Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart(1895-1970), Military historian and strategist
Sitter in 27 portraits
Military historian and strategist. Liddell Hart served as a captain in the First World War and was gassed on the Somme in 1916, and suffered two mild heart attacks in 1921 and 1922 (which were probably the long-term effects of his gassing), an experience which coloured his thinking. He introduced new methods of instruction and drill, contributed to the Infantry Training Manual, and left the army in 1927. He was an influential commentator on war, notably in Strategy - The Indirect Approach (1929). Thirty books followed. He was military correspondent for the Daily Telegraph (1925-35) and The Times (1935-9). In 1939, however, his calls for a compromise peace with Hitler clashed with public opinion and he was accused of having Nazi sympathies, despite his consistently anti-Fascist stance. An early campaigner for nuclear disarmament, his views influenced President Kennedy before the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.