In November 1918 the long agony of Europe’s armies ended with an armistice. A chaplain, close friend of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, marveled at how little altered by the experience was the British commander-in-chief. “I noted how fresh he looked … still lithe and vigorous, and I reflected how well he had stood up to the strain of those terrible years.”
Haig’s durability contrasted with the condition of other warlords of all nationalities who had suffered nervous collapses. The most recent such casualty was Erich Ludendorff, shattered by the defeat of his March 1918 offensive, the last German cast of the dice.