1918; British Officer Shunned by French Colleagues.

Dec 2011
286
I seem to recall reading that during the German offensive of March 1918, the British retreat led to many Frenchmen suspecting that Britain was about to abandon them.
Most particularly,

I'm sure I read somewhere that a young British liaison officer, at this time, found himself shunned by his French colleagues, and was rather upset about it. Does anyone recall reading this, and if so where? I haven't been able to find it again. Has anyone esle seen it? I'd appreciate knowing in which book it appears.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,521
Kansas
I seem to recall reading that during the German offensive of March 1918, the British retreat led to many Frenchmen suspecting that Britain was about to abandon them.
Most particularly,

I'm sure I read somewhere that a young British liaison officer, at this time, found himself shunned by his French colleagues, and was rather upset about it. Does anyone recall reading this, and if so where? I haven't been able to find it again. Has anyone esle seen it? I'd appreciate knowing in which book it appears.
I had not heard this story, but knowing the great love and respect the French and English show for each other it would not surprise me ;)
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,158
Could be Robert Graves, the author, perhaps? He would much rather have been fighting the French than the Germans.
 
Dec 2011
286
Could have been Graves, but I've dipped into my copy of Goodbye To All That and can't find any mention of the incident - or indeed much about the 1918 campaigns at all. So it seems doubtful.
 
Nov 2010
1,340
Bordeaux
Seeing soldiers disgruntled at the sight of a retreating ally is something neither new nor surprising.
It must have happened hundreds of times over the course of the war, from all sides.
But why is this important ?
 
Dec 2011
286
Partly in that it suggests that a lot of the French were rather anticipating defeat and looking for a scapegoat - preferably "Perfide Albion". But mostly it just niggles me that I can't find where I read it.

Incidentally, AF Pollard in A Short History of the Great War (writing in 1919) mentions British officers getting hissed in the streets of Paris at this time, so evidently this attitude wasn't confined to soldiers.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,158
Lots of French were worried the Brits would simply give up rather.

I mean, clearly Haig threw a wobbler when the size of the German push became apparent, and requested from Pétain that the French must instantly detach a largeish force and rush it over to plug the British line. To which Pétain concluded that, that might do more harm than good, and besides in Pétain's estimation, the British should be able to hold – which they did.

The conclusion to all of which, by Haig, being that Pétain "panicked". And that's kind of typical for these WWI themes: Someone British goes to pieces, and then concludes the French are panicking...

So, yes, why is this supposed to be important again?
 
Nov 2010
1,340
Bordeaux
Lots of French were worried the Brits would simply give up rather.

I mean, clearly Haig threw a wobbler when the size of the German push became apparent, and requested from Pétain that the French must instantly detach a largeish force and rush it over to plug the British line. To which Pétain concluded that, that might do more harm than good, and besides in Pétain's estimation, the British should be able to hold – which they did.

The conclusion to all of which, by Haig, being that Pétain "panicked". And that's kind of typical for these WWI themes: Someone British goes to pieces, and then concludes the French are panicking...

So, yes, why is this supposed to be important again?
Maybe to prove and illustrate the fact that the French were not nice to their British ally?
 
Dec 2011
286
Lots of French were worried the Brits would simply give up rather.

I mean, clearly Haig threw a wobbler when the size of the German push became apparent, and requested from Pétain that the French must instantly detach a largeish force and rush it over to plug the British line. To which Pétain concluded that, that might do more harm than good, and besides in Pétain's estimation, the British should be able to hold – which they did.

The conclusion to all of which, by Haig, being that Pétain "panicked". And that's kind of typical for these WWI themes: Someone British goes to pieces, and then concludes the French are panicking...

So, yes, why is this supposed to be important again?
Offhand I don't recall ever saying it was all that important. I was mainly just irked at not being able to remember where I read it.