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Herbert Plumer

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  • Herbert Plumer

    Was General Herbert Plumer the commander of the Second British Army, the best British General of the First World War on the Western Front, certainly many of those served under him did.

    His greatest success was in June 1917, when he planned the brillant British attack on the strong Germen postition on the ridge at Messines (to south of Ypres). He planning included the blasting of 19 huge mines and one strongest artillery attacks up to that date, with a gun for every seven yards of front. The night before the attack he said 'We may not make history but we will certainly change the geography'. In fact the attack (unlike so many in that year) was a complete success at the cost of just a fifth of the expected casualities, the British not only sweep the Germans off the ridge but caputed thousand of prisioners.

    A few months later after the Battle of Passchendale under the leadership of General Gough had resulted in the gaining of a few miles of foul smelling mud for a great deal of British blood, Plumer was called in to take charge and under his control the British managed some of their few real success at Menin Road ridge on September 20th, Polygon Wood on September 26th and the Australian attack at Broodeseinde on October 4th, again the success was due to a well designed artillery attacks.

    The Second Army under his chief of staff Charles Harrington was one of the few to be well organised, the result of good staff work at nearly all times. Later he was sent to Italy after their defeats in late 1917, where he led the British forces.
    War is less costly than servitude

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