Despatches from the Front Western Front 1917 - 1918

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Despatches from the Front

Western Front 1917-1918

Field Marshal Douglas Haig saw the fighting on the Western Front not as a series of separate battles but as one long continuous offensive.   Though he repeatedly hoped that each “big push” would be the decisive one, the one that would deliver the much-heralded but elusive breakthrough, he maintained that ultimately victory would only be achieved through a long war of attrition.

His belief was that by mounting attack after attack he would wear down the Germans’ will, and capacity, to resist.  In blunt terms, Haig planned to kill Germans and keep on killing them until they gave up.

In the end, of course, he was proven to be correct, but his strategy cost the lives of an equal number of British and Commonwealth troops.  This did not in any way deter Haig.   His job was to win the war on the Western Front.   Casualties were an inevitable consequence.   He saw no other way and he stuck determinedly to his principles.

In this collection of despatches covering the final years of the war, Haig details every battle, large and small.   He also explains his philosophy and justifies his policies.   Was Haig a donkey leading lions, or a lion-hearted leader?