1916-1925: America– War and Peace

Author: Douglas Haig  | Date: 1918

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Britain’s Back to the Wall

THREE weeks ago to the enemy began his terrific attacks against us on a fifty-mile front. His objects are to separate us from the French, to take the Channel ports, and to destroy the British army.

In spite of throwing already 106 divisions into the battle, and enduring the most reckless sacrifice of human life, he has yet made little progress toward his goals.

We owe this to the determined fighting and self-sacrifice of our troops. Words fail me to express the admiration which I feel for the splendid resistance offered by all ranks of our army under the most trying circumstances.

Many among us now are tired. To those I will say that victory will belong to the side which holds out the longest. The French army is moving rapidly and in great force to our support. There is no other course open to us but to fight it out.

Every position must be held to the last man. There must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us might fight to the end. The safety of our homes and the freedom of mankind depend alike upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment.


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Chicago: Douglas Haig, "Britain’s Back to the Wall," 1916-1925: America– War and Peace in America, Vol.12, Pp.76-77 Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=IQQHHD9BB5B4NH1.

MLA: Haig, Douglas. "Britain’s Back to the Wall." 1916-1925: America– War and Peace, in America, Vol.12, Pp.76-77, Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=IQQHHD9BB5B4NH1.

Harvard: Haig, D, 'Britain’s Back to the Wall' in 1916-1925: America– War and Peace. cited in , America, Vol.12, Pp.76-77. Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=IQQHHD9BB5B4NH1.