Historian Anniker Mombauer noted in her recent study of Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff in 1914, that the origins of the First World War have been the object of debate continually since August 1914.1 It is not only the origins of the war, however, which have been debated since 1914–18. The strategy and conduct of the war have also been intensely controversial issues. For Britain the big questions have been not only whether Britain was right to intervene in support of its Entente partners, but also was the political and military leadership correct to raise a mass army and fight the main German forces on the Western Front and could some other, cheaper way, to defeat the Central Powers have been found?


Ally General German Army Western Front British Strategy Ship Fleet 
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  1. 1.
    Anniker Mombauer, Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A line argued recently, for example, by Niall Ferguson in The Pity of War (London: Penguin, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    ‘King Albert |of Belgium|, King George, the Kaiser and Poincaré [President of France] were the only rulers who saw it through from the beginning to the end.’ David Lloyd George, War Memoirs, 6 vols (London: Ivor Nicholson & Watson, 1933–36), VI, pp. vii–viii. Hereafter War Memoirs and vol. no.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Most notably by George W. Egerton, ‘The Lloyd George War Memoirs: A Study in the Politics of Memory’, Journal of Modern History, 60, 1, March 1988, pp. 55–94; CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. for other studies of the War Memoirs, see also Thomas Jones, Lloyd George (London: Oxford University Press, 1951), pp. 267–73; CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Trevor Wilson, ‘A Prime Minister Reflects: The War Memoirs of David Lloyd George’, in John A. Moses and Christopher Pugsley (eds), The German Empire and Britain’s Pacific Dominions 1871–1919: Essays on the Role of Australia and New Zealand in an Age of Imperialism (Claremont, CA: Regina Books, 2000), pp. 37–52. Google Scholar
  7. For contemporary accounts of Lloyd George’s memoir writing, see the diaries by his secretaries, published as Colin Cross (ed.), life with Lloyd George: The Diary of A.J. Sylvester (London: Macmillan, 1975) Google Scholar
  8. And A.J.P. Taylor (ed.), Lloyd George: A Diary by Frances Stevenson (London: Hutchinson, 1971).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See War Memoirs, III, pp. 1162–65; John Grigg, Lloyd George: War Leader 1916–1918 (London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 2002), pp. 52–53 (the fourth and final volume of Grigg’s biography of Lloyd George); Google Scholar
  10. Robert K. Massie, Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany and the Winning of the Great War at Sea (New York: Random House, 2003), pp. 730–31; Google Scholar
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  12. 11.
    War Memoirs, II, ch. 23; John Grigg, Lloyd Georg: From Peace to War 1912–1916 (London: HarperCollins, 1997 ed.), pp. 326–41; Google Scholar
  13. R.J.Q. Adams, Bonar Law (London: John Murray, 1999), pp. 203–13.Google Scholar
  14. 12.
    See War Memoirs, V, ch. 80; Grigg, Lloyd George, IV, ch. 27; David French, The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition 1916–1918 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 234–35; Adams, Bonar Law, pp. 268–72.Google Scholar

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© Andrew Suttie 2005

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