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  • W&N

Douglas Haig: 1914-1918

Gary Sheffield

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Prose: non-fiction, History, Military history

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.

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Gary Sheffield

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.