Crunchy, on 21 August 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:
listening to some fools pronouncing judgement they seem to think a British battle must run like clockwork
Since I have never served in the armed forces, let alone smelt powder, I begin to feel rather uncomfortable.....perhaps I exemplify those fools you allude to, Chris.
Monash was a proponent of the " clockwork battle " ;
In a well planned battle.....nothing happens, nothing can happen, except the regular process of the advance according to the plan arranged.
If we are to take the measure of the literature about Haig, and focus on the positive appraisals, would there be a degree of consensus that he, too, was a "formulaic" commander who aspired to the sort of battle that Monash alludes to above ?
Are there examples in the books about him that reveal that other attribute of command in high intensity warfare : the ability to fight in circumstances of chaos and disintegration, outside the remit of any plan, when things have to be carried out on impulse ?
One of the things that I admire in the record of some commanders is their admission that they had to confront and deal with situations in which they had miscalculated, or for which they had not properly countenanced. They admit to learning on the job. Grant was such a man. He admitted that it was only after the bloodbath at Shiloh that he realised what kind of war he'd have to wage.
Perhaps that book you mention, Chris, Haig - The Evolution of a Commander
, by Weist , will hit the spot. Maybe the title carries the impication that I'm driving at here.
Edit : Just bought it now, one click, for my kindle ! Yipee !