This book’s contribution to the discussion on the origin’s of the First World War is a pioneering study of both the British General Staff and the evolution of military strategy in the period immediately prior to the war. It describes the development of the General Staff, Britain’s agency for strategic planning, and goes on to give an account of its role in devising strategy. Problems are examined as they arose at grass-roots level in the War Office and progressed upward towards the Cabinet. The complex cross-currents involving the Admiralty, Foreign Office, Treasury and individuals from Edward VII downwards are charted. The account covers British military policy up to 1916, interpreting the Gallipoli campaign and explanation for its failure.