About the Author
Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton (1868–1951) was a military writer and British Army officer. Swinton is credited with influencing the development and adoption of the tank by the British during the First World War. He is also known for popularising the term "no-mans land". Swinton was born in Bangalore, India in 1868. He was educated at University College School, Rugby School, Cheltenham College, Blackheath Proprietary School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He became an officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1888, serving in India and becoming Lieutenant in 1891. He received the Distinguished Service Order during the Second Boer War. After the war, he wrote his book on small unit tactics, The Defense of Duffer's Drift, a military classic on minor tactics that has been used by the United States military to train its officers. In the years leading up to the First World War, he served as a staff officer and as an official historian of the Russo-Japanese War. The War Minister, Lord Kitchener appointed Swinton as the official British war correspondent on the Western Front. Journalists were not allowed at the front and Swinton's reports were censored leading to an effectively uncontroversial although even-handed reporting.