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Remembered Today:

Writing the Great War


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I`m finding this book most interesting. The machinations and manoeuvring are fascinating. The OH books are, by Edmonds` admission, not simple reads but have to be read between the lines. Quotes:-

Edmonds` friends were "such discordant elements as Haig and Allenby, Robertson and Henry Wilson, MacDonough, Smith-Dorrien, Archie Murray,Ian Hamilton, in fact everyone of importance except Lord Ypres, Lord Plumer and Lord Cavan"

"Edmonds confirmed on his appointment that he could be trusted to deal sensitively with issues of general strategy because all the commanders in chief Haig, Allenby, Murray and Milne were his personal friends."

Edmonds - " Haig was dominated by strong religious sense which made him feel he was called by God to lead the British Armies.........I have to write of Haig with my tongue in my cheek. One can`t tell the truth. He really was above the average - or below the average - in stupidity"

Edmonds - "I could not tell the truth frankly in an official history but hoped that it would be evident to those who could read between the lines"

Edmonds` instruction to the writers of the OH volumes - " Historians should avoid all but implied criticism and should be wary of being wise after the event"

Green - "This idea that the average reader might miss the natural conclusion of the facts was undoubtedly Edmonds` deliberate intention but the facts were nonetheless there for the informed reader to draw the right conclusions."

As I say, I`m thoroughly enjoying it but not sure if I`m reading correctly between the lines. Hopefully Green will guide me!

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Having read this I was tempted to order a copy - on the way from Amazon.

Will add my comments when I get 'round to reading it although PhilB you seem to have said it all.

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QUOTE (Phil_B @ Apr 29 2008, 12:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As I say, I`m thoroughly enjoying it but not sure if I`m reading correctly between the lines.
Provided Edmonds' "truth" is the only one ;)


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I came to the book with the acquired feeling that the OH was soft on the commanders. Edmonds` background is well explained, his attitude to the commanders well described, his writing techniques explained, multiple examples quoted and it`s totally changed my attitude to the OH. And to my method of reading it! He concentrates on 3 main volumes - 1/7/16, Gallipoli and the German March Offensive.

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