Sir Dou­glas Haig

BBC History Magazine - - Wwi Eyewitness Accounts -

Haig was com­man­der of the Bri­tish Ex­pe­di­tionary Force on the west­ern front.

Field Mar­shal Sir Dou­glas Haig had led the Bri­tish Army to vic­tory, but had made many en­e­mies among politi­cians at home. The prime min­is­ter David Lloyd Ge­orge was soon try­ing to give credit for vic­tory to over­all Al­lied com­man­der Mar­shal Fer­di­nand Foch and to side­line Haig. Haig vented his anger in his diary.

For the past three years I have ef­faced my­self, be­cause I felt that to win the war it was es­sen­tial that the Bri­tish and French armies should get on well. And in con­se­quence I have sub­mit­ted to Lloyd Ge­orge’s con­ceit and swag­ger, com­bined with much boast­ing as to what he had ac­com­plished. Now, the Bri­tish Army has won the war in France in spite of him and I have no in­ten­tion of tak­ing part in any tri­umphal ride with Foch and a pack of for­eign­ers, through the streets of Lon­don, merely to add to Lloyd Ge­orge’s im­por­tance.

In fact Haig had a rea­son­able work­ing re­la­tion­ship with the French – Foch in par­tic­u­lar. His mood would im­prove on his re­turn to Bri­tain.

To­day was a red let­ter one in my life. To re­ceive such a spon­ta­neous wel­come, all the way from the coast to my house at Kingston Hill, shows how the peo­ple of Eng­land re­alise what has been ac­com­plished by the army and my­self. This more than com­pen­sates me for the dif­fi­cul­ties put in my way by the prime min­is­ter.

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