Thursday, March 22, 2018
"it is the bitterest of military insults contain the accusation of crowd like conduct - - rabble, riff-raff, scum,. canaille, Pobel - - the deepest contempt soldiers can harbor is reserved for leaders whose armies, dissolve between their fingers - - Cadorna, Kerensky, Gough, Gamelin, Perceval. - - Sir John Keegan."
Gough General Sir Hubert Gough. His reputation from the Great War [WW1] very poor. But undeserved?
"General Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough . . . was a senior officer in the British Army in the First World War. A favourite of the British Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, he experienced a meteoric rise through the ranks during the war and commanded the British Fifth Army from 1916 to 1918."
Thanks to the tip from Mann!
"Stabbed In The Front: Operation Michael, The Ultimate Pyrrhic Victory"
That destruction the British Fifth Army during the German Spring Offensive of 1918 [one-hundred years ago now] almost deciding the Great War on terms favorable to the German. Gough seen as the villain, an incompetent and ineffective leader.
Again, the reputation and legacy undeserved?
"The offensive continued for the next two weeks, but finally ground to a halt. Key to the British success was the coolness of General Gough of the British 5th Army that bore the brunt of the German attack, although Gough ended up being sacked as a scapegoat for the German advance, conservative historian Andrew Roberts pays tribute to him in his 2006 book, 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples since 1900'"
"The offensive saw a great wrong perpetrated on a distinguished British commander that was not righted for many years. Gough's Fifth Army had been spread thin on a 42-mile front lately taken over from the exhausted and demoralized French. The reason why the Germans did not break through to Paris, as by all the laws of strategy they ought to have done, was the heroism of the Fifth Army and its utter refusal to break. They fought a 38-mile rearguard action, contesting every village, field and, on occasion, yard...With no reserves and no strongly defended line to its rear, and with eighty German divisions against fifteen British, the Fifth Army fought the Somme offensive to a standstill on the Ancre, not retreating beyond Villers-Bretonneux."
Retreat in orderly manner good and not shameful. Retreat in a disorderly manner bad and shameful. The Fifth Army orderly and best as it could be? Gough rehabilitated? You the devoted reader to the blog decided for yourself.