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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 British Peace Offensive, December 1917–March 1918

The British Peace Offensive, December 1917–March 1918

Chapter:
(p.193) 8 The British Peace Offensive, December 1917–March 1918
Source:
The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918
Author(s):

David French

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205593.003.0009

The possibility of Britain negotiating a separate peace with Germany's allies was a chimera. The negotiations of December 1917 and March 1918 demonstrated that the Foreign Office's scepticism was justified. Only the kind of overwhelming military pressure which the Entente was not in a position to inflict upon them would have made Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, or Turkey willing to accept a negotiated settlement in the winter and spring of 1917/18. The failure of the Smuts–Kerr mission marked the end of serious British negotiations to secure a separate peace with Austria-Hungary or Turkey. The British peace offensive had failed to redress the strategic balance in the Entente's favour. It was now left to the German generals to discover whether they could defeat the armies of the western allies in the field.

Keywords:   First World War, British policy, War Cabinet, military policy, war policy, peace offensive, Entente, Austria-Hungary

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