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The current time is: 9/19/2018 9:26:16 AM
 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 4:20:07 AM
After weeks of heavy fighting during 3rd Army's offensive at the Battle of Arras in the Spring of the 1917, where an initial breakthrough had deteriorated into trench-fighting positional warfare—once more with heavy casualties to 3rd Army's units involved.

Allenby 1.lost the confidence of his Commander-in-chief, Haig. 2. He was promoted to full General on 3 June 1917,[31] but he was replaced at the head of 3rd Army on 9 June 1917 and 3. returned to England

Most peculiar IMO--what was behind all this decision by Haig???
and ow did Allenby perform during the remainder of the Great War and after??? Was he ever allowed back in Haig's coterie???

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
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Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 5:30:38 AM
Good question, Jim !

Perhaps some kind of personality clash ?

It brings to mind the story of Lumsden and Monty in the North African campaign a generation later There’s not room for two shits in the desert ! ...so Lumsden is supposed to have said when he was sacked.

I wonder if something similar might be attributable to 1917.

Allenby was a cavalry commander....so much for Haig favouring his beloved horsemen.


Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 6:58:19 AM
Phil--It would seem that Allenby who was somrthing of a firebrand-quick to anger; harboured doubts about the leadership of the commander of the BEF, General Sir Douglas Haig, but refused to allow any of his officers to say anything critical about Haig.

Haig in turn demanded the utmost loyalty and trust from hid Generals--so I guess he sensed that Allenby was not altogether on his side.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
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Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 8:39:42 AM
Jim, this is interesting.

something of a firebrand - quick to anger ....your words might apply to another superb fighting general in an earlier war.

I allude to DH Hill, who made a superb account of himself on the battlefield , but in some way anatagonised his fellows and was discreetly and graciously removed by his superior, RE Lee.

I wonder if this might have been the case with Allenby.

He was nicknamed “ The Bull “ : it’s easy to see why...he was a big man and his presence was, I daresay, intimidating.

Perhaps it wasn’t so much a case of the Bull, but the China Shop.

Scope for some reading and discussion here.

More to come !

Regards, Phil



---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 9:08:01 AM
An officer who had dinner with Allenby at his headquarters in a French château recalled:

"His keen grey-blue eyes, under heavy brows, search the face while he probes the mind with sharp, almost staccato questions about everything under the sun except what is expected.

He cannot suffer fools gladly and demands an unequivocal affirmative or negative to every query he makes.

He has a habit of asking questions on the most abstruse subjects, and an unpleasant knack of catching out anyone who gives an evasive answer for the sake of politeness."

NB.Certainly not the type to be a toady. As far as Haug was concerned he was "a square peg in a round hole" Well named "Bull"

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 12:35:06 PM
Perhaps Allenby was “ on the spectrum “...which, IIUC, is a euphemism for aspergers or autism...an attribute that might actually assist in some cases.

He was quick to perceive the value of a maverick : look no further than TE Lawrence.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 1:14:29 PM
Phil having made a thorough search for aberrant behaviour and come up empty--I do not think he suffered from APS nor Autism-agreed he was unusual but no evidence found to support your theory

In early 1917, Allenby was ordered by Haig to start preparations for a major offensive around the city of Arras.[

During his planning Allenby insisted upon putting into practice many of the ideas that his staff officers had offered. Allenby rejected the normal week-long bombardment of the German trenches before making an assault, instead planning on a 48-hour bombardment before the assault went ahead.I

n addition, Allenby had made careful plans to control traffic in the rear to prevent traffic jams that would block his logistics, a second echelon behind the first echelon that would only be sent in to exploit successes.

Tunnels to bring up new divisions behind the German lines while avoiding German fire and finally new weapons like tanks and aircraft were to play prominent roles in the offensive .

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 1:52:20 PM
Haig was jealous of Allenby because, at the Staff College at Camberley - twenty years before the Battle of Arras - Allenby had been chosen by the students - over Haig - to be Master of the Drag Hunt.

This seemingly trivial episode meant a lot in the class conscious - indeed, caste riven - hierarchy of British army tradition at that time. It might have imparted a toxic element to the relationship between the two men, although both of them behaved correctly on the face of things.

Gary Sheffield, Haig's modern biographer, has this to say on page 221 of his book THE CHIEF :

Arras proved to be the end of Allenby's career on the Western Front. He was shunted off to the Middle East. This was not merely an act of malice by Haig against a rival. Allenby's credibility as a commander had been badly damaged. It is a rich irony that his removal to Palestine, which Allenby rightly saw as a demotion, gave him the opportunity to make his name. Palestine was very different from the cramped confines of the Arras sector. Using a judicious mixture of Western Front techniques and the methods of open warfare, Allenby pulled off a series of brilliant victories over the Turks, earning an enduring reputation as a master of mobile warfare. By sacking him, Haig had unwittingly done Allenby an enormous favour.

Allenby wasn't the only commander in that war who flourished after demotion.

Falkenhayn, after his dismissal from the summit of command in 1916, made a tremendous account of himself against the Romanians, and was also sent to Palestine.

Edit : The French had their equivalent : Franchet d'Esperey, removed from army command on the Western Front after the defeat on the Chemin des Dames in May 1918, he was sent to Salonika where he made short work of the Bulgarians.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/20/2018 2:10:14 PM
"Haig was jealous of Allenby because, at the Staff College at Camberley - twenty years before the Battle of Arras - Allenby had been chosen by the students - over Haig - to be Master of the Drag Hunt."

Ahw!!!-now there is the rub--in spades.

Sheffield is right about Arras being Allenby's downfall BUT omits to say WHY--clever omission.The plain truth is that Allenby wasa su[erior brain to Haig's slow wits IMHO .

NB. I cannot find when or where Allenby went wrong in the Arras Offensive--maybe the French had a hand in his undoing

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil Andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
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Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 7:10:35 AM
Jim,

Right now, without books to hand, I must rely on memory.

Allenby fell foul of his three divisional commanders at Arras, who took exception to his plan of attack in the subsequent phase of the battle. Apparently , they protested that this entailed assaults in excessively narrow sectors that exposed the troops to intense and deadly converging fire. It’s an extraordinary chapter in the army’s history, amounting to a conspiracy that implied something almost mutinous. This is all the more remarkable given the obvious qualities that Allenby possessed , and testified to the frightful nature of the Arras fighting that degenerated into a ghastly slogging match after the initial striking successes.

Something in Allenby’s nature or conduct undermined his relationships with these divisional commanders at this juncture, and this gave Haig the opportunity to indulge any personal animosity and remove his rival.

Allenby struggled with profound shyness, and over compensated by masquerading as “ The Bull”.

This sometimes resulted in explosive outbursts that alienated subordinate commanders.

A trembling violet within : a giant force of nature without.. when it worked, it was brilliant, when it went wrong, there was the Devil to pay .

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 9:17:03 AM
Crikey Phil !!!!--what a revelation ans a cracking piece of research carried out by you--many,many thanks for unravelling the seeming mystery. Your statement below says itall

"Something in Allenby’s nature or conduct undermined his relationships with these divisional commanders at this juncture, and this gave Haig the opportunity to indulge any personal animosity and remove his rival.

Allenby struggled with profound shyness, and over compensated by masquerading as “ The Bull”.

This sometimes resulted in explosive outbursts that alienated subordinate commanders.

A trembling violet within : a giant force of nature without.. when it worked, it was brilliant, when it went wrong, there was the Devil to pay"

Regards

Jim .
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 9:52:54 AM
It makes you think, doesn’t it Jim, when you reflect on the story of commanders going from zero to hero when they were moved to other fronts ?

What does that tell us about the nature and intensity of the warfare on the Western front 1914-18 ?

I’ve often wondered if the generals who were engaged in that fighting experienced one of the most - perhaps the most - testing ordeals in military history.

The equilibrium between the opponents was such as to make the struggle grotesquely difficult for either side to gain the advantage.

The concomitant scale of the casualties compounded the evil reputation that posterity has bestowed on the commanders.

No doubt they were out of their depth. But then, who would not have been ?

Arras, the battle that was to be Allenby’s Western front nemesis, is as good an exemplar as any of the nightmare that was the war in France and Flanders, 1914-18.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 10:38:38 AM
"Arras, the battle that was to be Allenby’s Western front nemesis, is as good an exemplar as any of the nightmare that was the war in France and Flanders, 1914-18."

Phil old buddy-you have just chosen our next thread using all we have learned up to now and including 5th Army and the Bloodtub ans the French---will pm you

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 11:26:26 AM
he British War Cabinet was divided in debate in May 1917 over the allocation of British resources between the Western Front and other fronts, with Allied victory over Germany far from certain. Curzon and Hankey recommended that Britain seize ground in the Middle East.

Lloyd George wanted more effort on other fronts, but also wanted a commander "of the dashing type" to replace Sir Archibald Murray in command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Smuts refused the command (late May) unless promised resources for a decisive victory. Lloyd George appointed Allenby to the role.


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 3192

Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/21/2018 12:53:22 PM

Quote:
"Arras, the battle that was to be Allenby’s Western front nemesis, is as good an exemplar as any of the nightmare that was the war in France and Flanders, 1914-18."

Phil old buddy-you have just chosen our next thread using all we have learned up to now and including 5th Army and the Bloodtub ans the French---will pm you

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

Attempts by me to respond to your PM failed five times, so if you get a flurry of the same messages storming the ramparts, please forgive !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Allenby--Haig's BeterNoir ??
Posted on: 2/22/2018 3:49:05 AM
Allenby assessed the Turkish Army's fighting force that he was facing to be 46,000 rifles and 2,800 sabres, and estimated that he could take Jerusalem with 7 infantry and 3 cavalry divisions. He did not feel that there was a sufficient military case to do so, and felt that he would need reinforcements to advance further.

Allenby understood the problems posed by logistics in the desert and spent much time working to ensure his soldiers would be well supplied at all times, especially with water.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

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