Saturday, January 7, 2012

Who is this man and why does he keep coming to my house?


I know very well who he is. Don’t you? If your memory has failed you, he is Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, Director of Military Operations through very crucial years in British history, namely those leading up to World War One (1910-1914). He also happens to be the topic of T’s strategic research paper, the culminating research project at the Army War College. As such, he comes home every Friday with literally armloads of books on Wilson. Wilson’s diaries. Wilson’s records and official writings, Wilson biographies, history books where Wilson figures prominently, etc.

Dinner conversation invariably wind their way to Wilson. Evening phone calls are Wilson first, the day’s events second. Interestingly, I found some xeroxed book excerpts on Wilson AND a second copy of a Wilson biography next to my laptop one weekend morning. Wah? Am I to read about Wilson too? I won’t steal T’s thunder and give away the story about who he was, what he did and what all the controversy is about. I am sure he will get on here at some point and fill you in. However, if you have read Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August (and you should), you know well enough. If you have read anything else about the start of WWI and the British entry to the war, you know even more. Me, I fear by the end of the month (when the paper is due) I will know more than I ever thought possible. Granted, the man is fascinating, but did I really agree to a houseguest for the holidays who has been dead for 90 years?

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