The Military Papers and Correspondence of Major General Guy Dawnay, 1915-1919

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Major General Guy Dawnay (1878–1952) was a man of complexity and contradiction. Though passionate about the profession of arms, he set aside a promising military career to pursue business ambitions. Rejoining the British Army on the outbreak of war, he served in several staff appointments across four different military theatres. In 1915, he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force’s headquarters, planning the April landings and the ill-fated August offensive. Following the evacuation of Gallipoli, he served on the staff in Egypt and Palestine as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. It was here that he masterminded the plan for the Third Battle of Gaza. In early 1918, he was appointed to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s staff where he oversaw important changes to training and doctrine on the Western Front. Based on the Dawnay papers at the Imperial War Museum and material in private hands, this volume offers important insights on contrasting theatres of war, the challenges of planning operations, and Dawnay’s relationships with key politicians and commanders. The volume reveals a passionate, introspective officer who, according to T.E. Lawrence, was ‘the least professional of soldiers, a banker who read Greek history, a strategist unashamed, and a burning poet with strength over daily things’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWoodbridge
PublisherBoydell & Brewer
Number of pages444
ISBN (Print)9781838387723
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


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