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Aylmer Hunter-Weston

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Hunter-Weston at VIII Corps headquarters, Cape Helles, 1915.

Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston (186418 March 1940) was a British general who served in the First World War. At the outbreak of the war in 1914 he commanded a brigade on the Western Front. When the Battle of Gallipoli commenced in March 1915 Hunter-Weston was promoted to the command of the British 29th Division which was to make the landing at Cape Helles near the entrance to the Dardanelles. As the campaign proceeded and more reinforcements were dispatched to Helles, Hunter-Weston's responsibilities grew until on May 24 he was promoted to lieutenant general and given command of the British VIII Corps.

He was invalided from Gallipoli in July, supposedly from nervous exhaustion, and returned to England. In October 1916 he was elected to the House of Commons as the member for North Ayrshire.

Hunter-Weston returned to command the VIII Corps when it was re-established in France in 1916. At the launch of the Somme Offensive on July 1 1916 it was Hunter-Weston's divisions which suffered the worst casualties and failed to capture any of their objectives.

Nicknamed 'Hunter-Bunter', Hunter-Weston was a classic example of the British "donkey" general — he was also referred to as "The Butcher of Helles" for his utter disregard for the welfare of his troops and his incompetent battle plans. Hunter-Weston was an advocate of the broad frontal assault made in daylight. When his plan of attack for the Second Battle of Krithia failed on the first day, he proceeded to repeat the plan on the second and third days. He claimed he was "blooding the pups" when he made the inexperienced 156th Brigade of the British 52nd (Lowland) Division attack without artillery support during the Battle of Gully Ravine. Half the brigade became casualties of which over a third were killed.de:Aylmer Hunter-Weston

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