Sir Douglas Haig
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.