Similar to the interesting thread elsewhere on Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery, I wonder if we could reappraise General Haig from the Great War?
Specifically - although not limited to - his willingness to learn from mistakes and bring in fresh talent to his circle. I have heard a criticism from a friend that Haig was shy and isolated, rarely visited the front, and so was slow to accept new ideas.
In a broader sense this touches on the question of how important and to what degree does being ‘present’ on the front line during and between battles matters for the qualities of a leader…I’m sure it can be a huge boon to troop morale, but in WW1 where communications were struggling to keep up with the mass armies newly deployed, how much of Haig’s distance was necessity rather than a flaw?
And was Haig content to surround himself with familiar old faces, or did he encourage voices that had experience of the front no better or worse than contemporary commanders?