Long before the First World War had dragged to its blood-soaked conclusion, the belief that most of the senior officers had spent their time in comfort and safety in chateaux far behind the lines with no idea of the conditions in which the men they commanded were fighting was firmly embedded in the public mind. As the years pass by that belief has, if anything, become more deeply held, gaining strength from plays like Oh! What a Lovely War, itself based on Alan Clark’s book The Donkeys, and the TV series Blackadder.
It is the purpose of this book to show not only how the myth was born and grew but how totally at odds it is with the facts. Biographies of over 200 officers who held the rank of Brigadier-General or above who were killed or wounded during the war show how closely involved the men at the top were with the men at the front. Ironically, as the authors point out, this was more than just a waste of blood, for these were the very men whose experience was vital to the successful prosecution of the war. Had they actually stayed in their chateaux, as Lloyd George alleged, they might have done much more to hasten the end of the conflict.
This is not only an invaluable work of reference but a tribute to those gallant senior officers who have been so unfairly traduced by many who should have known better.
BLOODY RED TABS General Officer Casualties of the Great War 1914-1918
Far from the Blackadder image that senior officers on the Western Front in the Great War spent their time in comfort and safety in chateaux far behind the trenches, this book reveals that over 200 officers of Brigadier-General rank and above were killed or wounded in the conflict. Eye opening and myth-shattering.