What was the lifestyle of the generals in ww1?

What did they eat?

Where did they sleep?

On internet I found only websites about the soldier's lifestyle and I'm doing an essay about compare the lifestyle of the soldier and the generals.


4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I wish I could guide you to some web sites instead of blathering on but that said, you will have to trust me. O can say, because I like to back things up with proof that a few movies could help ''''' Go see 'Paths of Glory' with Kurt Douglass and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Oddly enough, though World War Two, "Too Be or Not To Be" with Jack Benny & Carole Lombard directed by Ernst Lubitch though showing Germans, works as well.

    O-K, here goes. A General and higher Officers, especially Staff Colonels, Majors and Captains, they lived lives seperate from the field soldiers & officers. When possible, and this was most common (see To Be or Not To Be" a hotel or nicer Chateu or Manor House would be "commandeered" (taken over). The General would have his own Suite of Rooms, and depending upon how much room was available, his higher officers would have suites, if possible, or nicer rooms.

    But we will focus on The General. His suite was taken care of by at least one and often as many as four to six orderlies. some Generals would even have their own Cook. A General most often would have a meal set up in his room, just like room service and it was a privillege that the General extended to his Higher Officers, to join him for dinner. A particularly "clubby" General might make it a regular "Night" for an invite.

    A General had to concentrate on his job and his job required space. Even if set up in a tent, he would have a seperate bedchamber from his office, often two office spaces and a space for dining.

    Go research General George Washington, even at Valley Forge he had a nice house, his higher officers lesser houses, etc.

    During the Civil War when several Generals of conflicting ranks were in the same area there was often an unseemly scramble for houses. A Smart General learned to send a trusted aid/officer to secure a house.

    During World War One when the battle lines shifted, as armies moved forward or backwards the same deal, a General would send trusted officers to secure a place. Dealing with the owners of a hotel was often easier, especially among the French & British, who had orders not to "bully" home owners/property owners. The Germans w4ere less polite.

    A 'smart' home owner, especially if it was a Manor House or Chateau might make their place available for a General hoping it would be better taken care of.

    Should emphasize that though a General might reside away from the nattlefield, they did go in harms way. They would pay visits to the front lines and yes they might get killed. BUT - - - just like at a picnic, the rich had servants. A General would have aides on hand, if he chose to bunk down, a nicer tent than that for ordinary officers could be set up. Even in the most gruesome of circumstances, he did stay a step up from the average soldier.


    PS My Grandparents and Mom had a nice home in the Sudetanland wjen Hitler asked them to move, my Grandfather's Officer friends took over the home and made it an Officer's Billet (Home) and took good care of the house, even tuning the piano. The only damage was an Allied bomb landing in the driveway blowing out a few windows.

    Also, see "Castle Keep," again WWTwo but same info and yes, good food, wine and some Generals made certain to have 'company.'i

  • Lomax
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    A general would, of necessity operate out of Headquarters - be it brigade, division, corps or army. Since a headquarters necessitated a large number of men, buildings close to the front line were commandeered. It is true that some of the larger HQs were housed in chateaux, but Brigade and Division HQs were more often found in the cellar of a Belgian house. Yes, the generals ate and slept better than the average private they commanded - but this has been true since the days of Marathon; and is still true to a degree today.

    However; to state that generals never saw the enemy and lived out the war in safety and comfort is one of those myths that just won't die. I don't have the figures for Germany or France - but 97 British generals were killed outright or died of wounds - and a further 146 were wounded or captured. At the Battle of Loos in 1915, nine British divisions took part. Three divisional commanders were killed. This rate of casualties amongst senior officers caused such alarm that specific orders were sent out that generals should not get too heavily involved in the actual fighting. These orders were frequently ignored.

    To quote Gordon Corrigan in "Mud, Blood and Poppycock" - "It is not the business of a general to kill the enemy, but to control the battle so that units under his command can do the killing. Here was one of the great quandaries of the war. The general had to be close enough to the fighting to know what was going on, but far enough from it to be able to exercise control."

    It might also be noted that far fewer WW2 generals were casualties of war than was the case in WW1 - but they don't seem to attract the same level of opprobrium. And if Haig never saw a German, then neither did Montgomery.

    PS: It should also be noted that every single general in WW1 had been a junior officer in his time. They had all experienced peril on the battlefield, usually leading from the front. To take one example, one of the corps commanders in 1914 was Horace Smith-Dorrien. As a young transport officer thirty-five years earlier, he was one of the few British survivors or Isandlwana.

  • 7 years ago

    Rather plush.

    They stayed in castles or chateaux miles away from the front lines,ate the finest food and drank fine French wine,brandy,and champagne.They slept in nice comfy large beds in the master bedroom of whatever castle or chateau they were staying in.

    I doubt if someone like Haig ever saw a German throughout the entire war that wasn't a prisoner,let alone a front line trench.

  • 7 years ago

    The fact that generals lived 'miles away' in something of a myth. See it explained in more detail at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25776836

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.