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Sunday, 31 May 2015


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I recently finished mud blood and poppycock and I second your fulsome praise of corrigan. Outstanding book, absolutely fantastic.

Yes, 'Cuffers', I read it some time ago and was impressed. I think I may have to give it another read.

I am very wary about "ranking", one two three etc. things from the past, including generals. Different fields of war, different technologies, even at only 100 years apart, different logistics, different political etc. Wellington did time in India and then in The Peninsula under very different conditions. As for Haig we got ourselves into a European War with a Colonial army and then had to change to a citizen Army in the middle of a vicious War with a deranged Kaiser.

I stand humbled and corrected, Demetrius, because you are entirely right in avoiding 'ranking' one great General over another of a different period and circumstances. I was just niggled that Marlborough has been largely forgotten.

My dad's cousin Bob choreographed "Oh, what a lovely war". See, I knew you'd be fascinated!

I recently trudged through Haig's despatches and couldn't see how anyone could bring the evil reputation out of them. He was a general of his time but as I read the reports he avoided wasting lives wherever possible in impossible circumstances.

Haig was ok? That's why things went so well?

We rightly went to war with the Kaiser with the resources we had at that time.
Unfortunately our ancestors and the enemy still got out of the trenches and walked towards the machine gun Corps on either side and were slaughtered. No point in moaning and recriminations as it has happened and thankfully over and done with. I am confident Haig did his best in the circumstances he had to face.

Now, now, John, Haig did the very best with what he had at the time. Alas, what he did not have was the means to win the war quickly. Read Corrigan's book, it is brief and to the point.

John. We did manage to get a large army over to Europe to help France and Belgium hold the line. If the Kaiser had taken all the ports then it is likely we would have been starved into surrender.

Machine guns vs infantry was problem number one. Problem number two was that the defender could rush in reinforcements to a point under attack by rail, whereas the attacker could only move at walking pace once his troops had moved beyond the point of attack (unless he by some miracle managed to deploy cavalry). As it so happens, the solution to number 2 was also the tank (or other all-terrain vehicle). Which is why WWII defenders had to work so much harder than in WWI.

'H', welcome back, 'werzyabin'?

I'm just an occasional visitor!

WHAT! You mean you don't find this continual (over)flow of fascinating blog-posts absolutely essential on a daily or even thrice daily basis essential to your well-being? I'm shocked!

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