Alan Clark - liar exposed

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cuddles, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. Cuddles
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    Cuddles LE

    Now those of you who frequent the WW1 threads on here will know exactly where I stand on Alan Clark the "military historian". His lions led by donkeys rubbish has scarred the teaching and in many cases the interpretation of the Great War for generations. He isn't even a particularly illuminating or accurate historian. The supposed donkeys quote from Falkenheyn turned out to have been unattributed and probably even made up by Clark himself. Oxford's professor of military history Michael Howard wrote "As history it is worthless" and criticised Clark for "slovenly scholarship". He essentially decided what sort of a chap he thought Haig was and then shifted facts and inferences to prove his point.

    His personal character was also riddled with an arrogance and he possessed a personal moral code that defies even the use of "amoral". He did however appear to have the saving grace of having served in the Household Cavalry. It now appears, from papers produced by his widow, that in fact he managed to avoid service by some clever shenanigans involving signing on to the Reserve whilst at Eton and doing some buckshi training.

    I cannot begin to describe the satisfaction that the removal of even this level of qualification from Clark's persona gives me. Petty I know but nevertheless satisfying. The cnut.
     
  2. tropper66
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    tropper66

    All this is ancient history, he did about six months in the TA and his book "Lions led by donkeys" has been rubbished by just about every military historian of note since it was first published in the 60s, he is right up there with Charles Whiting for writing complete crap
     
  3. Chef
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    Chef LE

    I wish I had the foresight to have kept it but years ago I read an article that ascribed it to a German officer, whilst watching British prisoners being led to the rear.

    The book 'Mud,blood, and poppycock' debunks a lot of commonly held, beliefs, such as all the staff were cav types.

    I personally think that no other conflict had as manyinnovations as WW1
    Gas.
    Aircraft.
    Submarine warfare.
    Armour.
    The beginnings of Radio, strategic bombing, the use of science.

    Overall I think that the conservative armed services did well to adapt as quickly as they did.
     
  4. DrStealth
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    DrStealth LE

    I'm damn sure you are Gordon Corrigan............................wheres my £10? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. rickshaw-major
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    rickshaw-major LE

    Cuddles I think you are being very generous to Clark. He was if anything an upper class spiv (if such a thing is possible). Personally I would like to had booted him where it really hurts and then cut them off with blunt and rusty scissors.
     
  6. scoobydont
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    scoobydont LE

    Walt hunting has now reached the ARRSE history forum.

    More shock horror General Gordon ran an education and training program for young boys, the cadet force walt peado.
     
  7. OldSnowy
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    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    and Baden-Powell wrote "Scouting for Boys" - you can't get odder than that! Get the B-Type Vintage Outrage bus cranked over at once.....
     
  8. llech
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    llech LE

    His 'Chatty Man show' is appaling! :)
     
  9. How very dare you. "Wheels of Terror" (Leo Kessler) was one of the only real, true, proper historical tomes to come out of WW2.
     
  10. nodandawink
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    nodandawink Old-Salt

     
  11. tropper66
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    tropper66

    Which was ghost written by Sven Hassel FFs you can't even get your crap writers right, get it.
     
  12. TamH70
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    TamH70 War Hero

    Wheels of Terror is actually a very good warry book. Not as good as the infinitely superior SS General by the same author, but a passable afternoons read nonetheless.

    The film was parp, however.

    Tam
     
  13. Cpl_Clot
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    Cpl_Clot War Hero

    I have to agree with your assessment of Clark.

    "Lions" was in essence written purely for financial gain. It therefore had to be contentious and there's evidence that Clark was well aware of the inaccuracies, especially his very selective quotations of Haig designed to undermine the man.

    While Clark deserves vilification for "Lions", as much ordure should be heaped upon those too timid, or too lazy to challenge him and special condemnation should be reserved for those who allowed his notions to twist the reality in the minds of the generations for whom The Great War is still nothing more than a "futile loss of a generation."
     
  14. Cuddles
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    Cuddles LE

    Yes that "what would the world have been like if only the fallen of 1916 had fulfilled their potential" school of historians and commentators make me heartily sick. I suspect that generation was no better, in the run of the mill, every day context than its predecessors or indeed its successors. We are indeed perhaps lucky that we do not live in a world created and overseen by a bunch of poets!

    Before you hand crank the outrage bus into life, I would stress that this is meant ironically. Moreover I have every ounce of respect for those who fought and died or survived on the Western Front, in Italy, Salonika, Gallipolli, Mespot' or indeed Africa. Any other theatres not specifically mentioned, please take them as read!
     
  15. AlienFTM
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    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Funny you should say that. There is a steep hill up from the beach at New Quay in Cardigan, so while there for the last two weeks, Wor Lass and I made a point of calling in at an interesting pub at the top for a swift half. Then we discovered they had a room full of cheap second hand books, including SS General which I read in very short order.