Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Turner (1871-1961) was a capable but controversial Canadian general who played a critical role in the development of the Canadian Corps up to 1917 and contributed significantly to its success thereafter. Despite his many accomplishments (including being awarded the Victoria Cross), Turner is often portrayed as a political appointee and repeated failure - representations that ignore, minimize, or misconstrue his successes as a combat commander and head of Canadian forces in England. In The Embattled General, William Stewart reveals Turner's tactical, operational, and administrative contributions to the Canadian war effort. Uniquely, Turner held senior commands in both combat arms and administration. Stewart narrates and analyzes Turner's successes and failures in the Boer War and the First World War's battles of Ypres, Festubert, St Eloi, and the Somme. He also studies Turner's career after his transfer to command Canadian forces in England in December 1916, where Turner reformed an administration in chaos. After the war, Turner post-war played a key role in the formation of the Royal Canadian Legion. Based on exhaustive research from over 1,200 volumes of material, including many previously untouched sources, The Embattled General provides a balanced and just re-evaluation of Turner, identifying his merits as well as his flaws.
The Embattled General
McGill-Queen's University Press
Sir Richard Turner and the First World War