10 MAY 1997, Page 29

Sir: On the subject of 'antics', if Alice von Schlieffen

exists, perhaps she could tell us how she rates Erich von Falkenhayn's Ver- dun offensive which after ten months of bat- tle and a third of a million casualties gained the German army an area little larger than 'the combined royal parks of London' (Alistair Home, The Price of Glory).

Perhaps Falkenhayn succeeded in his aim of 'bleeding white' the French army, but too late, because by then the BEF was able to assume the main burden of the war on the Western Front. If Britain had not been brought into the war. . . !

Julian Thompson

Department of War Studies, King's College London, Strand, London WC2