Early careers of WW1 Generals and Admirals?

Sep 2015
75
South
Everyone here will probably know about Churchills early pre-WW1 exploits, Omdurman, South Africa, etc, which allows us to consider there impact upon his later conduct and actions during WW1. Which other Generals, Admirals and politicians have interesting stories and experiences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? How did wars, battles and engagements in colonial conflicts shape and influence people who feature predominantly in WW1?

Also, so we cast the net a little further, i'd like to include those who fought in the Russian Civil War and all the post WW1 conflicts and wars of independence.

Cheers.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,099
Dispargum
Horace Smith-Dorian, who commanded 2nd Corps, BEF, at the begining of WW1 survived the disaster at Isandhlwana in S. Africa 1879.

Herbert Kitchener, Secretary of War 1914-16, commanded the Anglo-Egyptian Army in the Sudan (Omdurman) 1898 and later commanded British forces in the Boer War.

John French, commander of the BEF in 1914-15, was in the Gordon Relief Expedition of 1884 (Sudan) and commanded Kitchener's cavalry in the Boer War.

Douglas Haig, commander of 1st Corps, BEF in 1914 and later succeeded French in command of BEF, was also on Kitchener's staff during the Omdurman Campaign, and he was on French's staff during the Boer War.

Ian Hamilton, the British commander at Gallipoli, was Kitchener's chief of staff during the Boer War.

David Beatty, who commanded the British Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland and later commanded the Home Fleet, commanded a river gunboat in the Sudan in 1898. He later helped put down the Boxer Rebellion.


As for how colonial wars influenced their WW1 careers I would say that fighting only small colonial wars left them completely unprepared for fighting a big war like WW1.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,158
Iowa USA
Mustafa Kemal?

I am not certain but he may have been involved in the Turkish re-conquest Edirne during the Second Balkan War.

EDIT: "conquest" may be too dramatic a word for the Turkish incursion of 1913, wikipedia account follows,

"On 12 July, Ottoman troops garrisoning Çatalca and Gelibolu advanced across the Enos–Midia line.[7] The entire Ottoman invasion force contained between 200,000 and 250,000 men under the command of Ahmed Izzet Pasha. The 1st Army was stationed at the eastern (Midia) end of the line. From east to west it was followed by the 2nd Army, 3rd Army and 4th Army, which was stationed at Gelibolu.[7]

In the face of the advancing Ottomans, the greatly outnumbered Bulgarian forces retreated to the pre-war border. Edirne was abandoned on 19 July, but when the Ottomans did not occupy it immediately the Bulgarians re-occupied it the next day (20 July). Since it was apparent that the Ottomans were not stopping, it was abandoned a second time on 21 July and occupied by the Ottomans on 23 July.[7] Edirne had been conquered by Sultan Murad I in the 1360s and had served as the first European capital of the Empire before the capture of Constantinople in 1453. Minister of War Enver Pasha, in a typical display of vanity, called himself the “Second Conqueror of Edirne”, although the conquering forces had met no resistance on the way to Edirne.[7]

The Ottoman armies did not stop at the old border, but crossed into Bulgarian territory. A cavalry unit advanced on Yambol.[7] The Ottoman, more than the Romanian, invasion incited panic among the peasantry, many of whom fled to the mountains. Among the leadership it was recognized as a complete reversal of fortune. In the words of historian Richard Hall, "[t]he battlefields of eastern Thrace, where so many Bulgarian soldiers had died to win the First Balkan War, were again under Ottoman control."[7] "

Ref above [7] is Hall, Richard C. (2000). The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22946-4.
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
7,045
Spain
Churchill begun in Cuba, not in Soudan.
Mustafa Kemal fought in the Turkish-italian war in Libia before figthing in Balkan wars.
Franz Joseph fought in 1848 in Italy. Gallieni in 1870 (He was a POW in Bazeilles) and von Lettow in Boxer war (and he was wounded in Herero rebellion). And Hindenburg fought Austrians!! in Sadowa (Königgrätz) in 1866.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
John A. LeJeune, commander of the Marine Brigade in World War One, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and the Battle of Vera Cruz.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
most top politicians in WWI and WWII had military experience. In that era, it was kind of expected, since they had shown bravery, courage and intelligence under stress, and those societies glorified war at lot more than we do.
 

Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,030
Late Cretaceous
David Beatty, who commanded the British Battlecruiser Squadron at the Battle of Jutland and later commanded the Home Fleet, commanded a river gunboat in the Sudan in 1898. He later helped put down the Boxer Rebellion.

John Jellicoe was also involved in the Boxer Rebellion and was seriously wounded with a bullet shot to the lung.

A few years earlier, Jellicoe was sick with fever on board HMS Victoria when she was rammed and sunk by HMS Camperdown.
Immersion in the water did cure Jellicoe's fever.

 
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pugsville

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
10,100
most top politicians in WWI and WWII had military experience. In that era, it was kind of expected, since they had shown bravery, courage and intelligence under stress, and those societies glorified war at lot more than we do.
not in Britain. other places had conscription.

British Cabinet around start ww1, almost none of them had military service. Most went straight from university to the bar, or were just landed gentry.

the following includes doubles as I just worked off a list cabin ministers.(so when the had more than one office)

First Lord of the Treasury
H. H. Asquith May 1908 – May 1915 - NO

Lord Chancellor
The Lord Loreburn[10] April 1908 – June 1912- NO
The Viscount Haldane June 1912 – May 1915 - NO

Lord President of the Council
The Lord Tweedmouth April–September 1908 - NO
The Viscount Wolverhampton September 1908 – June 1910 - NO
The Earl Beauchamp June–November 1910 - NO
The Viscount Morley of Blackburn November 1910 – August 1914 - NO
The Earl Beauchamp August 1914 – May 1915 -NO

Lord Privy Seal
The Marquess of Ripon May–October 1908 -NO
The Earl of Crewe[11] October 1908 – October 1911 -NO
The Earl Carrington October 1911 – February 1912 - NO
The Marquess of Crewe February 1912 – May 1915 - NO

Chancellor of the Exchequer
David Lloyd George May 1908 – May 1915 - NO

Home Secretary
Herbert Gladstone May 1908 – February 1910 -NO
Winston Churchill February 1910 – October 1911 - YES
Reginald McKenna October 1911 – May 1915 -NO

Foreign Secretary
Sir Edward Grey, Bt May 1908 – May 1915 -NO

Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Earl of Crewe May 1908 – November 1910 -NO
Lewis Harcourt November 1910 – May 1915 - NO

Secretary of State for War
Richard Haldane[12] May 1908 – June 1912 -NO
John Seely June 1912 – March 1914-NO
H. H. Asquith March–August 1914 - NO
The Earl Kitchener August 1914 – May 1915 - YES


Secretary of State for India
The Viscount Morley of Blackburn May 1908 – November 1910 -NO
The Earl of Crewe November 1910 – May 1915 -NO

First Lord of the Admiralty
Reginald McKenna May 1908 – October 1911 - NO
Winston Churchill October 1911 – May 1915 - YES

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Viscount Wolverhampton May–September 1908 NO
The Lord FitzMaurice September 1908 – June 1909 NO
Herbert Samuel June 1909 – May 1910 NO
Joseph Pease May 1910 – October 1911 NO
Charles Hobhouse October 1911 – February 1914 YES
Charles Masterman February 1914 – January 1915 NO
Edwin Samuel Montagu January–May 1915 NO

President of the Board of Trade
Winston Churchill May 1908 – February 1910 YES
Sydney Buxton February 1910 – February 1914 - NO
John Burns February–August 1914 -NO
Walter Runciman August 1914 – May 1915 - NO

Secretary for Scotland
John Sinclair[13] May 1908 – February 1912*-YES
Thomas McKinnon Wood February 1912 – May 1915*-NO

Chief Secretary for Ireland
Augustine Birrell May 1908 – May 1915 -NO

President of the Local Government Board
John Burns May 1908 – February 1914 -NO
Herbert Samuel February 1914 – May 1915`- NO


President of the Board of Agriculture
The Earl Carrington May 1908 – October 1911- NO
Walter Runciman October 1911 – August 1914 - NO
The Lord Lucas August 1914 – May 1915 - YES

President of the Board of Education
Walter Runciman May 1908 – October 1911 - NO
Joseph Pease October 1911 – May 1915 - NO

Postmaster General
Sydney Buxton May 1908 – February 1910 -NO
Herbert Samuel February 1910 – February 1914 - NO
Charles Hobhouse February 1914 – May 1915 -NO

First Commissioner of Works
Lewis Harcourt May 1908 – November 1910 _NO
The Earl Beauchamp November 1910 – August 1914 -NO
The Lord Emmott August 1914 – May 1915 -NO

Attorney General
Sir Rufus Isaacs[14] June 1912 – October 1913 - NO
Sir John Simon -NO
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
not conscription, but then their morals were different to ours, and military service was seen as a boon for public service. So most of them naturally had military experience.
 

pugsville

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
10,100
not conscription, but then their morals were different to ours, and military service was seen as a boon for public service. So most of them naturally had military experience.
But in the absence of vast conscription of most military age males , which is only really Britain pre ww1 ,military service was generally avoided bytes political class.

have you got any data at all to support your assertion? I have shown for it be be clearly not supported by the facts.