Lloyd George and the Generals (Military History and Policy) by David R. Woodward

By David R. Woodward

The problematic stalemate at the western entrance with its unparalleled casualties provoked a livid debate in London among the civil and armed forces experts over find out how to defeat Germany. The passions aroused endured to the current day. The mercurial and dynamic David Lloyd George stood on the centre of this controversy during the conflict. His intervention in army questions and resolution to redirect technique placed him at odds with the major infantrymen and admirals of his day.

Professor Woodward, a scholar of the good struggle for a few 4 a long time, explores the from time to time Byzantine surroundings at Whitehall through exhaustive archival examine in reputable and personal papers. the point of interest is on Lloyd George and his adversaries corresponding to Lord Kitchener, common Sir William Robertson, and box Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. the result's a clean, compelling and specific account of the interplay among civil and army experts in overall conflict.

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Closer to home, Kitchener alone decided what British troops were available. His estimate of British reserves was colored by his opinion of the large reserve force in Great Britain—the Territorials. Kitchener’s stuffy professionalism led him to exclude the Territorials from any proposed expeditionary force to the Balkans. “A Town Clerk’s Army”25 was his contemptuous dismissal of it. Kitchener was wrong. When sent into action on the western front, they fought well. ”26 To seize the initiative from the generals in the West, Lloyd George wanted to send Allied troops to the Balkans as soon as possible.

Their forces, he argued, were tied down by the Russians. Furthermore, if only Greece were coaxed to join the Triple Entente by the presence of Allied troops, it was not worth the effort. In a final hit at Lloyd George’s scheme, French suggested that conditions were so primitive in Serbia that British soldiers would have a difficult time adjusting. Lloyd George spoke often and forcefully during the discussion. He wanted immediate action. ” Yet nothing was being done while the Germans acted. 26 LLOYD GEORGE AND THE GENERALS The political advantages of an Allied force being sent to Salonika seemed so overwhelming that the War Council overruled the commander of the British Expeditionary Force.

36 At the conclusion of his busy day, Lloyd George was almost certainly relieved that the government had at long last displayed some firmness of purpose. British battleships would soon swing into action at the Dardanelles. His pet project, however, remained at dead center. His efforts had been largely responsible for the War Council’s general approval of intervention in the Balkans. Even Churchill agreed that the first available soldiers should go to Salonika—not to the Dardanelles. But it was obvious that as long as Kitchener counseled delay and the French opposed the venture no decisive action to win over the wavering Balkan states would be taken.

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