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.
Haig's Diaries, hitherto only previously available in bowdlerised form, give the C-in-C's view of Asquith and his successor Lloyd George, of whom he was highly critical. The diaries show him intriguing with the King vs. Lloyd George. Additional are his day by day accounts of the key battles of the war, not least the Somme campaign of 1916.
their (Sheffield and Bourne) excellent and succint introduction to these diaries......if anything emerges from these diaries and letters it is that Haig was perfectly human. - LITERARY REVIEW - Allan Mallinson
Thanks to the editors' sterling efforts haid emerges from his diaries neither as a hero nor a villain but as a human being vividly aware of the frailty of his role in shaping history..... This is a major and much-needed addition to the historiography of one of the most contentious periods in English history. - THE SUNDAY HERALD - Trevor Royle
Thanks to excellent editing, much new light is thrown on Field Marshal Haig... an enthralling contemporary account. - THE GUARDS MAGAZINE
edited by two distinguished military historians, they reveal a man very different from the stereotypical warmonger of Left-wing mythology. - THE DAILY MAIL - Tom Kyle
this comprehensive, unexpurgated edition, which throws completely new light on his career. - HISTORY TODAY
A re-examination and new selection of the wartime diaries is overdue and now comes in a handsome and uncommonly well-edited edition. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Max Hastings
These personal writings reveal an intelligent, humane individual doing his best under impossible conditions. - THE SCOTSMAN - Betty Tadman
Magnificiently edited - THE SPECTATOR - Raymond Carr
Gary Sheffield is Professor of Modern History at King's College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and author of Forgotten Victory: The First World War - Myths and Realities and The Somme. He broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and writes for the national press. He lives in Oxfordshire.
Dr John Bourne is Director of the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-President of the Western Front Association. He has written widely on the First World War, including Britain and the Great War 1914-1918 and Who's Who in the First World War. He lives in Birmingham.