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Remembered Today:

Douglas Haig: the preparatory prologue 1861-1914


Chris_Baker
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I've reviewed this excellent new book here: http://www.1914-1918.net/books/haigprologue.html

Whether you are a Haig supporter or not, I think this is well worth reading. Naturally, given that it is an edition of his diaries and correspondence up to 1914, it does not cover WW1. But the relationships he developed with others, generals and "frocks" alike, are most interesting. A good read and well worth buying, I think.

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Oh God, another book to rape my wallet and fatten my bookshelves. And yet... with a review like that, how can I refuse?

As my ex has always said: "Primary sources, Justin! Primary sources!"

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Thanks Chris,

Can we buy it through Amazon via your site?

Roy

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Chris - I'm particularly interested in the 1907/08 period when he was working with Haldane on setting up the TF. Does it have much on this period?

Looks like another for the Christmas list in any case ....

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I look forward to reading this book. Just have a slight qualm that a man`s grandson is perhaps not the best person to edit his diaries. I`d like to see the out-takes! Phil B

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Chris,

Does it cover much on his time at the Staff College and what he thought of those of his fellow students?

regards

Arm

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  • 5 months later...

I have just taken delivery of this book. Purchased in part on Chris's review and part on my own 'need' to research areas before the war. My belief being that not enough research is done on the Generals as regards their experiences that shaped the men they were when war broke out.

As with all books, apart from novels, I always scan the pictures and the index to see if anyone I am researching comes up. My great delight was apparent when I saw three mentions of Major-Gen. G T Forestier-Walker. My great wrath was very evident when they all appear to be in reference to Lt-Gen Forestier-Walker, aa Uncle of the above man, who commanded lines of communications in South Africa during the Boer war. Wrath further enhanced when I see that the time at Staff College is bearly touched upon!!!

Alas I shall not let these two 'knocks' get me down. Moved this to the top of the pile and shall post back later once I have finished.

Anyone else finished reading this book?

regards

Arm

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Chris - I'm particularly interested in the 1907/08 period when he was working with Haldane on setting up the TF. Does it have much on this period?

Looks like another for the Christmas list in any case ....

At least in my 30 year old studies of Haldane ... Haldane was pretty much enamored with DH ... and although Haldane sketched the outline, much of the TA was DH's work.

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  • 1 year later...

Just finished this fascinating book. It provides a wholly different insight into Haig's personal and professional development prior to the war. Fully endorse Chris' recommendation.

Robert

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Well I am b****red, Do not normally turn up a chance to add to my post count, but I see I did not follow up on this when I had finished reading it.

Bit late I guess but can endorse what Robert has mentioned above. Shows a completely different side to Haig.

regards

Arm

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Haig was a class act as a professional soldier and administrator and as an intelligent, fully rounded human being. Though not, of course, infallable he shouldered high command whilst simultaneously successfully engaging with opportunistic politicians from Britain and her allies. His background and nature, developed prior to 1914 uniquely prepared him for this task. All of which is something many of us have perceived for some time now, and I'm glad Douglas Scott's book, along with other recent literature on Haig, seems to be bringing increasing numbers round to that point of view.

ciao,

GAC

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Read the book last year and agree with GAC. Splendid book.

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Don't tell Arnie, but I though it was a very worthwhile addition to the Haig library - actually benefitting from the fact that it was written by his grandson. Reviewing it for Stand To! I considered that it was "hard to describe this book as essential reading for those fascinated by the Great War. More it is a book for the Haig completist as well as a very valuable prologue to his (Haig's) later career aided by a wide range of helpful notes provided by Douglas Scott". Actually I have revised my view, although Arnieistas probably won't read it the should. I helps provide a more rounded picture of the man who led the British Army to victory in 1918. So, that show where I stand!

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