Allan Mallinson

British troops moving up to the attack during the Battle of Morval, 25 September 1916

Since the early 1960s, historians have shone a more positive light on the Battle of the Somme, writes Allan Mallinson. But we must not forget the excesses and failures of that terrible campaign.  

Neglected by politicians, today’s British army bears an alarming resemblance to the force of 1914.

As Home Secretary in 1911 Winston Churchill intervened in a debate about Britain’s role in a future European conflict. His observations were remarkably prescient and, had they been implemented, might have shortened the First World War, says Allan Mallinson.

Throughout its 350-year history the British army has been vulnerable to economic pressures and political interference. Its strength lies in the loyalty of its soldiers to their regiment or corps, argues Allan Mallinson.

Allan Mallinson tells how the cavalry in the British Army recovered from a Boer War shambles to become the best in Europe by the outbreak of the First World War.