The frustrating stalemate on the western front with its unprecedented casualties provoked a furious debate in London between the civil and military authorities over the best way to defeat Germany. The passions aroused continued to the present day. The mercurial and dynamic David Lloyd George stood at the centre of this controversy throughout the war. His intervention in military questions and determination to redirect strategy put him at odds with the leading soldiers and admirals of his day.
Professor Woodward, a student of the Great War for some four decades, explores the at times Byzantine atmosphere at Whitehall by exhaustive archival research in official and private papers. The focus is on Lloyd George and his adversaries such as Lord Kitchener, General Sir William Robertson, and Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. The result is a fresh, compelling and detailed account of the interaction between civil and military authorities in total war.
Table of Contents
1 Birth of an "Easterner" 2 Balkanite 3 Munitions, Compulsion, and the Fall of Serbia 4 "Westerners" in the Ascendancy: The Somme Offensive 5 Wizard in the War Office 6 Lloyd George Attempts to Overthrow the Generals 7 The Nivelle Offensive 8 Passchendaele: The Rack of Choice 9 Strain 10 The Supreme War Council and British Military Plans for 1918 11 Command of the Allied General Reserve and the Fall of Robertson 12 The German Offensive and the Maurice Debate 13 The Uncertain Road to Victory
David Woodward received his doctorate in Modern European History from the University of Georgia in 1965. He taught at Texas A&M University before joining the history faculty at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia in 1970. Professor Woodward has written widely on US and British military and diplomatic history for the period of the Great War. His publications include articles in such journals as the Journal of Modern History, Albion and The Historical Journal, essays in books and encyclopaedias, and five books. He has also served as the historical consultant for a BBC Timewatch programme, Lloyd George's War.