Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by oldbaldy, May 10, 2007.
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From The Scotsman:
Sassoon - anti war but a bally hero all the same. I bet his MC goes for much more than 25 grand
A man much misunderstood, since his re-discovery in the anti-'Nam 60s.
He knew we had to defeat the Hun - everybody did. He believed we could do it. He began his protest poetry in 1917, when the whole of the BEF was chronically fatigued - he perhaps more than most, given the way he earned his nickname - and frustrated at the lack of progress on the Western Front, but determined to see it through (if you read enough first hand accounts, you will detect all these sentiments very clearly).
He chose - as an impetuous and articulate young man - to accuse the Generals of being "incompetent swine". I'm not sure how much attention he received then, in comparison to in the latter half of the 20thC.
The 100,000 who turned out to see off Earl Haig in 1927 suggest that many of his contemporaries held a quite different view.
Sadly, only 'the Sassoon protest poetry perspective' is allowed to pervade the school sylabus, and the almighty achievements of Haig's Army between march 1918 and the Armistice are more or less forgotten.
Indeed Stonker, indeed. Richard Holmes of blessed regard has stated that the "butchery" of the Somme Battles was a critical factor in the Allies eventual victory in 1918. Sassoon recovered some of his military ardour after his PTSD-induced "wobble" but obviously had learned from his experience that there were old subbies and bold subbies in an inf bn - but no old bold subbies.
As to the "many others" assuming Sassoon had flung his medal into the MC, he states quite clearly in every recounting of the incident that it was the ribbon only. (see p.230-231 Memoirs of an Infantry Officer for example)
Shame the chap didn't donate everything to the IWM rather than just the revolver. Let's hope they can buy it.
'Tis the same phenomenon as the 'forgotten vicotry' of 1918, but written in smaller font.
Why bother with the evidence, when there's a perfectly inaccurate myth to cling on to.
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