THE GENERAL

A second poem touching on world war one. This time about the callousness and ineptitude of the British High Command. At the current time the general usually on trial ,Haig, has gained some defence from various historians who say the accusations are unjustified. Yet he famously stated that machine guns were over-rated and could be taken with grit and determination. His plan on the Somme was to use a massive barrage which he said boasting, that the enemy couldn’t survive. They did because they used shrapnel shells ,because not enough high explosive shells were available. He accused the Pals of being second rate, lacking in moral fibre, cowards because they failed to take their objective . If this was true there wouldn’t have been such slaughter as everybody would have run for cover ! One more example is that parachutes were available to aviators in world war one. They were never issued because the generals feared it would “impair a pilots nerve” and that they would be jumping out of their biplanes at the first sight of the enemy.

Companion piece to ‘The Bradford Pals’.

THE GENERAL

The General,bloated with pompous pride,

looked down and bellowed loud and shrill,

that the ragged tortured men had not tried

so must again face Death on that bloody Hill.

To die for one’s Country is a noble Cause,

he announced to the poor rank and file.

Who stood in silence giving no applause,

trudging through mud for mile after mile.

If that is such is truly a desirable Deed,

they won’t be concerned how many they Kill.

And shouldn’t he be eager,in battle to lead,

from the front, up that bullet swept Hill?

No chance, he’d rather stay away from harm

and send off the others to meet their End,

telling the doomed lads to be brave and calm,

while counting the letters he now must send.

Awarded Medals for Battles he only watched,

safe from all harm, well behind our Line,

and that bloody Attack, he clearly botched,

while hatching his plans with too much Wine.

The Boys aren’t daft, they know what to expect,

that deadly vision of Hell no man should see.

So you treat them fair with honour and Respect

and from the front shout “men! follow me !”

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