Superintendent Battle is a fictional character created by Agatha Christie. He appears as a detective in the following novels:
- The Secret of Chimneys (1925)
- The Seven Dials Mystery (1929 - including some of the same characters, notably Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent)
- Cards on the Table (1936, with Hercule Poirot, Ariadne Oliver and Colonel Race)
- Murder is Easy (1939)
- Towards Zero (1944)
Battle is notable for his stolid good sense, and he relies in part on the appearance of being a stupid or unimaginative police officer as a means to investigating his cases. His moustache is impressive, even to Hercule Poirot.
In Cards on the Table, Battle is described as a "big, square, wooden-faced man". He conveys the impression that he is "carved out of wood", and also that the wood in question is "the timber out of a battleship".
Until Towards Zero the reader knows nothing of his domestic arrangements, but in this novel we learn that he has a wife (Mary) and five children, the youngest of whom (Sylvia) unwittingly provides a key clue to the mystery. In the Hercule Poirot novel The Clocks, the pseudonymous secret agent Colin Lamb is heavily implied to be the son of the now-retired Battle.
Battle also has a secret professional life that is revealed in the denouement to The Seven Dials Mystery, but this is never referred to again. In this novel he states, that
- "half the people who spent their lives avoiding being run over buses had much better be run over and put safely out of the way.They're no good."
Battle is in many respects typical of Christie's police officers, being (like Inspector Japp), more careful and intelligent than the police officers of early detective fiction, who had served only as foils for the brilliance of the amateur sleuth.