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Field Marshal Sir Henry WilsonA Political Soldier$
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Keith Jeffery

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239672.001.0001

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With the BEF

With the BEF

(p.131) 8 With the BEF
Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson


Oxford University Press

Brian Bond has argued that perhaps Henry Wilson's greatest achievement as director of military operations of Ireland was in the innumerable practical arrangements — such as the provision of horses and transport — which made the mobilisation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) an outstanding success, when four years earlier it would certainly have been a shambles. Contemporary accounts confirm the efficiency of the operation. The period between the decision having been made to send the BEF in World War I and its actual despatch was one of considerable strain for Wilson. Wilson's advice reinforced the position of the BEF alongside their French allies in the war with Germany. The circumstances surrounding the changes in the British high command of December 1915 help illuminate the climate of gossip and intrigue, real and imagined, which permeated the higher levels of the British officer corps, as no doubt elsewhere in the army.

Keywords:   Brian Bond, British Expeditionary Force, World War I, France, Germany, Ireland, army

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