Rob Thompson: Ambrosia and Ulcers: Douglas Haig and BEF Logistical Development during the Great War
Facing his first mid-life crisis Rob took a degree in Politics & Contemporary history graduating with a First. It was there that he blindly stumbled into the world of military history and the Great War which he ended up teaching at the Universities of Salford and Birmingham, later becoming an independent military historian. He now writes about the role of logistics and engineering in the development of the BEF’s operational method on the Western Front and is a member of the Anglo-French ‘GHQ Project’ Comité Scientifique as a historical advisor.
Rob’s talk will attempt to establish the primacy of logistics during the Great War and chart the BEF’s logistical development in order to analyse its effectiveness and assess its influence on BEF operational thought, practice and execution. It rejects the narrow terms imposed by the stale ‘Lions & Donkeys’ debate arguing instead that industrialisation radically changed the nature of warfare and the role of BEF Commander-in-Chief and that Haig’s command qualities can only be evaluated in this context