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Douglas Haig QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A bombing attack was launched by the Germans in the early morning, and they succeeded in capturing our trenches.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
A further cause adversely influencing the duration of the war on the Western Front during its later stages, and one following indirectly from that just stated, was the situation in other theatres.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
After a period of further bombardment on both sides, the German fire again increased in intensity against our trenches and the French line beyond them.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
After several days' heavy shelling over the whole of our line in this area, the first attack took place on 12th February at the extreme left of our line to the north of Ypres.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Battle having been joined, there follows the period of real struggle in which the main forces of the two belligerent armies are pitted against each other in close and costly combat.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
By their means our soldiers established over the German soldier a moral superiority which they held in an ever-increasing degree until the end of the war, even in the difficult days of March and April 1918.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
During the battles of 1917, ammunition was plentiful, but the gun situation was a source of constant anxiety.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
During the second half of the war, and that part embracing the critical and costly period of the wearing-out battle, the losses previously suffered by our Allies laid upon the British Armies in France an increasing share in the burden of attack.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Each commander seeks to wear down the power of resistance of his opponent and to pin him to his position and, when signs of the enemy becoming morally and physically weakened are observed, deliver the decisive attack.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Further, a defensive policy involves the loss of the initiative, with all the consequent disadvantages to the defender.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
If the causes which determined the length of the recent contest are examined in the light of the accepted principles of war, it will be seen that the duration of the struggle was governed by and bore a direct relation to certain definite factors which are enumerated below.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
If the opposing forces are approximately equal in numbers, in courage, in moral and in equipment, there is no way of avoiding payment of the price or of eliminating this phase of the struggle.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
If the views set out by me in the preceding paragraphs are accepted, it will be recognised that the war did not follow any unprecedented course, and that its end was neither sudden nor should it have been expected.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
If the whole operations of the present war are regarded in correct perspective, the victories of the summer and autumn of 1918 will be seen to be directly dependant upon the two years of stubborn fighting that preceded them.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
In 1866 and 1870, Austria and then France were overwhelmed at the outset by means of superior preparation.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
In every stage of the wearing-out struggle losses will necessarily be heavy on both sides, for in it the price of victory is paid.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
In former battles this stage of the conflict has rarely lasted more than a few days, and has often been completed in a few hours.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
In this case the high-water mark of our fighting strength in infantry was only reached after two and a half years of conflict, by which time heavy casualties had already been incurred.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
In this my final Despatch, I think it desirable to comment briefly upon certain general features which concern the whole series of operations carried out under my command.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
It is estimated, however, that the number of casualties inflicted on the enemy by British troops during the above period exceeds two and a half millions.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
It is interesting to note that in previous campaigns the side which has been fully prepared for war has almost invariably gained a rapid and complete success over its less well prepared opponent.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
It will include violent crises of fighting which, when viewed separately and apart from the general perspective, will appear individually as great indecisive battles.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Just as at no time were we as an Empire able to put our full strength into the field, so at no time were the Allies as a whole able completely to develop and obtain the full effect from their greatly superior man-power.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Neither the course of the war itself nor the military lessons to be drawn therefrom can properly be comprehended.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Not being influenced himself by the threat of attack from his opponent, he can afford to take risks, and by greatly weakening his front in some places can concentrate an overwhelming force elsewhere with which to attack.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Obviously, the greater the length of a war the higher is likely to be the number of casualties in it on either side.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Once the mass of the defending infantry become possessed of low moral, the battle is as good as lost.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Only in 1918 was it possible to conduct artillery operations independently of any limiting considerations other than that of transport.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Our armies were unable to intervene, either at the outset of the war or until nearly two years had elapsed, in sufficient strength adequately to assist our Allies.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Our counter-attack, however, which was immediately organised, enabled us to clear our trenches of the enemy, and to pursue him to his own.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Our existence as Empire and civilisation itself, as it is understood by free Western nations, were at stake. Men fought as they have never fought before in masses.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Smaller attempts against other trenches in the neighbourhood were made at the same time, but were immediately repulsed by rifle and machine-gun fire.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
So long as the opposing forces are at the outset approximately equal in numbers and moral and there are no flanks to turn, a long struggle for supremacy is inevitable.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The Allies were handicapped in their task and the war thereby lengthened by the inherent difficulties always associated with the combined action of armies of separate nationalities.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The breaking down of such a supreme effort will be the signal for the commander of the successful side to develop his greatest strength.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The commander of the weaker side must choose whether he will break off the engagement, if he can, while there is yet time, or stake on a supreme effort what reserves remain to him.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The enemy had pushed out several saps in front of his trenches, and connected them up into a firing line some 150 yards from our lines.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The enemy is able to choose at his own convenience the time and place of his attacks.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The excessive burden thrown upon the gallant Army of France during this period caused them losses the effect of which has been felt all through the war and directly influenced its length.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The German plan of campaign in the present war was undoubtedly based on similar principles.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The great strength of modern field defences and the power and precision of modern weapons, the multiplication of machine guns, trench mortars, and artillery of all natures.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The greatest possible pressure against the enemy's whole front must be maintained, especially when the crisis of the battle approaches.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The idea that a war can be won by standing on the defensive and waiting for the enemy to attack is a dangerous fallacy, which owes its inception to the desire to evade the price of victory.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The initial advantage derived therefrom were followed up by such vigorous and ruthless action, regardless of loss, that there was no time to recover from the first stunning blows.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The launching and destruction of Napoleon's last reserves at Waterloo was a matter of minutes.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The military strength of Russia broke down in 1917 at a critical period when, had she been able to carry her military engagements, the war might have been shortened by a year.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The moral effects of those battles were enormous, both in the German Army and in Germany.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The necessary machinery had to be improvised hurriedly, and improvisation is never economical and seldom satisfactory.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The only alternative was to do nothing and see our French Allies overwhelmed by the enemy's superior numbers.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The rapid collapse of Germany's military powers in the latter half of 1918 was the logical outcome of the fighting of the previous two years.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The resistance of the German Armies was undoubtedly prolonged in this fashion, but in the end the persistence of our troops had its natural effect.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
The same causes which served to protract the recent struggle are largely responsible for the extent of our casualties.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Then every man, horse and gun is required to co-operate, so as to complete the enemy's overthrow and exploit success.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
These efforts were wasteful of men, but in the circumstances they could not be avoided.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Throughout the operations our position in this part of the line remained intact, except that two isolated trenches of no tactical importance were captured by the enemy a day or two later; they were subsequently obliterated by our artillery fire.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
Throughout the Somme battle the expenditure of artillery ammunition had to be watched with the greatest care.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
To direct attention to any single phase of that struggle and seek in it the explanation of our success, to the exclusion or neglect of other phases is in my opinion to risk the formation of unsound doctrines regarding the character of modern war.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
To this stage belong the great engagements of 1916 and 1917 which wore down the strength of the German Armies.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
We must seek to turn to immediate account the loss in material and moral which their failure must inevitably produce among his opponent's troops.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
We were deficient in both trained men and military material, and, what was more important, had no machinery ready by which either men or material could be produced in anything approaching the requisite quantities.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
We were unprepared for war, or at any rate for a war of such magnitude.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
What might have been the effect of British intervention on a larger scale in the earlier stages of the war is shown by what was actually achieved by our original Expeditionary Force.
Quotation of Douglas Haig
When armies of millions are engaged, with the resources of great Empires behind them, it will inevitably be long.
Quotation of Douglas Haig