"...in my capacity as Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces, and later as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, one of my major difficulties arose from the paucity of real high-class leaders. The First World War had unfortunately taken the cream of our manhood. Those that had fallen were the born leaders of men, in command of companies or battalions. It was always the best that fell by taking the lead. Those that we had lost as subalterns, captains and majors in the First World War were the very ones we were short of as colonels, brigadiers, and generals in the Second World War."
Alanbrooke, Notes On My Life, Ch 3.
He thought the best and the bravest had gone, leaving the second-raters, a view which seems to have been widely shared between and after the wars (in James Barlow's 1960 novel the Patriots, the hero, an Arnhem paratrooper, beats up a man for airing them, seeing it as a slight on his dead comrades).
Yet the Germans lost a lot of people in WW1, but still were the best fighting army in WW2, with excellent generals too. A good job Hitler kept over-ruling them.
Did they lose fewer young officers in WW1 than we did ? Did their juniors not 'lead from the front' ? Or was the WW2 performance down to the generally-admitted high standards of competence and (especially) initiative of German NCOs ? In other words, why did the WW1 slaughter seem to harm us more than them ? Or were the same theories about the consequences of the lost leaders aired in Germany too ?