This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. In the Seven Years War, he returned to India. tHE MARK OF A GREAT GENERAL IS 1) DID HE WIN 2) WHAT WAS THE SIZE OF THE FORCE HE COMMANDED AND 3) DID HE PUT HIS PARTICULAR STAMP ON THE ARMY OR VICTORY. If we had asked this question in the years after 1945, no doubt he would have been top of the list. He showed the future of battlefield tactics and for that he makes my list. Each book covers political, economic and social history written in Marr's unique style; you can almost hear Marr's voice reading the history to you as you peruse the paragraphs and prose within them. Strangely enough, I had 7 grandfathers and great uncles who all went to the Western Front – of whom one uncle received the MC with the Royal Warwicks, a granddad and gt uncle were in the 51st Highland Division, a granddad was in the 52nd Lowland Division, a gt uncle was in the 9th Scottish Division, a gt uncle was in the RAMC and another was in the RE’s. Discover thousands of years of England’s history, stretching from the arrival of the earliest known humans 900,000 years ago to the 63-year reign of Queen Victoria. I agree the Auk had his faults, but he had the understanding during Op Crusader to continue the attack – his failure was believing the enemy was defeated and returning command to Ritchie when Afrika Korps were in fact reinforcing (and that was more a failure of intelligence than generalship). Excellent post, and good on you for not avoiding controversy. That man defeated Napoleon at Abu Gair in Egypt and destroyed him again in Trafalgar ,, wins Copenhagen battle & many Sea’s battles. Biographics – History, One Life at a Time. To help you make the best choice among the hundreds of products available, we have decided to offer you a comparison of the General British History in order to find the best quality/price ratio. Haig presided over the material, doctrinal and practical transformation of warfare which the British army experienced between 1915 and 1918, at the same time fighting the main enemy in an intense, prolonged, systematic series of cumulatively effective military engagements. 25,000 BC Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke – a supremely capable general – called Monty the best tactical general Britain had since Wellington but bemoaned the fact that Monty was completely ignorant of politics and almost incapable of dealing with others of a similar rank. Managing all the generals as well as guiding Churchill. The war did not stand still and what was tried last time may not work next time. He was the most extraordinarily soldier. And if the portrayal of Haig here was, as you put it, the revisionist 1960’s version then he surely would not have been in the list at all because, as your said, Haig’s reputation as a capable commander was destroyed in the 1960’s. The Auk – Claude Auchinleck – who really stopped the rot in North Africa in WWII until he got the boot from Churchill, which opened the door to Monty. IN SOUTH AFRICA HE WAGED A SUCCESS COUNTER INSURGENCY WAR AGAINST THE bOERS. Read the entries further down by Steven Scot and Lachlan to see that there is a good case to be made for Haig being a great commander. Up there with Caesar and Napoleon (with whom he had a lot in common).Sean Lang, Cambridge, UK, Bill Slim for me. Foch played little part in the conduct of Hundred Days Offensive. James Wolfe – who stormed the bluffs of the St Lawrence River to beat Montcalm and the French to take Quebec, kicking the French out of Canada and secured the northern frontier of the fledgling British colonies in America – which is why American readers ne c’est pas ecrire/lire en francais aujourd hui . Top 10 British Generals, 1700 – 1945 1. Brian Horrocks – commander of XXX Corps who as a battalion commander covered the Dunkirk rettreat and as corp commander was responsible for commanding ground forces in the ill-fated Market Garden operation – but a very practical, truly human leader who deeply cared for his men and the plight of civilians. In 1918, the American General John Pershing, remarked that Haig was “the man who won the war”. BuzzFeed As Is Something for … An Admiral could not do the same job as a General nor could a General do the same job as an Admiral, as such you cannot compare Admirals to Generals simply because the skills required for their jobs are almost totally different. What a joke. The part Foch played in that was to approve it being undertaken, and coordinate it with the operations of the French and American in the Muese-Argonne Offensive to overwhelm the German Line. Who could be ? Though Allenby had the fortune to be placed in a theater where his talents and training (eg. His reputation is a very bad one; he is characterized as a general who sat hundreds of miles behind the front and had a willful disregard for the lives of his men – the Donkey that commanded the Lions. He came out of retirement to evacuate British civillians from Egypt which he did successfully and stayen in Khartoum to protect the local population from Muslim jihadists (yes, it was the same crap then). Monty was a thorough trainer and planner, a high class administrator, and a totally professional soldier and general. They are not interchangable. North Africa was poorly supplied, poorly staffed and the Auk did what he could under exceptionally straightened circumstances. … Many criteria are used, and they make the richness and relevance of this comparison. This made Clive famous and led to the British being able to equalize power between them and the French in the region, an equality that only lasted until Clive’s absence when the French retook power. He tried to outwit the enemy and dislocate him mentally, rather than trying to overcome him by force alone. With Brookes support, Monty would not have been in command for very long! Unlike his high profile contemporary Montgomery, he was a humble man: self-depreciating and candid in talking about the mistakes he made and the lessons he learnt. The ice melted and the sea level rose. His first action was to take Arcot –the capital of the Canatic region – and hold it for 50 days in a siege against the ruler of the region, the French sympathetic Chanda Sahib. Facebook Great Britain is an island located within the British Isles and it is the ninth-largest island in the world and the largest in Europe. Funny ………….. The whole of Britain natiowide was in uproar and demanded parliament send him reinforcements. Thanks for that. Either the lister got lazy or there are a shortage of British Generals here. A great General must now be measured by his ability to adapt to the theatre of war as it changes through the ages, the ability to keep the men under his control as safe as reasonably possible and ultimately his success in battle (preferably a speedy victory). Arthur Duke of Wellington is an extraordinary man, and although aloof and withdrawn, a man capable of deep emotion. Rawlinson is a controversial addition to the list for those who know of him. Haig was the commander of British forces that saw the greatest series of victories in the British army. Top 10 Amazing (Yet Uninspiring) Achievements, Top 10 Bizarre Early Films of Famous Directors, 10 Fascinating Cases of US Presidential Pardons, Crazy Facts You Might Not Know About the Normans, Expensive Items That Turned Out to be Worthless, 10 Unusual Christmas Myths From Around the World, Top 10 Greatest Inventions of the 19th Century, Josip Broz ‘Tito’ Biography: Too Tough for Stalin, Adrian Carton de Wiart Biography: The Unbreakable Soldier. While others relied more heavily on the outdated cavalry, he embraced the tank, enlarged the artillery and, in the final campaign of the war, oversaw the biggest victory ever achieved by Britain in any war in the Hundred Days Offensive, on a scale of men involved and territory fought in. Where is Nelson ? No where is Lord Roberts mentioned, his turning at Kimberley is one beautiful military movement in history. His record of success is greater than any other general of his era except Aleksandr Suvorov. None has left such a lasting legacy to the British Isles, or one that transcends military history so much that it has passed into folklore.". IN WORLD WAR 1 IT WAS HE WHO RAISED THE LARGEST ARMY BRITAIN HAD EVER SEEN, WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO VICTORY. 10 best history books. The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Andrew Hopper is a lecturer in History at the University of Leicester who has written extensively about the English Civil War. His mastery of logistics and forward planning meant that he was never caught out by an enemy and usually picked the field of battle. - who you would choose? About 15,000 years ago, the weather became warmer. It should also be remembered while the British were criticized for blunders, the enemy was making costly blunders too, such as the staggeringly bloody Verdun offensive and the lacklustre defence of April 1917 at Arras, the latter for which Von Falkenhayn lost his job. Britain has to give most empires independence due to the low inclination and wealth to maintain an empire. The term is often used as a synonym for the United Kingdom, which also includes Northern Ireland and a number of offshore Some worked and some didn’t, but in the end, the learning curves and evolved training, experience and intelligent use of new weapons all led to the events of 8th August 1918. Second, John Churchill held together the Grand Alliance of England, Holland and Austria during the long years of the War of the Spanish succession. Napoleon won far more major battles than both of them combined, he did lose battles (always heavily outnumered) but claiming his record is worse than Wellington’s and Suvorov’s is more than debatable. The 9 Best Books About European History Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture. That is the category of a maverick who achieved significant success in the field by being unathodox and breaking away from the traditional methods of the British military but each of them operated in a vaccum and never had the chance to prove themselves at a higher level. He was, quite simply, a self-obsessed and self-glorifying bully. However, he was a very difficult man to know and work with on a personal level; he always thought he was right and rarely compromised, usually having to have compromise forced upon him. Wolfe only really had one independent command and while that was Quebec his part in it gets caught up in the romantic iconography of him dying as he won the battle. He quickly gained the respect of the troops of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force by moving his HQ to a position closer to the front, visiting the troops regularly in the frontlines, reorganizing the EEF into an effective Corps system and imposing discipline and professionalism on the whole command. Plumer was a man who operated in prudent reality: he did not expect his army to break through the enemy lines and charge to Berlin, nor did he expect his men to be superhuman. Britain is joined to Europe (no sea in between) Mammoth, rhino and giant beavers live in 'Britain' Date of earliest human tools found on Suffolk coast. share. “Daddy” Plumer was arguably the finest commander on the Western Front and his victory at Messines was one of the most complete in the entire war. hide. Plumer looked the part of a typical First World War British General, with his receding chin and white moustache, yet he was anything but. Eisenhower said of Monty: “General Montgomery is a very able, dynamic type of army commander. Appreciate the nods to Allenby and Slim, who often get lost in the shuffle. I WOULD DEFINITELY ADD KITCHENER AND GARNET WOLSELEY. He was reassigned to the Middle-East and there he would prove his worth. Haig commanded the largest army ever to be put in the field by the British Empire, in the principal theatre, for three years. “In 1918, the American General John Pershing, remarked that Haig was “the man who won the war”. This is a list about “Generals” not “Admirals”. This list is specifically limited to the period between the beginning of the Spanish War of Succession and the end of the Second World War, and is restricted to generals who were born in the British Isles. In 1707, when Great Britain was created by the Act of Union between Scotland and England, English history became part of British history. It was he who planned and conducted the first night battle by a modern army, and it was Rawlinson who pioneered the idea of Combined Arms Operations. Or is there another great British commander - Montgomery perhaps, or Wolfe? A comprehensive historical survey of the British Isles. He never lost the 8th respect as a soldier but he lost their trust as a general. All but one returned alive and in one piece from the war. The German generals who stage-managed Verdun, say, don’t get anywhere near the hatred Haig and French endure. They arrived just too late. But looking at the list it has to be Slim because he was fighting in difficult terrain and also against an enemy that had been waging war longer than the Germans and had not known defeat.Len Kelly, Chorley, UK, What about Montgomery? Left-wing figures like AJP Taylor and Joan (Oh ! He was commanding by far the biggest and most diverse British, Dominion and Empire force ever committed to fighting a war until that time, over which he took command in December 1915. Britain had to spend a great cost in the World War 2 even though the allies won. "There are now more biographies on Oliver Cromwell than almost any other Englishman, with more than 30 appearing in the 20th century alone. One of the main things Alanbrooke did when he became CIGS was to ignore the prejudices of the old order and promote the most capable men for the job and had the Auk proven himself he would have supported him not matter what but the Auk foolishly told CIGS that the Afrika Korp were hard pressed and being beaten then lost the battle of Gazala and lost Brookies confidence forever. Privacy Policy | TopTenz T-Shirts | Sponsors. Robert Lyman, a former army officer, is a military historian and biographer of Bill Slim. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re Inspired possibly by Alan Clark (who was an unorthodox Conservative), their works took a highly critical stance of British generalship of WW1 and the loss of a generation. I am surprised that the author of this article has reflected neither current thinking on Haig nor the perception of Haig during and after WWI. Local elections: The party leader interviews. SHAEF was absolutely brimming with ego cases though, Monty was only the most pronounced. He conquered the majority of France, seeing his son made heir to the throne of France and delivered victories such as Agincourt that reverberated throughout Europe. Willing but unskilled and not fully trained by mid 1916, Haig’s training period for his new armies was squeezed by the pleas of the French suffering at Verdun. He is a national hero, a great general, had a staue in Tafalgar sqaure as testement to this and …… isn’t on the list? Allenby is widely regarded as one of the best commanders of the First World War and is certainly remembered as one of the most successful. While these Generals dined grandly in safety planning and playing at war. The Duke of Marlborough was, by far, the greatest military man of his... 2. Has he no champions? Historians on the other hand however have been robustly defending Haig since the 1980s. He never... 3. Orde Wingate – then a Brigadier, who organized the Chindits under Slim’s Burma campaign. cavalry work) could be put to great use. But the question needs to be asked why no Monty. In his detailed plans he planned for only modest goals – keeping in mind the weather and terrain involved and the morale of his men – then trained his men thoroughly for the task he had set them. It certainly doesn’t make them great!! Haig knew that and with his commanders tried again and again to introduce new approaches to battle tactics, techniques and weapons. History is one of the most important topics to study, and we've found the best history books to read right now. He fought in Burma and India in a very different way to that of most other British Generals of the Second World War and indeed of most other British Generals of all time. James Falkner is a military history author who has written a number of books about Marlborough. Bill Slim has been called the greatest commander of the 20th Century. Unlike Hannibal, I sought to use data to determine a general’s abilities, rather than specific accounts of generals’ achievements. General History - 750 years and older General History ... has provided the best written evidence of the time in his "Ecclesiastical History of the English people" (He wrote in Latin, ... Britain was left defenceless against attack from similar peoples, the Anglo Saxons. They knew that he was going to win the next battle. Arthur Wellesley – 1 st Duke of Wellington. He later in life admitted he just liked the sound of it and had made it up. He had a personality we love to hate and a record of accomplishment few could claim.”. Biographics – History, One Life at a Time. He took his armies that had low morale and poor equipment and turned them into an incredible fighting force that took on the best of the Japanese armies - and won decisively. going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already Cheers! "Bill Slim was a born leader of soldiers. What A Lovely War) Greenwood had their own agenda, not obviously wanting a terrible war (as if any of us did ?). Rather Haig is portrayed in the manner revisionists perceived him in the 1960s. Peter Snow is a retired BBC TV presenter and author of At War With Wellington. 5 comments. He was not a man loved by his men, but he was admired and respected by them and that is what mattered. He went on to overrun the whole of the Spanish Netherlands, what we know today as Belgium, in just a few short weeks.". With Churchill, he combined to create the most effective higher command of any nation of the war despite the sometimes flawed judgment and the increasing constraints it operated under. He had proven himself to be an effective commander of troops when he was commander of the II Corps of the BEF in the Battle of France but he would prove his worth far greater as the Chief of the Imperial General Staff. I just wondered what religious institutions were doing during the Civil War era, and I realized that I didn't know where to look and that I don't really know the history after the puritans and before the religious right. The British Isles have a rich history going back thousands of years. “His record of success is greater than any other general of his era except Aleksandr Suvorov.”. Nelson was an Admiral, not a General. In that respect cetainly Foch’s role was crucial, but he cannot claim the credit due to Haig and the British/Dominion for the operational conduct of their armies during that offensive, which was the point I was making, that Pershing called Haig the man who won the war because of his tactical successes in the Hunded Days Offensive and that Foch played little part in those tacticall successes. Lawrence’s efforts to unite the Arabs to revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Bill Major, Liverpool, What about Alan Brooke, CIGS for four years in WW2 seeking to influence and co-ordinate strategy in every theatre. Retrospectively I think there must have been something radically flawed with history as it is taught in out schools as our history is fascinating. plumer should have been SBO, and monash, curry, byng and horne should have commanded 4 armies. With Simon Schama, Michael Kitchen, Samuel West, Lindsay Duncan. 130,000 BC: Neanderthal Britain The dominate human species is Neanderthal. Admiral and General are words which describe two entirely different jobs, and require different skill-sets. Discover the best Great Britain History in Best Sellers. He gave financial support to T.E. A very good list. In fact no official units IIRC, just some individuals who found themselves serving in (e.g.) Alan Brooke was the premier strategist at the Western Allies’ disposal in Europe in the Second World War. Had the generals been better organised and more caring with regards to our young soldiers casualties would have been reduced significantly. *Almost everyLike Hannibal, I wanted to rank powerful leaders in the history of warfare. He tried to make th 8th Army a mobile army similiar to the Wehrmacht despite it lacking the equipment, training and doctrine to do so and this turn led to the 8th playing Rommel’s game and being drive back to the gates of Cairo. 100% success rate in battles and sieges.Pete Lee via Twitter, Wellington - without question! Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. Brooke was famed amongst the British high command for his refusal to cave into Churchill’s desires; unless Churchill had an idea that was grounded in sound military thought, Brooke opposed it vehemently. The entry on Haig was neither a positive nor a negative position. Meanwhile, Clive had but 540 British Infantry, 600 British Sailors, 800 Sepoys, 14 field guns and no cavalry. Won the War World with Bring me William Philpott is a retired TV... Under Haig, the Duke of Wellington up of modern works, it covers English British! Him naked, defiled his body, caeved his head off and plaved it on a day-to-day basis specific of... How i ended up here, but i thought this post was great and was back. Forces that saw the greatest military man of his men of thousands of young men or hundreds of of! Ensured that British presence in India was unassailable Lindsay Duncan not have been SBO, we! 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Part except for giving the plan presented by Haig the go-ahead. ”, concern for welfare of his,... Love to hate and a debate at the Museum will decide the winner within the British besides CIGS. The conduct of Hundred Days Offensive, of which Foch played little part except giving.
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