Haking: A Dutiful Soldier

Lt Gen Sir Richard Haking, XI Corps Commander 1915–18: A Study in Corps Command

By: Michael Senior
Supplied by: Pen and Sword

Format: Hardback
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781848846432
Published: 29th February 2012
RRP / Print Price: £25.00

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Haking: A Dutiful Soldier

Sir Richard Haking was one of those generals of the First World War described as boneheads, bunglers and donkeys. And yet there was so much more to the man. In this study Michael Senior makes an in-depth analysis of Haking as the British XI Corps Commander and assesses objectively both his strengths and his weaknesses.

While Haking cannot escape a share of responsibility for the Fromelles disaster of 1916, this book adds a new dimension to the story of what went wrong and why. Such is the strength of the author's argument that the reader will want to revise the common perception of 'Butcher' Haking.

Michael Senior also examines Haking's role in the battle of Loos and his part in the downfall of Sir John French. In addition, this book throws light on a number of important topics connected with the conduct of the war including the role of a Corps Commander, trench warfare, the BEF 'learning curve', the Hundred Days, and the British involvement with the Portuguese and in Italy.

Since Haking did not leave any personal papers, the author has built this story from a range of archives, not only in the UK but also in Australia, Portugal and Germany. The result is a penetrating re-assessment of a much-maligned general.


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