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Old Tom

Dardanelles Report

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Old Tom

The Times, in March 17, reported on the Dardanelles report and the consequent changes in the higher direction of the war. They refer mainly to the establishment of a small War Cabinet and its authority. A quote form the article may be of interest. ' Mr Lloyd George has not merely systematized and quickened the conduct of the war. He has restored the unity of the supreme command.'

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michaeldr

The structures of a wartime administration were evolving as the conflict progressed.

What had originally been the War Council was later, post 25 May 1915, known as the Dardanelles Committee. By March 1917 “A small War Cabinet” was probably a more relevant title for this body. Such a streamlining was first proposed in October/November 1915, but Asquith's desire for the 'cover' provided by the universal popularity of Kitchener, both at home and in the empire, meant that changes took a different form with Robertson appointed as CIGC.

Between the exit from Gallipoli and March 1917 was this body known as the War Committee?

 

 

Is it possible that the reference to the unity of the supreme command was less to do with the Dardanelles Report and perhaps more to do with the Calais conference of February 1917

 

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Old Tom

Indeed!  A sound account of the 'politics' is contained in Lord Hankey's 'Supreme Command.'  Maurice Hankey had been secretary of the Committee of Imperial Defence since 1912.

 

Perhaps 'politics' is not the best word, but I have in mind Hankey's description of the unstructured nature. of Asquith's cabinet in the early part of the war

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michaeldr

Unstructured - Hankey was being polite wasn't he

 

To correct my earlier post, I have now found Martin Gilbert's foot note in his Churchill III, Companion 1, which gives the evolution (p.276)

The War Council first met on 25th November 1914 [NB: already some months into the conflict]

In May 1915 it became the Dardanelles Committee

In November 1915 it was the Cabinet War Committee

and it became the War Cabinet in December 1916 with the arrival of DLG at No.10

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