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Liddell Hart

Liddell Hart

[lid-l hahrt]
Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Henry, 1895-1970, English author and military strategist, b. Paris. His education at Cambridge was interrupted by World War I, in which he served (1914-18) and was twice wounded. Retiring from the army as a captain in 1927, he was military correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph (1925-35) and the London Times (1935-39). He was an early advocate of mechanized warfare, and his thinking had a profound effect upon the German high command prior to World War II. He also evolved a number of infantry tactics and training methods that were adopted by the British army. From 1937 to 1938 he was personal adviser to the British war minister, Leslie Hore-Belisha, and suggested a program of reorganization and reform that was partly instituted. He was knighted in 1966. In later years, he developed a strategic theory known as "an indirect approach." Among his numerous books are Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American (1929), The Future of Infantry (1933), A History of the World War, 1914-1918 (1934), The German Generals Talk (1948), The Tanks (1959), Deterrent or Defence (1961), and A History of the Second World War (1970). He edited The Rommel Papers (1953).

See his memoirs (2 vol., 1965-66).

(born Oct. 31, 1895, Paris, France—died Jan. 29, 1970, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Eng.) British military historian and strategist. He left Cambridge University to join the British army at the outbreak of World War I and retired as a captain in 1927. He was an early advocate of air power and mechanized tank warfare. He wrote for London newspapers from 1925 to 1945. His writings on strategy, which emphasized the elements of mobility and surprise, were more influential in Germany than in France or England; his “expanding torrent” theory of attack became the basis for German blitzkrieg warfare in 1939–41. The author of more than 30 books, he was knighted in 1966.

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(born Oct. 31, 1895, Paris, France—died Jan. 29, 1970, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Eng.) British military historian and strategist. He left Cambridge University to join the British army at the outbreak of World War I and retired as a captain in 1927. He was an early advocate of air power and mechanized tank warfare. He wrote for London newspapers from 1925 to 1945. His writings on strategy, which emphasized the elements of mobility and surprise, were more influential in Germany than in France or England; his “expanding torrent” theory of attack became the basis for German blitzkrieg warfare in 1939–41. The author of more than 30 books, he was knighted in 1966.

Learn more about Liddell Hart, Sir Basil (Henry) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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