CS Forester - famed for his Hornblower novels (as well as The African Queen) wrote a novel in 1936 called The General. T
he book is an exceptional work on the dynamics of the British officer corps during WW1 - told through the lead character General Sir Herbert Curzon. It was hailed at the time, and since, as the best depiction of the mindset of those who led Britain into the disaster of the First World War.
Curzon fights as a young officer in the Boer War and through toeing the line in the intervening years, is given a division to command in 1914. His limitations make him utterly unable to comprehend or respond to the realities of trench warfare. He is stubborn, unimaginative and conservative - all attributes which serve him well in the British army but prove disastrous for the men under his command.