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The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918$
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David French

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205593.001.0001

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The Collapse of Kitchener's Strategy, December 1916–May 1917

The Collapse of Kitchener's Strategy, December 1916–May 1917

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 The Collapse of Kitchener's Strategy, December 1916–May 1917
Source:
The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918
Author(s):

David French

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205593.003.0003

Since August 1914 British strategic policy had rested on four pillars. The Royal Navy was sufficiently powerful to keep open the Entente's maritime communications. Britain was sufficiently rich to act as paymaster to the Entente. And the French and Russian armies could fight to contain the armies of the Central Powers on the continent of Europe with only minimal direct British assistance until, Kitchener had predicted, a point would be reached in early 1917 when the armies of all of the belligerents were exhausted. Britain's New Armies could then intervene decisively in the land war, inflict a final defeat on the Central Powers, and enable the British government to dictate the peace settlement. When he came to power, Lloyd George did not intend fundamentally to depart from Kitchener's strategy. But between December 1916 and May 1917 each of these pillars began to crumble.

Keywords:   First World War, British policy, military policy, Royal Navy, Entente, Kitchener

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