Douglas Haig

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German prisoners taken during the ‘Hundred Days’ cycle of battles in summer 1918.

For the Allied armies, 1917 had ended on a grim note. Both the British and French armies had been badly damaged during their own offensives that year.(...)

The meeting in Ballaghaderreen to protest against the extension of conscription to Ireland on May 5th, 1918, was addressed by Éamon de Valera and Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Dillon. Photograph: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images
1918 timeline

January 8th US president Woodrow Wilson sets out his “14 points for peace” in a speech to Congress. He outlines the possible contours of a post-war se(...)

German soldiers on the offensive. Photograph: Neurdein/Roger Viollet/Getty

At 4.40am on the morning of March 21st, 1918, three German armies unleashed 6,473 heavy guns and 3,532 trench mortars upon 50 miles of the Western Fro(...)

Cheerful French troops on their way to the offensive in April 1917

Having suffered enormous casualties during the defence of Verdun and in the big offensives on the Somme, the political leaders and commanders of the A(...)

Members of the Metropolitan Police Service Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band pictured in the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Messines, Belgium, on Remeberance Sunday in 2008. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The images of man and beast floundering in suffocating mud would define not only the Battle of Passchendaele, but the first World War in the popular i(...)

Troops of the Tyneside Irish Brigade on July 1st, 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme. photograph: the art archive/ imperial war museum  Troops of the Tyneside Irish Brigade on July 1st, 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme. Photograph: The Art Archive/Imperial War Museum

The Somme battlefield is bisected by the old Roman road between Albert and Bapaume. In 1916, Albert, an attractive cathedral town, was behind the Brit(...)

Gen Douglas Haig: “The new British army is not merely a huge host of brave men, animated with a splendid purpose; it is a miracle of organisation and forethought.”

  March 15th, 1916 Irish Times editorial – “The British army in France is ‘in good health and good heart, and confident of victory’.” This(...)

“The health of the Emperor of Austria [Franz-Joseph, pictured] is ‘giving rise to grave anxiety’.”

  January 27th, 1916 The Commons hears of the execution in France of Private L Hope of the 2nd Leinster Regiment, for “desertion”. “It is we(...)

Col Eugene Ryan, Haig’s personal physician, who’s memoir, Haig’s Medical Officer, gives a fascinating account of the war and an intimate portrayal of Haig

Few historical figures were so revered in life yet vilified after their death than Douglas Haig, the commander-in-chief of the British Army during the(...)

The Great War, by Peter Hart
  • Books
  • June 15, 2013, 01:00

Despite the lack of a subtitle, Peter Hart has written a military history, and a very good one it is. Brisk in style, and supported by vivid extracts (...)