In Haig’s Shadow

I should apologise, I found this old review on my computer from almost a year ago, I had filed it away and forgotten to publish it.

In Haig’s Shadow written by Gary Sheffield and published by Greenhill Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 228

This book looks at the correspondence letters between Sir Douglas and his nephew Hugo de Pree, the book looks at the relationship between the two men which didn’t seem to receive much approval from Hugo de Pree’s more senior officers. The letters very much look at de Pree’s early military career along with explanatory noted on various battles, and looks at the context between then and the current or upcoming picture on the Western front. De Pree, a Brigadier General in France was a military strategist and was responsible for planning at the Battle of Canbrai and the German defensive in 1918.

I should say that I don’t have a high opinion of Sir Douglas Haig, but I have reviewed this book without allowing my opinion affect my review. This is quite an interesting book, although the two men are family members, because of their roles in life it does make interesting reading. With them having a close connection, I think this helps because there is a relaxed look at these letters and this in my opinion comes across in the book, after all your more likely to tone down and criticism if there is a personal connection. I would say that if you are into military planning especially in the First World War you would find this book a fascinating read. I loved the writing style, it was like reading a diary and this was the best way for the book to be written. Excellent use of primary sources. This book is an excellent book edited by a leading historian, definitely a recommended book.

Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.

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