“Leadership is the practical application of character.”
Colonel R. Meinertzhagen, CBE, DSO (1878 to 1967), Army Diary, 1899‐1926, 1960
Richard Meinertzhagen was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. He had a decorated military career spanning Africa, where he was credited with creating and executing the infamous Haversack Ruse.
While early biographies lionised Meinertzhagen as a master of military strategy and espionage, later works such as The Meinertzhagen Mystery present him as a fraud for fabricating stories of his feats and speculated he was also a murderer. The discovery of stolen museum bird specimens resubmitted as original discoveries had raised serious doubts on a number of scores as to the veracity of ornithological records he claimed, as well.