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Title: Lt Gen Sir Richard Haking, XI Corps Commander, 1915-1918 : a study in corps command
Author: Senior, Michael Edward
ISNI:       0000 0003 7364 3894
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2010
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The subject of this study is Lt Gen Sir Richard Haking who commanded the British XI Corps from 1915 to 1918. During that time Haking served mainly in France, but also in Italy (December 1917-March 1918). There has been no previous study of Haking. This research takes the form of a review and analysis of Haking's career as a Corps Commander, placing the activities of XI Corps in the context of events on the Western and Italian Fronts. It has three aims. First, it is intended to make a balanced assessment of Haking as a Corps Commander in the light of an established popular reputation, which places him firmly in the 'donkey' category of First World War generals. The second aim is to examine how Haking earned out his role as a Corps Commander, and the third aim is to relate the experiences of Haking and XI Corps to a number of important topics connected with the conduct of the war: trench warfare on the Western Front, with particular reference to the much-criticised attack at Fromelles in July 1916; the British involvement in Italy; the relationship with the Portuguese Expeditionary Force in France; and the British victories in 1918. Reference is made to several key operating issues such as command and control on the Western Front; the 'learning curve' in the BEF; the doctrine of the offensive: and the British policy on defence in depth. Each of these issues is discussed taking account of Haking's experiences as XI Corps Commander. The study concludes, contrary to the general view, that, overall, Haking made a positive contribution to the conduct of the war, and that his dismal reputation is largely unjustified.
Supervisor: Beckett, Ian F. W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: D History General and Old World