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Remembered Today:

Butchers and Bunglers


David Filsell
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I would be most grateful if anyone can advise me of the first publication date of John Laffin's "Butchers and Bunglers" farrago. I have it in my mind that it was before Clark's "The Donkeys" in 1961, but confirmation of the date would be most helpful.

Regards

David

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That late. And still in print and still advertised on Amzoo! I am surprised.

I thought its publication was contemporary with Alan Clark's lazy book "The Donkeys" in 1961. Is it, I wonder derivative, of Clark's book?

Laffin had never had a great reputation for the quality of his research - not least because he churned so many books out on a wide range of military topics.I heard him speak once, his lecture was fill of small round objects I thought. Having waved a saw edged bayonet around in his talk, he got very stroppy when I suggested that I understood that they were only pioneer issue. Very, very, stroppy. Overall I and a number of early WFA members thought he was pretty lightweight as an historian at the time. I also seem to recall some claims about the veracity of some of his claimed medals and actions.

Many thanks. Appreciated

David

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David:

Definitely post Clark - by a quarter of a century. You might recall that he rather shot himself in the foot in the Timewatch programme on Haig that was first broadcast in about 1995, give or take a year or two. I think it was on the basis of B&B that he was invited as the anti Haig spokesman. In passing, it was in considerable (how considerable I do not know) measure John's agitating that resulted in the Le Hamel memorial.

His books are very various - the best are really quite good (well, reasonable) and the worst are fairly dire: B&B falls into the latter category. If he wanted to make a good fist of knocking the generals he could have done so more effectively, I think, than in this tome. Mind you, with a title like that one could hardly expect anything other than a polemical approach! Maybe it is time for 'British Masters of the Fields in the Great War', with a starring role for Stopford as an example par excellence?

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British library gives it as 1989, but that's an Australian edition. The IWM don't seem to have it at all! Perhaps a wise omission.

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BB & B of WW1 is possibly the worst book on WW1 that I have read - it's gone back to the charity shop from whence it came.

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As ever, thank you all for the additional info.

Nigel

Many thanks - I had totally forgotten the Timewatch programme.

DJC

You comment is interesting. During the (ever) ongoing work on my commentary and bibliography of German books about the Great War - novels and personal accounts by German officers and men (and few civilians) which have been translated into English - I've lost count of the times I have found the translations of works in the Library of Congress of which the British Library have no copy. Not only US published only books, but British Published too. On reflection I should have been sharp enough to remember that. Nevertheless, once again, the forum not only rides to the rescue but provide useful back-up material.

Appreciated.

David

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BB & B of WW1 is possibly the worst book on WW1 that I have read - it's gone back to the charity shop from whence it came.

Surely you are forgetting dear Mosier and The Myth of the Great War (rarely has a book been so aptly titled) : you know, the one that said that Mons and Guise should both have been called by the same name (no matter the small matter of the dates when they were fought and the mileage between them); or a completely unwritten about battle (in fact unknown to history until the emergence of this work), 'the battle of Aubersville Ridge'.

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British library gives it as 1989, but that's an Australian edition.

You comment is interesting. During the (ever) ongoing work on my commentary and bibliography of German books about the Great War - novels and personal accounts by German officers and men (and few civilians) which have been translated into English - I've lost count of the times I have found the translations of works in the Library of Congress of which the British Library have no copy. Not only US published only books, but British Published too. On reflection I should have been sharp enough to remember that.

In this case, there is a catalogue entry at the British Library for the 1988 publication. There appear to be a total of three editions at the British Library, including the one quoted by Dust Jacket Collector.

Publication Details: Gloucester : Sutton, 1988. UIN: BLL01010743001

Publication Details: Stroud : Sutton, 1989 1992 UIN: BLL01010725299

Publication Details: South Melbourne : Macmillan Company of Australia, 1989. UIN: BLL01010058153

Cheers

Maureen

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