British Generals in the Great War Essay examples

British Generals in the Great War Essay examples

Length: 995 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

British Generals in the Great War

Ever since the first world war the quote 'lions led by donkeys' has
been used to describe the British army, and refers to the brave troops
as 'lions' that are being led by stupid 'donkey' generals. It came
about as much of the public and soldiers opinions stated that the
generals were incompetents who led their men to the death regardless
of whether the battle they were fighting was a lost cause. The quote
originated from the German troops, who respectfully commented on the
British soldiers' bravery and upon how their lives where so carelessly
wasted by their 'idiot' generals; many modern books, films and tv
shows, for example hilarious 'Blackadder Goes Forth', still echo this
belief. Is this however a just assessment of the British generals of
World War 1?

This portrait of moronic, heartless generals was rather popular and
actually stemmed from many very real facts. Evidently, the main reason
for these opinions is the alarmingly great number of casualties that
each battle produced; the worst such example would be the Battle of
the Somme that had raged from the 1st of July 1916, when over 19 000
British soldiers were killed and around 57 000 were wounded during the
first day alone. Soon battles became referred to as 'slaughter' rather
than fighting, and it seemed to many that the generals' strategy was
to simply outkill the enemy - this was based on reality, the generals'
view was that as the Germans had less men it did not matter if the
Allies lost more, eventually they would still prevail. The long list
of fatalities alarmed public and soldiers alike - but what appeared
even more shocking was ...


... middle of paper ...


...
the generals were indeed responsible for a portion of that loss they
ultimately achieved their goal by winning the war - therefore, they
musn't have been complete 'donkeys'. It is wrong that these men were
reffered to as beasts - if not for them, if not for leaders, there
would have been no strategy at all and the entire conflict would
surely have been won by the Germans. In order to fight effectively
there must be strategy, for there to be strategy there must be order,
for there to be order there must be leadership; whoever the leaders
are must be able to make difficult decisions and choices of literally
life and death. Mistakes cannot be avoided, but they are important to
learn from and to better the strategies from. The soldiers of the
First World War were indeed lions; but their generals were far from
donkeys.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Conduct of British Generals in World War One Essay

- The Conduct of British Generals in World War One In 1914 the First World War, or the Great War, broke out in Europe. It involved the two main alliances of Europe at the time; one alliance was the triple entente with Germany, Austro-Hungary and Serbia, the other alliance, the triple alliances, had Britain, France and Russia creating a ring of steel around Germany. This war of attrition was to take the lives of 8.5 million combatants and would change the way warfare was conducted and portrayed forever, it would involve 65 million men from 30 countries around the globe and Russia and America would emerge as the two great superpowers of the 20th century....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1598 words (4.6 pages)

Great Generals of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War Essay

- Great generals are crucial to the prospering of a nation. They impart unity to a country and defend against any enemy it may encounter. There are two wars showcasing such brilliant generals in American history: the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. In one, the English colonists on the continent of North America broke off from their mother country to form their own. In the other, the nation of the United States, having been firmly established at that point, was fighting against itself over the issue of slavery....   [tags: american politics, grant, washington]

Good Essays
1877 words (5.4 pages)

World War I And The Great War Essay

- According to Merriam-Webster, historians define a world war as “a war involving numerous many of the world.” World War I, also known in Great Britain as “The Great War,” had a tremendous impact on western civilization and the world, financially and physiologically. Also, World War I marked the beginning of great technological achievements, which lead to the inventions and use of mustard gas, tanks, submarines and airplane bombs. Nevertheless, the actual reason why World War I merits the title “The Great War” was because of its immediate and long-term causes, devastating major battles, treaty that settled peace to the world, and provoking results....   [tags: World War I, World War II, Treaty of Versailles]

Good Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

World War I Was A Great War Essay

- When World War I was announced on July 28, 1914, it was not considered shocking Europe. After decades of militarization on both sides, the time had come for what would be known as the Great War. What did come as a shock was how long the war would span; lasting nearly four long years and causing immense devastation. Between military personnel and civilians, approximately 38 million casualties and losses resulted between 1914 to 1918. The high causality rate was in response to the rapid pace at which technology evolved, making weapons more lethal than they previously were....   [tags: World War I, Trench warfare, World War II]

Good Essays
1538 words (4.4 pages)

Referring to the Generals in the First World War in the Interpretation of Lions Led by Donkeys

- Referring to the Generals in the First World War in the Interpretation of Lions Led by Donkeys The First World War took place from 1914 to 1918. Some historians describe the First World War as “The Great War” this was due to the sheer size and tragic of human loss during the war, which was responsible for thirteen million people dying the first time the war had been fought on three levels air, sea, and land. On the Western Front, the battle was fought on land. The battles on land consisted if trench warfare there were four different lines of trenches these were the front line, support, reserve and communication trenches....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1405 words (4 pages)

Exploring How the British Could Have Achieved Victory in the American War of Independence

- An Investigation into How the British could have achieved victory in the American War of Independence The American War of Independence was perhaps the first colonial war of independence during the period of European dominance across the globe. Great Britain, a relatively new country with a stable, democratic government, established an enormous trading empire which stretched from North America to East India and was the greatest superpower on Earth. It came to be so, firstly by its highly effective navy which allowed it to transport goods and defeat other rival fleets....   [tags: american history, revolutionary war, American revo]

Good Essays
1794 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about The War Of 1812 And The American War

- The War of 1812 was a battle fought between the United States and Great Britain, along with help from Canada and the Native Americans, from June 18, 1812 to February 18, 1815. The United States declared war against Great Britain due to multiple disputes that included trade restrictions against the United States, the capture of American sailors and the support of Native American tribes fighting against American settlers. These issues led to the War of 1812 which Americans ultimately declared the “Second War of Independence”....   [tags: United States, War of 1812]

Good Essays
1152 words (3.3 pages)

The Actions of Germany Before World War I Essay

- During the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, the Entente diplomats from Great Britain, France, United States, and Italy created a document which would seal their future for the upcoming years. The reason why the treaty would become infamous resulted from one article, article 231. This simple article in one phrase summed up the entire philosophy and rationale of the end of the war, according to the Entente leaders, “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon t...   [tags: The First Great War]

Good Essays
815 words (2.3 pages)

The Great War Essay

- The Great War At 11 p.m. on 4th August 1914 Great Britain found herself at war in Europe. Four years and three months later before dawn on 11th November, 1918, British soldiers recaptured the Belgian town of Mons. On this same day an Armistice was signed at 5 a.m. in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne in Northern France and hostilities ceased six hours later at eleven o'clock. During the War's early years Britain and her Allies, France and Russia, fought against Germany and Austro-Hungary....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
547 words (1.6 pages)

British Colonialism Essays

- The study of British colonialism is a rather new field with much to discuss and a lot more to debate. The recent recognition of new nation-states that were once under the control of Britain was a growing phenomenon and one that continues to play a large role in today’s global politics. Since the rather recent period of these new nations, new study’s have been done into the history of a) the peoples that inhabited the land before Britain, b) the way Britain occupied and control and land, and now c) post-Britain....   [tags: European History ]

Good Essays
2443 words (7 pages)