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Hello Mr History – I’m currently studying World War One and would like to know why do the interpretations of General Douglas Haig differ in the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s?

Thank you and kind regards


P.S. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Dear Holly,

Honored as he was for his role in the Allied victory in 1918, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig had come under reappraisal as early as 1916 and has undergone reappraisal ever since. Most notably, J.F.C. Fuller went from praise to criticism in the postwar years and numerous historians have accused Haig of incompetence ever since, deriding his unalterable confidence of ultimate British victory, regardless of the cost, as pigheadedness. Throughout all the decades, however, he has retained defenders, especially pointing out his ability to listen to General Henry Rawlinson when it came to adopting the tactics displayed by his best tacticians, Lt. Gens. Arthur Currie of Canadian Corps and John Monash of Australian Corps.

The descriptions below, including from one in a 2007 issue of Military History—and especially the readers’ comments that follow them—should give you an idea of the pros and cons that Haig still inspires on this centennial occasion.

(PS: And Happy Hanukah to you, Sir John Monash, wherever you are.)



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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