Siegfried Sassoon: The General

“Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
“He’s a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
But he did for them both by his plan of attack.
***

Anthony Richards: “Sardonic humour: ‘The General’ by Siegfried Sassoon” (Telegraph)

An archetype for affably incompetent military leadership, the subject of Siegfried Sassoon’s “The General” echoes popular consensus of First World War failures.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/inside-first-world-war/part-nine/10803454/siegfried-sassoon-the-general.html

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