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Going Over The Top: Lions Led by Donkeys

David Flin

An evil Socialist, apparently.
An excellent appraisal - thank you...
Not a problem. As you can probably tell, the Lions led by Donkeys trope is one that is, at best, simplistic. There were blunders and idiots among the higher ranks, no question. However, the Blackadder-esque portrayal is generally wide of the mark. As a general rule, something new would be tried; when it didn't work, something different was tried. Given the influx of new technology - tanks and flamethrowers and planes and gas and concentrated machine-guns and submarines and the rest - it's not a great surprise that trying to come up with the best solution wasn't easy.

In a later article, I take a look at one individual who, more than anyone else, was responsible for the carnage in the British Army on the first day of the Somme, and who deserves to go down as the most culpable butcher of the War.

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Good stuff.

Though as long as "Lions led by Donkeys" makes for a good narrative, historians will probably be doing articles and books like these until the sun goes out!

David Flin

An evil Socialist, apparently.
One gets the impression reading this that you aren't Lloyd George's biggest fan...
What gave me away?

He's not top of my "Not The Biggest Fan" list, by a long way, but his history and memoirs of WWI have a very Churchillian feel to them, in that they are self-serving rather than strictly accurate.