British Generals lost in WW1

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Glider, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Just an unexpected fact I picked up today. The general perception of the generals in WW1 was that with a few exceptions, they tended to stay safe while the troops went into action. During the entire war the British had 1,252 Generals of whom 224 were killed, wounded or captured in combat. At one point they had to be ordered to stop going over the top or leading raids as so many were being lost. I admit this was the last thing I expected to find

    Makes me wonder what the percentage was in WW2
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Loses in officers is always high, for one thing they tended to be a favourite target for snipers, still are.


    in the Jungle during WWII, it was standard procedure in the Australian Army to remove all rank insignia, and never to address the commander as "sir". It was tantamount to painting a target on his back.

    The problem with British command was not universally its general officers. Rather, the problem was the unimaginative and disconnectedness of the planning staffs, especially those attached to haigs GHQ. These guys hardly ever did visit the front, let alone get their hands dirty. The defence for their unimaginative techniques is that in 1917 there was no real answer to the trench deadlocks that had developed, but this was shown to be patently untrue in 1918, when men like Currie and Monash stepped up. losses were still heavy in 1918, but at last these losses were beginning to gain returns at an exchange rate better than 1:1 (or less). The futility of 1917 was at least avoided, but the losses were not.

    Evidence of the lack of imagination in the British General Staff can be found in that to this day, the same basic problem that modern warfare inherently favours the defence, still exists to this day. move, and you expose yourself to fire. But today losses are a fraction of those experienced in France, even on a per unit level, because trhe techniques of 1918 have continued to be adapted and improved upon, for the precise reason of keeping the loss rates down, whilst retaining forward momentum
     
  3. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Very surprising information
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Vietnam saw 12 Generals (Major Brigadier) killed most in helo crashes though a total of 7 were by hostile fire
     
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