Revisionism in WW1 military history: Is there a place for it?

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by gmiller, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. gmiller

    gmiller New Member

    Having read"Mud, Blood and Poppycock' by Gordon Corrigan, I am intrigued by
    the persistence of the "Revisionist" school of WW1 historians who arose following the excesses of the "Butchers and Bunglers" school (exemplified by Alan Clark and Denis Winter).

    There is obviously some validity in revisionist claims, Haig was certainly not a Butcher, (although, imho, he made many Bungles and was in many ways incompetent!). However on the Western Front there were very few Generals who fitted the phrase "Lions led by Donkeys" - although British generalship at Gallipoli was certainly deficient and the phrase appears to apply here.

    The Great War, from the British aspect, was certainly necessary and there are many myths perpetuated about Chateau Generals that have been disproved but still persist, but haven't the 'Revisionists", such as Terraine and perhaps Corrigan, gone too far in attempting to rehabilitate the military and political managers of the war - just as the "Butchers and Bunglers" school, aided enthusiastically by the media, have gone too far in denigrating them?

    Despite the "Revisionists" views, unnecessary mistakes WERE made, many soldiers WERE killed in unnecessary bloodbaths such as the Somme and Passchedaele and Allied battles were lost that should have been won, or, like Fromelles, never fought in the first place!

    Surely the truth lies between the two schools. Is there still a place for the "Revisionist School" of WW1 History?

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