' - Sunday Telegraph
Douglas Haig is the single most controversial general in British history. In 1918, after his armies had won the First World War, he was feted as a saviour. But within twenty years his reputation was in ruins, and it has never recovered.
Drawing on previously unknown private papers and new scholarship unavailable when The Chief was first published, eminent First World War historian Gary Sheffield reassesses Haig's reputation, assessing his critical role in preparing the army for war.
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About the Author
One of Britain's leading military historians, GARY SHEFFIELD is Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He has written a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful books on the First World War including Forgotten Victory: The First World War – Myths and Realities. He is the co-editor of Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-18.
One of Britain's leading military historians, Gary Sheffield is Professor of War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He has written a number of critically acclaimed books on the First World War, including Forgotten Victory: The First World War - Myths and Realities. He is the co-editor of Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-1918. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also Vice-President of the Western Front Association.
Table of Contents
Foreword Saul David viii
Maps: The River War: Egypt and the Sudan, 1898 xx
South Africa: Theatre of Operations, 1899-1902 xxi
The Western Front, 1914-1918 xxii
Introduction: Douglas Haig: Incompetent General or National Hero? 1
1 Apprenticeship 10
2 Rising Star 39
3 Corps Commander 71
4 Grappling with Trench Warfare 105
5 Commander-in-Chief 139
6 Attrition 176
7 New Battles 205
8 False Dawns 229
9 Backs to the Wall 265
10 Victory 300
11 Veterans' Champion - and Potential Dictator? 347
12 Haig the Soldier: An Assessment 375
Sources and Select Bibliography 390