Friday, November 9, 2012

Basil Liddell Hart

Basil Liddell Hart, the son of the Reverend Henry Hart and Clara Liddell, was born on 31st October 1895. Educated at St. Paul's School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge he left on the outbreak of the First World War to join the British Army.
He became an officer in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. During the war he saw action at Ypres and the Somme. Wounded twice he was company commander by the end of the war.
After the war Liddell Hart wrote Infantry Training Manual (1920) before being invalided out of the British Army in 1924. He was military correspondent for the Daily Telegraph (1925-35), The Times (1935-39) and the Daily Mail (1939-45).
In his articles and books Liddell Hart became the world's leading exponent of using tanks as an independent striking force to make deep penetrations into enemy territory, cutting off enemy troops from their supplies and high command. Whereas German soldiers such as Erwin Rommel and Heinz Guderian read his books and developed what later became known as Blitzkreig. His ideas were largely ignored in Britain, although he did serve briefly as personal adviser to Leslie Hore-Belisha, the Secretary of State for War (1937-1940).
Liddell Hart was one of Britain's leading military historian. Books by him included The Real War, 1914-1918 (1930), Foch, The Man of Orleans (1931)and A History of the World War (1934).
After the Second World War interviewed several leading German generals including Guenther Blumentritt, Hasso Manteuffel, Wilhelm von Thoma, Kurt von Tippelskirch and Gotthard Heinrici. This provided material for his book, The Other Side of the Hill (1948). Basil Liddell Hart died in 1970.