21st Division 1914-18...a divisional history

Thruster Policy

Thrusters, mainly the likes of Haig, Haking and Gough at the forefront, were Generals who believed in the concept of attacking and pushing on, capturing as much ground and enemy troops as possible. It is often linked to the use, or want of use , of the cavalry arm. This is not necessarily the truth though. Thrusters were not necessarily cavalry minded men but those that would press home an attack and seize an objective with thrusting persistence. They have more so been linked with the 'Butchers and Bunglers' concept of warfare. In fact the above three Generals do come in for the most condemning comments on their competence in command and control perhaps more so than any others in the British High Command

Having thrust was not necessarily a bad thing though, it was more a matter of getting a balance. Unfortunately this was not always possible and the two 'camps' were often at logger heads. The Somme is a prime example of this, where Rawlinson was for a bite and hold style of operation, and Haig was for thrusting on and braking the enemies line and pushing on into open ground. The result of this was a confused plan!

The concept, or end result of thrusting was to break into open ground and once more open up the war from the stagnant trench dominated battles, a commendable objective, though on many occasions highly unattainable. Haig is often criticised for surrounding himself with Thrusters this again is not the complete truth.