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 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
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anemone
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1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless year under the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 4:10:22 AM
The British/Dominion forces were given twelve more months to prepare fora major offensive as they and the French had lost many men in a policy of " "nibbling " or attrition; interspersed with a series of offensives which, although they aroused high hopes in their initial stages, regained little territory at great cost, though they achieved something in wearing down the enemy as well;but that is an assumption.

6 Feb 1915 Winter operations More French orders for a major offensive in December lead to disastrous piecemeal British attacks. Localised operations seeking tactical advantage continue through winter.

10 Mar 1915 21 Apr 1915 The Battle of Neuve Chapelle More British First Army mounts first offensive on large scale: costly in terms of casualties but results in capture of Neuve Chapelle (10-13 Mar). Localised operations continue afterwards.11,200 casualties

22 Apr 1915 25 May 1915 The Battles of Ypres, 1915 More Often known as the Second Battle of Ypres, this began with surprise German attack using poison gas against French North African forces holding defences near Ypres. Both sides rushed reserves in and the battle developed into the second epic in that area. British Second Army withdraws to a shorter line near Ypres.59,270 casualties

9 May 1915 10 May 1915 The Battle of Aubers More A disastrous attack that cost 11,000 British casualties for no material gain: it was a minor supporting operation to a much larger French attack in an action known as the Second Battle of Artois.11,150 casualties

15 May 1915 25 May 1915 The Battle of Festubert More As the French attack in Artois continued, the British were called upon to continue offensive operations. Minor gains were made at an other heavy cost in casualties-16,640

15 Jun 1915 9 Aug 1915 Other actions in Spring and Summer 1915 More Localised operations seeking tactical advantage.C asualties-unknown

25 Sep 1915 15 Oct 1915 The Battle of Loos More The first genuinely large scale British offensive action but once again only in a supporting role to a larger French attack in the Third Battle of Artois. British appeals that the ground over which they were being called upon to advance was wholly unsuitable were rejected. The battle is historically noteworthy for the first British use of poison Casualties-approx 60,000.

I fully realise that the BEF was part of the Entente Cordiale-we had come to France's hour of need when she was invaded by Germany.What I cannot understand was the acquience displayed by FM FGrenc-a man quite unfitted to be CV in C-a cavalry man of no great intellect and I suspect weak to boot ,SJF did not seem to have any initiative at all -when thethe French High Command saod "Merde"-he dutifully did so.Loos was the only battle where he offered an opinion that the ground was "unfavourable"--which fell on deaf French ears.After Loos he resigned only to be replaced by another cavalryman -Haig -another "stuffed shirt"


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Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 6:55:01 AM
Jim, 1915 was a year of learning and revealed inadequacies in methodology. Changes were coming and it takes time for raw troops to develop the necessary skills to make them more effective.

BTW, I note in your post no mention of Canadian troops in any of the actions. This is what I tried to point out on Mike Meech's thread concerning treatment of colonial troops by the imperials.
Not that the Canadian brigades were any great shakes at this stage of the war. Mistakes aplenty. Unnecessary casualties due to inexperience.

I don't know the source for the first part of your post but surely the gas attack during 2nd Ypres cannot be fully addressed without mentioning the stand by the Canadians as they plugged the hole. It was magnificent from my perspective but according to Canadians who were there, they were so green that they didn't know what to do so they just stayed and fought. They were not alone. British battalions were rushed to the gap too but the post doesn't mention the Canadians and I always notice, don't I?


Having said that, you have clearly indicated that John French was guilty of obsequious behaviour in the face of French demands.

What exactly did Commander French agree to do at the behest of the French army and that he would have been wiser to thumb his nose at?

Was the Ypres area not considered as an important area of defence by the British as much as by the French?

Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 7:27:05 AM

Quote:
1915 was a year of learning and revealed inadequacies in methodology. Changes were coming and it takes time for raw troops to develop the necessary skills to make them more effective.


George what you have posted in my opinion is conjecture-if anything was learned it was by accident.The objectives were set out by the French without really weighing up the odds of success.My topic is about the effect that complete French control had on the British and Dominion forces in the targets set them.

Smith Dorrien was the only real General we had; and he was dismissed by the grudge bearing cretin Sir John French.In the long run I do not know what was learned and by whom.I gave a brief synopsis of the actions fought which virtually all gained nothing-each at a price in bloodshed

I deliberately avoided getting bogged doen by going into each battle--that is not to say that no one else should follow this dictat --fire away at each action as they see fit.

The Second Battle of Ypres

On 22nd April 1915, the Germans launched another assault against the too flimsy defences at Ypres. On the morning of the attack, French colonial troops saw a haze of green mist moving towards them. This was the first use gas on the Western Front.

As the cloud of chlorine gas drifted over their trenches, the defenders, defenceless and choking, ran creating a gap in the defences around Ypres over four miles wide. Canadian troops were rushed forward into the gap and after desperate fighting managed to halt the German advance.

German attacks continued into May and some of the most desperate fighting of the war took place at places such as Hill 60, The Caterpillar and Frezenberg Ridge, as British forces attempted to hold back German attacks. By the end of the battle, the British defenders had been pushed into a tighter ring around Ypres and the Germans had gained more important high ground, but Ypres had not fallen.

PS One thing was learned but only actionedin 1917 -that was to be an autonomous force helping the French where it was possible

Regards

Jim
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George
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 8:58:59 AM
OK thanks Jim.

I'm not sure which part of my post is conjecture. Perhaps you will tell me.

If the discussion that you wish to promote is the failure of British leadership to act independently of the French, then let's have at it.

What should have been done differently on the part of the British leadership?

There was a lull at the end of 1914. French thought that the Germans were reorganizing for an attack and his troops were on watch.

The French wanted an aggressive approach on the western front while the Germans seemed to be occupied in the east and in front of the French after Verdun.

They also wanted to support the Russians by showing intent to engage with the Germans.

The British wanted to boot the Germans off the English channel coast in Belgium.

Do you not feel that if there was an opportunity to do that that it should have been done earlier in 1914? By the beginning of 1915, the Germans had dug in.

The British did explain their wish to attack the coastal areas but Foch and Joffre rejected it.

As the junior partner in the alliance, at that time, what should the British have done?

Were the French plans ill conceived or was it just that the British were not yet sufficiently strong enough to complete them? Not a statement, a sincere question.





Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 9:47:10 AM
Oh dear you are making me earn my crust --Conjeccture--speculative guesswork

I do believe that trhe British High Command failed miserably to discuss with the Frebch their plans of action which inch included British participation.John French command of the French language was laughable when all he needed was an interpretor but he just was not bright enough-Haig inmuch the same boat HSD was out of favour and he was not allowed a say.

The British leaders ought to have been able to put their case to the French in a manner that showed the French that they were not noncompoops.
--He was considered unable to adapt himself to unfamiliar conditions of war or to work harmoniously with the British government, his own subordinates, or the French and Belgian generals with whom he was supposed to cooperate.

The lull at the end of 1914 was because the Germans were forced to balance the efforts made in Russia who were showing that that they could win battles ie. a redeployment was required not prep for another attack.

By aggressive actions show the Russians they were still their ally--pretty fancifulreally.

The German desire to getto a poe=rt ebbed by the end of January 1915

I would not see the French plans were ill conceived just just badly put to the British and as I have said the British High Command did not pursue this issue via an interpretor.

PS George please feel free to have a go at me--Do you think French/British dialogue was satisfactory???

Regards

Jim
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George
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 10:35:35 AM
Wrong guy to ask Jim.

I think we need to know where and when the meetings between French, Foch and Joffre took place.

As well men like Winston had input though it may have been at arms length.

Are there formal records of what was said?

I do know that the British said that they would prefer to clear the Belgian coast of Germans.

The French disagreed but it was also true that by the end of 1914, the opportunity to shove the Germans out of their prepared positions may have passed. So were the Germans so fully entrenched that British assets and capabilities of Jan. 1915 would not have been sufficient to extricate them?

If CO French understood this then did he feel that the French plan to attack, pincer like, perhaps had more merit.

I do believe that the allied armies were still learning and still building capacity but what I need is for someone to explain the folly of the French army plan and why the British were foolish to agree to it.

Gotta go cut the lawn. It's 27 C and getting hotter. Better that I should just have a beer but it's only 10:30 in the morning.

Talk later,

Cheers,

George

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 11:06:03 AM
Sorry George but you are punching above my weight--the following was copied from Wikipedia--Re Go between General Edward Spears

Cooperation between the French and British armies was severely hampered by a lack of linguistic competence among British and French officers. General Henry Wilson, a staff officer acting as a liaison officer to the French Army, had been said to declare that he saw 'no reason for an officer knowing any language except his own'.

According to one story, when Field Marshal Sir John French, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force at the start of the First World War, had spoken (then as a general) from a prepared French text at manoeuvres in France in 1910, his accent was so bad that his listeners thought he was speaking in English!

During the First World War, British soldiers unable to pronounce French words came up with their own (often humorous) versions of place names – the town of Ypres (Ieper in Flemish) was known as 'Wipers'. Yet French place names were also a problem for senior officers.

In the spring of 1915, Spears was ordered to pronounce French place names in an English way otherwise General Robertson, the new Chief of Staff, would not be able to understand them.

On the French side, few of the commanders spoke good English with thlinguistic fog that the bilingual young subaltern, made his mark. Althouge exception of Generals Nivelle and Ferdinand Foch.

It was in this h only a junior officer (a lieutenant of Hussars), General Spears would get to know senior British and French military and political figures (Churc, Haig, Joffre, Pétain, Reynaud, Robertson etc.) – a fact that would stand him in good stead during later life.

Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 11:26:12 AM
See previous post first

The military CVs of the two men who commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and Flanders were remarkably similar.

Sir John French, in charge from the start of the war until his forced resignation in December 1915, and Sir Douglas Haig, who replaced French and remained commander-in-chief until the end of the war, were cavalrymen.

They were superb yet utterly antiquated pig-sticking horsemen from elite hussar regiments fighting an industrial war that would prove their beloved cavalry as obsolete as the knights of Camelot.

Both had served in the Sudan — French had fought at Abu Klea, the battle celebrated in Newbolt’s poem — against the Mahdi’s Islamist followers and against the Boers. The similarities, however, stopped there. French was a short, choleric, bow-legged Anglo- Irishman happiest in the saddle.

His racy love life almost cost his Army career when he had an affair with the wife of a brother officer. He was rescued from ruin — after a careless financial gamble — by Haig, who lent him the money to cover his debt.

Regards

Jim
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MikeMeech
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 11:56:03 AM

Quote:
Sorry George but you are punching above my weight--the following was copied from Wikipedia--Re Go between General Edward Spears

Cooperation between the French and British armies was severely hampered by a lack of linguistic competence among British and French officers. General Henry Wilson, a staff officer acting as a liaison officer to the French Army, had been said to declare that he saw 'no reason for an officer knowing any language except his own'.


Regards

Jim
--anemone


Hi

Of course General Henry Wilson did speak French, described by his biographer, Keith Jeffery, (Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier) on page 104, as:

"...that while he was evidently fluent, his French was not always absolutely accurate, yet he spoke with a characteristic and engaging enthusiasm, which his French listeners clearly and understandably found attractive."

Mike

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 12:12:51 PM
Nevertheless Mike-it is a labourious business talking through an interpretor-especially where there is disagreement.

I do not think Sir John French would put up much of a case against a French proposition in 1915 but therein lies the rub -more tipping the forlock and letthe PBI get on with what the rench are thought to want.

My case is that 1915 was a wasted year for a large toll of manpower and here I get the distinct impression that High Command did not give a damn.Tommy Atkins is there to do his duty; and if necessary Die for King and Country.Nothing much in this respect since 1815 anyway.

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play".

Rudyard Kipling

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil Andrade
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 12:47:56 PM
The Canadian contribution to the BEF was enormous at Second Ypres. It also figured significantly at Festubert.

The Australian and New Zealand troops were otherwise engaged somewhere else at that time. A rather notorious peninsula near the site of Ancient Troy .

We have to wonder how far the British Empire fell between two stools in its warmaking in 1915.

We’ve forgotten to mention the Indian contingent that helped hold the line in Artois .

Those “ sepoys in the trenches “ deserve more mention. They have a special memorial at Neuve Chapelle.

That battle, incidentally, exemplified British innovation and was strikingly successful at first...shame about the follow up.

Those Indian soldiers have engendered a special folklore in British military tradition. They captured the imagination of folks on the home front, especially when their wounded and sick were sent back to a hospital in Blighty. This was actually situated in the Brighton Pavilion, and there is a poignant shrine in the nearby South Downs where their dead were cremated .

The romantic depiction of these warriors has been compromised by the revelation that an outrageously high proportion of their wounds were self inflicted : gunshot wounds to the left hand being preponderant .

Yes, of course the British were fighting in a role determined largely by the French.

And why not ?

For every British soldier who was killed in France and Flanders that year, more than four French soldiers died.

And for every French casualty in 1915, there were two Russian.

Coalition warfare was the order of the day.

The Russians were losing men by the million, and Serbia was mercilessly beaten .

The French towed the line to help the Russians, and it behoved Britain to conform .

Regards, Phil


---------------
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/26/2018 1:33:51 PM
Battle of Neuve Chapelle summarised from The Long,Long Trail

The attack was undertaken by Sir Douglas Haig’s First Army, with Rawlinson’s IV Corps on the left and Willcock’s Indian Corps on the right, squeezing out a German salient that included the village itself.

The battle opened with a 35 minute bombardment of the front line, then 30 minutes on the village and reserve positions. The bombardment, for weight of shell fired per yard of enemy front, was the heaviest that would be fired until 1917.

Three infantry brigades were ordered to advance quickly as soon as the barrage lifted from the front line at 8.05am. The Gharwal Brigade of the Indian Corps advanced successfully, with the exception of the 1/39th Gharwal Rifles on the extreme right that went astray and plunged into defences untouched by the bombardment, suffering large losses.

The 25th and 23rd Brigades of the 8th Division made good progress against the village. There were delays in sending further orders and reinforcements forward, but by nightfall the village had been captured, and the advanced units were in places as far forward as the Layes brook. During the night the Germans reinforced their second line in front of the Bois de Biez, and all further attempts over the next few days brought little material success.

Casualties British 7016 Indian c 4000

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 1:43:15 PM
Hello Phil,

Why were the Indians sent to Mesopotamia?

I know that they had been chewed up badly at battles like Neuve Chapelle but were they still an effective fighting force when the decision to move them came down?


If you don't mind, a WW2 story about Indian soldiers.

My Dad was on guard duty one night somewhere in Italy and he told me that while he was standing there, he was suddenly jumped by someone who place a knife at his throat and pressed. Dad hadn't heard a thing and he claims that he was being attentive.

It was pitch black and with his other hand, the man patted my Dad's battle dress.

Clearly the man was convinced that this was a British soldier because he said, "Sorry Johnny" and he was gone.

This all happened in seconds and my Dad wheeled around with his rifle in position but he couldn't see a thing.

Perhaps the man was Nepalese, Ghurka, but my Dad wouldn't have been able to discern the difference in accent so he told us that he almost got his throat slit by an Indian soldier.

"Then what", I said. "I damned near shit myself", said Dad.

So yes, I think that we forget how many Indian soldiers served on the western front in WW1 and how badly mauled they had been.

The Empire benefitted from their presence and willingness to serve though that was getting dicey during WW2 with the nationalist movement and all.

Cheers,

George

phil andrade
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 3:03:41 PM
George,

Thanks for the anecdote !

My Dad served in North Africa and Italy, too, and he had some tall stories to tell about Sikhs and Ghurkas. They seemed to combine an element of awe at legendary fighting prowess , and a condescending approach that depicted the Ghurkas as child like and devoted.

Old soldiers and their stories !

I need to try and answer your questions, but can’t remember enough details to do justice to them.

Jim,

Regarding the legacy of 1915, it’s apparent that Falkenhayn was astonished and delighted at the ability of his soldiers to stand up to the furious Franco British attacks.

He was indebted to Lossberg for the effectiveness of the German tactics.

He was also convinced that, bearing in mind what they had achieved when fighting against the great Allied preponderance , his men could surely do decisive damage to the French if they were given enough guns and shells . This persuaded him to embark on the offensive at Verdun in 1916.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil Andrade
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/26/2018 3:58:44 PM
Jim,

Here’s something that occurs to me about the Franco-British relationship in the fighting of 1915.

I fear that I’m a bit of a one trick pony , always alluding to casualties, but there is a theme to reflect on.

On the Western Front in 1915, French casualties outnumbered British by at least four to one, and the French were calling the shots.

In the same year, at Gallipoli, the French deployed a contingent larger than that of the Australians and New Zealanders combined.

Yet here, total British casualties outnumbered those of the French by four to one, a reversal of the Western Front ratio, and in the Dardanelles it was the British who were in charge.

Let he who pays the piper call the tune.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 4:11:07 AM
That I can understand Phil--the French forces engaged would be at least four times greater than the combined strength of the BEF in 1915.However I have to admit that New Army Divisions were starting to appear by the time of the Battle of Loos. In the long run --I am of the opinion that the French High Command were undoubtedly more profligate with their troops--"En Avant",etc/

Regards

Jim
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phil andrade
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/27/2018 5:08:38 AM

Quote:
That I can understand Phil--the French forces engaged would be at least four times greater than the combined strength of the BEF in 1915.However I have to admit that New Army Divisions were starting to appear by the time of the Battle of Loos. In the long run --I am of the opinion that the French High Command were undoubtedly more profligate with their troops--"En Avant",etc/

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

The Battle of Loos cost the British 50,000 casualties, while the Germans facing them lost only 20,000. In the meantime, the French attacked in Artois and Champagne, and suffered 192,000 casualties, but succeeded in inflicting 121,000 on the Germans. Judging by this exchange rate, the French were significantly more skilful than the British. I suppose, viewed in this light, the word “ profligacy” can be interpreted in relative - rather than absolute - terms.

Throughout 1915 - with the notable exception of Neuve Chapelle - the British in France and Flanders took disproportionately heavy casualties in this regard.

It was the nadir year for the British on the Western Front.

I note that you consider both John French and Douglas Haig to be pampered, pig sticking, polo playing dullards who exemplified all the intellectual deficiencies of British cavalrymen. Brilliant to the top of his boots .....that was Lloyd George’s depiction of Haig.

In French’s case, these attributes were compounded by a weakness for slow horses and fast women.

I think that Haig deserves a better press ; although he clearly had defects.....but, who the heck doesn’t ?

It’s significant that 1915 ended with Haig being placed in command of the BEF. Was that a step forward ? His supporters would suggest that this was a significantly positive result.

I still think that we can only do proper justice to the survey of the year 1915 on the Western front if we bear in mind the enormity of events elsewhere and the pressures that these brought to bear on those unfortunate soldiers in Flanders and France. The Russians taking the brunt of a mighty German ( and Austrian ) attack ; the desperate plight of Serbia ; the decision of Italy to join the Allies ; the subsequent intervention of Bulgaria on behalf of the Central Powers ; the tantalising allure of the Dardanelles and the ensuing campaign ; the diversion to Salonika ; the deployment to Mesopotamia .....and, all the while, the unbearable presence of a powerful and deadly foe on Franco Belgian soil, endowed with all the advantage of strong defensive positions and the determination to use that advantage to the most lethal effect.

Kitchener, arbiter of British Imperial strategy, contemplated the dilemmas of strategy as 1915 beckoned, and said it all :

We have to make war as we must, not as we would wish .

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 5:42:19 AM
"We must make war as we mst--not aswe would like" Now Phil that should shut me up completely-with nothing further to say.When I told you what I was contemplating ie.a challenge--I meant it--so I cannot say Sorry Chaps I made a mistake .

Like the 1918 thread I was not for turning--it would have rendered that thread as a waste of time--as it was it went over the hundred posts.

The challenge here is whether the BEF would have operated differently acting as the the Dominion finally did --fought the war their way--mpnd you they did have exceptional leadership.

Comimg to the war elsewhere--I very much doubt that neither French nor Haig gave that aspect much thought but I do agree wth you that to consider the entire conflict is important in 1915; eg our helping Italy out of her dilemma much later on in the war.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 5:42:25 AM
"We must make war as we mst--not as we would like" Now Phil that should shut me up completely-with nothing further to say.When I told you what I was contemplating ie.a challenge--I meant it--so I cannot say Sorry Chaps I made a mistake--because someone said those words .

Like the 1918 thread I was not for turning--it would have rendered that thread as a waste of time--as it was it went over the hundred posts.

The challenge here is whether the BEF would have operated differently- acting as the Dominion forces finally did --fought the war their way--mind you they did have exceptional leadership.

Comimg to the war elsewhere--I very much doubt that neither French nor Haig gave that aspect much thought but I do agree wth you that to consider the entire conflict is important in 1915; eg our helping Italy out of her dilemma much later on in the war.

So continuance will depend on further interest in generalship and tactics.BTW wasn't there a shell shortage in 1915.????

Regards

Jim
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phil andrade
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yolk
Posted on: 5/27/2018 7:34:02 AM
Duffers and dullards abounded in the Dominions, too, Jim !

For every Monash or Currie, you could find an Australian or Canadian senior officer of less than star calibre.

The question is, I suppose....did the societal development of the Dominions engender a more democratic and meritocratic system of promotion that allowed quality to flourish more quickly ? Was the British army sclerotic ?

If so, then our challenge must be to find a 1915 example on the Western Front.

Did the Canadians who fought at Second Ypres display a tactical skill that set them apart from their British counterparts ?

It took a couple of years before it was apparent that the Canadians had transcended in this respect.

People had to learn on the job.

I think that Monash himself lamented some aspects of his own performance at Gallipoli in 1915.

Were Dominion soldiers and their leaders better able to assimilate these lessons more quickly ?

The folklore is insistent that they were. There are some scholars, however, who have demonstrated that some of the proponents and practitioners of the more flexible tactics were British, and that they have not received proper acknowledgement .

There is also evidence that the French displayed ingenuity and adaptability in their approach ; there was a French colonel who wrote a manual about infantry tactics that was adopted and used by the Germans to great effect. The awful shock that the French experienced in the opening weeks of the war, with several hundred thousand casualties in the first few weeks, imparted a real necessity is the mother of invention syndrome to their warmaking.

Editing : Jim, please indulge me in a mischievous joke. You allude to the British being under the French YOLK....the temptation is irresistible .... you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs !

Regards, Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 8:33:39 AM
"The challenge here is whether the BEF would have operated differently- acting as the Dominion forces finally did --fought the war their way--mind you they did have exceptional leadership."Please note finally --I am sure that the Canadians in 1915 were as green ,if not greener; than our lads
and this would also cover their leaders in 1915.


Quote:
There is also evidence that the French displayed ingenuity and adaptability in their approach ; there was a French colonel who wrote a manual about infantry tactics that was adopted and used by the Germans to great effect. The awful shock that the French experienced in the opening weeks of the war, with several hundred thousand casualties in the first few weeks, imparted a real necessity is the mother of invention syndrome to their warmaking.


How come a French manual was used by the Germans -was it on sale pre war and did the French also use this elixir of tactical knowhow??

JHC!!!! Bloody spelling again-I do wish that I had gone to school when young

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 9:41:05 AM
The Canadians in 1915 were the greenest of the green.

They have been lauded for a brave stance in the gas attack during 2nd Ypres. It was brave but some of the anecdotal reports from soldiers say that in the absence of a great deal of direction, they just decided to move into position and stay the course. In some cases, the men just stood to fire because that minimized the effect of the low hanging gas cloud.

The wild charge on Kitchener's Wood during 2nd Ypres is part of Canadian military lore.

But to suggest that these desperate measures were the product of some sort of insightful military planning would be very much incorrect.

Many men died to move the Germans out of Kitchener's Wood and there seemed to be little co-ordination between British and Canadian troops.

The Canadian Corps officers, the Canadian born officers, were sometimes appointed for all of the wrong reasons.

Some had been granted appointments by the mercurial Minister of Defence, Sam Hughes who should be credited for raising the expeditionary force from virtually nothing.

But some of his decisions and insistence upon promoting certain officers were folly that cost many Canadian lives.

Sam would ride about the Valcartier training camp on his horse, see something that he liked and then grant a promotion on the spot.

Hughes' son Garnet was at 2nd Ypres. He proved to be incompetent.

Garnet is but one example of the result of the culling process that began in 1915 and continued until the best people were in charge of the divisions and had occupied important roles at HQ. Even at the end, some key roles were played by British officers who gave outstanding service to the Canadian Corps.

The nepotism that accounted for Garnet's appointment and the odd policy to allow a man to command a regiment simply because he invested money to raise the regiment cost lives especially as the Canadians were learning and trying to integrate some of the new tactics that were being developed by the British.

BTW, Garnet Hughes wound up leading 5th Division which eventually provided reinforcements to the other 4 divisions of the Corps.

Hughes was never granted a field command as his former friend, Arthur Currie, considered him to be incompetent. Despite pressure from Sam, Currie would not bend.

At home, Sam Hughes who had been removed as Minister of Defence, made it his life's work to slander Arthur Currie and to paint a picture of a Corps commander who was a butcher with no concern for the lives of his men.

Currie built the Corps using the best leaders that he could find but that takes time and as it was with Imperial divisions, the cost in lives was enormous as tactics and strategies and new technologies were developed.

Cheers,

George

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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 9:53:52 AM

Quote:
"The challenge here is whether the BEF would have operated differently- acting as the Dominion forces finally did --fought the war their way--mind you they did have exceptional leadership."Please note finally --I am sure that the Canadians in 1915 were as green ,if not greener; than our lads
and this would also cover their leaders in 1915.


Quote:
There is also evidence that the French displayed ingenuity and adaptability in their approach ; there was a French colonel who wrote a manual about infantry tactics that was adopted and used by the Germans to great effect. The awful shock that the French experienced in the opening weeks of the war, with several hundred thousand casualties in the first few weeks, imparted a real necessity is the mother of invention syndrome to their warmaking.


How come a French manual was used by the Germans -was it on sale pre war and did the French also use this elixir of tactical knowhow??

JHC!!!! Bloody spelling again-I do wish that I had gone to school when young

Regards

Jim
--anemone


The French officer was Captain Andre Laffargue. Apologies : he was not a Colonel . He wrote this pamphlet after first hand experience in the 1915 Artois Offensive , in which he had been wounded.

The Germans captured a copy of this document in 1916, and distributed it among their staff officers.

Regards , Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 11:39:17 AM

Quote:
In 1914, shell shortage emerged more quickly than anticipated – for France within six weeks, during the battle of the Marne, and for other armies, including the British and German, by November.

The shortening of the day and the worsening of the weather as winter approached then provided some respite. In August, it had been assumed that the initial control on shell consumption would be not output, but transport. In manoeuvre warfare, artillery batteries were limited to the shells they could carry in their gun limbers or could draw from immediate sources of resupply. The development of trench warfare stabilized armies’ lines of communication while increasing the number of available targets.

So as guns expended more shells, their demands were relayed all the way back to the factories. The problem was compounded because the need to destroy field fortifications rather than kill infantry crossing open ground created additional and different demands - for heavier artillery, whose manufacture was much more complex, and for high-explosive shells, not the shrapnel or fragmentation shells on which pre-war plans had rested.

British Encyclopedia

I must admit that this major catastrophe would not have helped British endeavours in 1915--when shells would have replaced flesh and blood in the various indecisive attacks the BEF made in thay year.

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Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 1:12:21 PM
There is a dimension to this that I think needs strong emphasis, even if it amounts to a statement of the bleeding obvious : these abortive Entente offensives failed, or were fought to a standstill, for a number of reasons. Paramount among these were the superlative qualities of the German soldiers.

Falkenhayn, their commander, was a notoriously secretive and enigmatic personality. His memoirs testify to this, writtten in a uniquely cold and disciplined manner.

When he reviews the performance of the German army on the Western Front in 1915, he departs a bit from this restraint, and eulogises the sheer bravery and devotion of his outnumbered and outgunned troops, who gave an astonishing account of themselves.

Regards, Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 1:31:55 PM
No doubt about it Phil-the Germans were "natural" soldiers; and in action certainly showed their mettle-determined and dogged much to the dismay of incoming British troops.

In early April the 50th (Northumbrian) TA Division was warned that it would go on overseas service and entrainment began on 16 April. By 23 April the Division had concentrated in the area of Steenvoorde.

It had arrived just as the German army had attacked at nearby Ypres, using poison gas for the first time, and was rushed into the battle. The Division then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the following engagements--A rude awakening for the amateurs but they fought and perhaps learned how to stay alive at:

The Battle of St Julien=
The Battle of Frezenburg Ridge=
The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge=
= the battles marked = are phases of the Second Battles of Ypres.

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 2:10:50 PM
25 May 1915--Bearing the Yoke

At the request of General Foch, Sir John French agreed to relieve another French Division south of the La Bassee canal, to enable it to strengthen the French attack continuing at Vimy.

This would mean extending the line held by the British to the track that runs from Vermelles to Le Rutoire.

The 2nd Division was ordered from rest, and they completed relief by 31st May.

French also ordered Haig to close down the Festubert attacks as ammunition was by now very low, and it was apparent that the enemy had reinforced the new line in considerable strength.

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Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 2:44:18 PM
It is always gratifying when a single pithy sentence from a highly valued book can sum things up.

From Jack Sheldon’s THE GERMAN ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1915, page 160 :

It was a sorry time for British arms, revealing, as it did, the inability of the BEF at that period to operate effectively against a first class enemy.

Ability ? Clearly deficient. Willingness ? All too apparent, judging by the casualties.

The whole of that war was tragic ; but there is something uniquely gut wrenching in the story of those abysmal battles of 1915 and the desperate attempts of an army that was out of its depth.

Editing : From CWGC, deaths from all causes, France and Belgium, 1915 :

UK : 78,768

Canada : 4,196

India : 3,246


Regards, Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 3:02:16 PM
Most pleased and gratified to read your post Phil--it goes a long way to backing my own original thoughts about 1915.

You will have noted that the Battle of Festubert had to be called off to go to help the French out -in the midst of a "bloody" battle--I bet that Foch knew that John French was a soft touch.

I think that the BEF carried the French also in 1916 ie.the Somme to ease the French at Verdun.

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/27/2018 3:21:40 PM
Sad to say, Jim, the French were dismissive - even disdainful - about the efforts of the BEF in May, 1915.

The BEF captured 6,500 German prisoners throughout 1915 ; the French captured seven times that number.

Between February and November, the Germans reported 105,000 casualties opposite the British. Against the French, they reported 505,000.

Even though these figures are probably understated, they indicate how diminutive the BEF’s effect was compared with that of the French .

I suspect that the French perceived things very differently from your depiction.

They would be outraged at the suggestion that the BEF “ carried “ the French....their refrain was that England will fight to the last Frenchman ....

Edit : French deaths Western Front, 1915 : 345,000 ( c1.25 million total casualties) ; British Empire, 85,000 deaths ( c.300,000 total casualties ).

German deaths, Western Front, 1915 : 225,000 ( c.800,000 total casualties )

A bad year for the Allies, on all fronts.

I do take your point, Jim....in a certain sense, the British loss was particularly lamentable. But you’ll forgive me, I hope, if I insist that it would be a travesty to imply that the British were “ carrying “ the French. British lives and blood were poured out in a demonstration of coalition warfare. Both the British and the French were anxious to keep Russia in the war, and a lot of the sacrifices they made can be best interpreted in that light.


Regards , Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 3:10:03 AM

Quote:
Most pleased and gratified to read your post Phil--it goes a long way to backing my own original thoughts about 1915.

You will have noted that the Battle of Festubert had to be called off to go to help the French out -in the midst of a "bloody" battle--I bet that Foch knew that John French was a soft touch.

I think that the BEF carried the French also in 1916 ie.the Somme to ease the French at Verdun.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

You allude to the French battle at Artois in May-June as a “ bloody” one. I suspect that you are being ironic.

In your opening post you mentioned that the French casualties in that battle were 11,150. That was either a typo, or an honest mistake.

The actual figure was in excess of 100,000 - pretty well ten times the figure you cited - and, again, four times the British loss at Aubers and Festubert combined.

I am anxious when I make this criticism, because I realise that visual difficulties must make it infernally difficult for you to read these figures.

Regards, Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 3:28:27 AM
GM Phil--it was Festubert that I alluded to in my last post--I said
"bloody" instead of ruddy--we weren't sitting around supping tea.Foch's interests were always to the forefront--you people can stop what you are doing and come and help me with my battle.

We were vert much at the beck and call of he French and it was to continue through 1916 .

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 4:57:06 AM
Battle of Loos--BEF still very much under French control


Quote:
Field Marshal Sir John French and Haig (GOC First Army), regarded the ground south of La Bassée Canal, which was overlooked by German-held slag heaps and colliery towers, as unsuitable for an attack, particularly given the discovery in July that the Germans were building a second defensive position behind the front position.

At the Frévent Conference on 27 July, Field Marshal French failed to persuade Ferdinand Foch that an attack further north offered greater prospects for success. The debate continued into August with Joffre siding with Foch and the British commanders being over-ruled by Herbert Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, on 21 August. On 3 May, the British decided upon use of poison gas in military operations in France.

At a conference on 6 September, Haig announced to his subordinates that extensive use of chlorine gas might facilitate success despite the terrain, if the French and British were able to keep the attack secret and advance on a line towards Douai and Valenciennes.


Regars

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 4:59:52 AM
“ very much at the beck and call of the French...and it was to continue through 1916”

And through the spring of 1917, too, Jim.

The tragedy of 1915 for the British was that the BEF was not in a condition to do the heavy lifting that it attempted. It must be acknowledged , though , that it achieved a striking and innovative initial success at Neuve Chapelle in March, and another initial one at Loos.

Should the British have refused to comply with the requirements of coalition warfare ?

Or are you arguing that they could - and should - have rendered their compliance more effective by dint of insistence on their own choice of when and where to launch their attacks ?

Regards, Phil
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 6:05:04 AM
Here I must hesitate and ponder the effect of refusal to comply with the French plan--I would say YES BUT the Secretary od State for War Lord Kitchener wiould have had to take desperate measures to ensure compliance

Had it not been that He Kitchener had gone against his field commanders--the Battle of Loos would possibly not have been fought--what could the French have done in those circumstances--the case that French and Haig had proposed was sound as far as I can determine

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Jim.
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 6:31:52 AM
Was there a regular meeting of joint staffs of the French and British to discuss strategy in 1915?

For that matter, were the Defence Departments or War Departments of these two nations, in communication?

I suppose that I am wondering whether the British had input.

It seems unlikely that they did not voice opinion.

Cheers,

George

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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 6:47:46 AM
George -this is only one I can find.When Foch reqested British to relieve a Frenc Divsion during the Battle of Festobert-Sir John French ordered hie 2nd Divsion out of rest and called off further fighting at Festubert. h

Quote:
Field Marshal Sir John French and Haig (GOC First Army), regarded the ground south of La Bassée Canal, which was overlooked by German-held slag heaps and colliery towers, as unsuitable for an attack, particularly given the discovery in July that the Germans were building a second defensive position behind the front position.

At the Frévent Conference on 27 July, Field Marshal French failed to persuade Ferdinand Foch that an attack further north offered greater prospects for success. The debate continued into August with Joffre siding with Foch and the British commanders being over-ruled by Herbert Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, on 21 August. On 3 May, the British decided upon use of poison gas in military operations in France..Sir John French had declared himself sick.

At a conference on 6 September, Haig announced to his subordinates that extensive use of chlorine gas might facilitate success despite the terrain, if the French and British were able to keep the attack secret and advance on a line towards Douai and Valenciennes.Kitchener ordered Haig tocommence at Loos as planned by the French.

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 8:39:40 AM
It's not as though they did not meet of course.

This is a silent video, a PR effort made in 1915, that celebrates the great alliance between the two nations.

[Read More]

Excerpts from "Uneasy Coalition: The Entente Experience in World War 1"

1. In 1915, Churchill and other politicians lament the lack of meeting between France and GB to co-ordinate the war effort. Churchill in particular wrote that a single co-ordination conference in January of 1915 may have saved many lives.

2. Each allied state had been pursuing its own objectives

3. Lord Hanley, Secretary of the British War Cabinet stated, "No power engaged in the war had thought out the problem of Supreme Command and everyone blundered in this respect.

First steps toward co-ordination

1. Joffre provided the initiative in the first steps toward co-ordination. He was concerned, in 1914, about the poor relations between General French and his own General Lanrezac.

2. So the first conference was in late Aug. of 1914 and held at St. Quentin, France. It wasn't the most positive experience but it did lay the ground work for further consultation.

3. On Nov. 1, 1914, a conference was called at Dunkirk. In attendance were the French President, both ministers of war and finance, Joffre, Foch, Weygand, Kitchener and the French ambassador to GB.

We are aware of the heavy losses experienced by GB to that time and so the topic was reinforcements. How many troops was GB capable of fielding at this point in the war.

And it was here that the allies agreed not to make a separate peace with Germany. That agreement was signed in Sept. of 1914

Further Co-ordination

1. Lloyd George in his memoirs commented that Lord Kitchener had told him that a central allied authority should be established so that all information could be shared and attacks planned to occur simultaneously

2. British War Council decided that Lloyd George, while attending a meeting finance ministers in Paris, should broach the subject of a co-ordinating body to assist in the establishment of a more co-operative war effort

Lloyd George reported back that his suggestion went for nought as the French seemed obsessed that they should have full control over the land war effort. The French argued that they already had been directing efforts and that that should continue.

France and Joffre in particular argued that GB did not have sufficient assets available that would allow them to expect equality of authority.

3. The Italians entered the fray on May 23, 1915 but initially only against Austria-Hungary. A conference was held to discuss effective integration of the Italians. The French presided over the meeting. However it would be one full year before the Italians were invited to any further war conferences.

4. Britain recognized that it needed to meet with the French to determine how much ammunition, what type of ammunition, how many guns and of what calibre would be needed to allow British forces to be successful in the next offensive.
So France and GB met June 19, 1915.

This was a critical meeting because it set the standard for the "scale and character" of the British army.
It was here that Lloyd-George bemoaned the lack of co-ordination between the two powers.

5. July 7, 1915. The allies meet at French GHQ in Chantilly.
It had been prompted by a memorandum of intent presented to the British cabinet (by whom I do not know).

In that memorandum it was decided:
(a) to bring about a round table conference of allies to consult on the whole war policy
(b) to determine how a long war shall be financed
(c) to firm up an establishment with the French for the British military effort.

My comment: It appears then that the British were still wondering and pondering just how deeply they wanted to get into this affair. The casualty lists indicated that they were already in pretty deeply.

6. July 6, 1915, an inter-allied war conference was held in Calais.

Both the French and British PM's were there. Generals Joffre and French as well.

Not the most fruitful conference by at least the major movers and shakers were there.

7. The next day, July 7, the first inter-allied war conference took place at Joffre's HQ in Chantilly. Joffre and French were there but also representatives of Russian, Italy, Belgium and Serbia.

Joffre gave an outline of the responsibilities of each of the allied partners.

A key comment by Joffre: He stated that it was a matter of honour that the Franco-British armies and the Serbo-Italian armies start their offensives ASAP.

This was adopted by the countries at the conference unanimously.

8. Oct. 1915, PM Asquith pushes for greater co-ordination between the allies.

9. Fall of 1915, the French send a liaison officer to Lord Kitchener's office. This captain apparently was well received.

10. Sept. 11, 1915, a conference in Calais took place to discuss sending 4 French divisions to the Dardanelles.

11. Early Nov. 1915, General Robertson, not yet CIGS, reports that it was time for Britain to be more pro-active in the conduct of the war. He said that up until then, the French had had their own way.

12. Nov. 16, 1915, British War Committee heads to Paris to discuss the evacuation at Gallipoli and the landing at Alexandretta.

Lord Kitchener approved of both measures.

One important development at this meeting was that an agreement in principle was established to set a constitution for further meetings.

So I think that slowly the idea that co-ordination was of paramount importance had been established.

The British PM drafted the details and it was sent to the French PM and approved in Jan. of 1916

13. Dec. 6-8, 1915. An important conference to establish the future conduct of the war.

But there were still differences of opinion as each ally had interests specific to its own goals.


I could go on but suffice to say that all through 1916, the allies were meeting but throughout 1916 there was still considerable infighting as the French pointed to the length of the line that they were responsible for compared to the British and the British countered by pointing to the number of divisions they were facing.

There were many other problems including the problem of maintaining supplies to the Russians.

There were many more meetings but the author indicates that the disaster in Italy was a motivating factor in the decision to appoint a Supreme Commander.

The Rome Conference of 1917 led to a meeting on a train between French General Nivelle and Lloyd George (L-G on his way home from the conference)

L-G, who had opposed many suggestions was swayed by Nivelle and liked what he heard.

A memorandum was issued and the French and the British agreed to resume an offensive no later than April 1, 1917.

From Winston's memoirs:

Lloyd-George, once opposed to an offensive but now in favour became fixated upon a unified military command structure.

"It is not that one General is better than another, but that one General is better than two." - Lloyd George

Calais Conference of Feb. 26, 1917

Ostensibly about transportation problems, Kitchener apparently was surprised that the subject of unified command was on the table.

Haig felt that L-G had double crossed him.

Maurice Hankey, Sec. of War Cabinet produced a document at the conference that he called a "formula". That formula said that since the upcoming battles were to be fought on French soil and as the French army was larger than the British, that the direction of the campaign should be by the French Commander in Chief.

Haig did agree to the arrangement but he was adamant that the agreement only covered the first offensive to be undertaken and was not an agreement that the British should be subservient to the French.

It was L-G who continue to push for a unified command. And of course, the French wanted that as well.

L-G was convinced that multiple wars were being fought and that there was no unified strategy.

He asked Field Marshall John French to draft a proposal that would establish a Superior Council of the Allies.

This was an important step but did not establish unity of command.

It took another disaster before the allies decided upon the need for a Supreme Commander.


Look I have gone on far too long.

But it seems to me that the British were fully invested in the concept of a unified command and L-G took steps to see that it would happen.

So I do not quite understand why it would be assumed that the British were under the thumb of the French.

Cheers,

George








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Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 9:41:07 AM
Many thanks for the Grand Tour George-you have been most assiduous in showing the extent of the co ordination of the Allied war effort'

Yes the British Government led by LG and Winston and The War Office headed by Lord Kitchener were all for the Entente Cordiale and the French undoubtedly would welcome such support.However regarding Loos in 1915 British field commanders objected to the terrain surrounding Loos at a formal meeting with the French .

It was Kitchener at the next meeting who dismissed the field commanders objections and told them to get on with it .I IT was the Battle of Loos which was a disaster--this sort of control the French retained right through 1916 and into 1917.

Haig--a General who I have never rated as much good; broke the spell by fighting 3rd Ypres--another disgusting mess-which the French could not help out because their Army had mutinied. In 1918 Foch got General Gough sacked to an audience of nodding heads for being beaten by the German Offensive of March 1918 and he was raised to Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.

Regards

Jim.
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7826

Re: 1915 for BEF was a grim,fruitless yearunder the French yoke
Posted on: 5/28/2018 10:30:33 AM
Good morning Jim,

I think that a more compelling argument that the British were "under the yoke" of the French is needed.

You have just acknowledged that Lord Kitchener said to "get on with it" at Loos.

What I do no understand is how that qualifies as being under the yolk of the French.

Why didn't Kitchener just say, "we will not do it" ?

If it was a poor decision, was it not a British decision? Was Kitchener compelled to accept the French plan by his government?

Did he accept the French plan as sound?

Re: General Gough. There were nodding heads at the Dominion HQ's when Gough was sacked. They did not trust his judgement one whit and not just for the difficulties associated with the Spring Offensive.

Cheers,

George

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