At the War Policy Committee, Robertson insisted that he did ‘not advocate spending our last man and our last round of ammunition in an attempt to reach that coast if the opposition which we encounter shows that the attempt will entail disproportionate loss’. The committee had agreed to launch the Flanders offensive in the belief that if at any stage it proved to be too costly, they would be able to call a halt to it. But they did not. Despite a mounting casualty list and little tangible progress towards the Belgian coast, they permitted Haig to continue his offensive until the middle of November. After the war, Haig and his apologists claimed that they had persevered in order to wear down the German army and because the French had begged them to do so. Lloyd George claimed that he had allowed Haig to continue because the generals had misled him about the reality of the battle in Belgium. Both claims were disingenuous.
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