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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 War Policy Committee and the Origins of the Flanders Offensive

The War Policy Committee and the Origins of the Flanders Offensive

(p.94) 4 The War Policy Committee and the Origins of the Flanders Offensive
The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918

David French

Oxford University Press

In early June 1917 the War Cabinet established the War Policy Committee to weigh up Britain's strategic options in the light of the crises in France and Russia, Britain's own economic and manpower problems, and the military and diplomatic options in the Middle East, the Balkans, and on the Italian and western fronts. The reasons why the War Cabinet's senior naval and military advisers supported an offensive in Flanders were transparent. Haig believed that he could defeat the German army and win the war in 1917. Robertson did not agree, but supported him because he believed that the Flanders offensive would make a major contribution towards his policy of wearing down Germany's ability and willingness to continue fighting. Jellicoe backed the offensive because he wanted to eliminate both the German naval threat to cross-Channel communications and the possibility that after the war the Germans might remain in possession of the Channel coast and permanently threaten Britain.

Keywords:   First World War, War Cabinet, military policy, British policy, military strategy, Germany

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