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Remembered Today:

First World War "Lessons-Learned" Report.


PhilB

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I came across this quote in Simon Akam`s book "The Changing of the Guard - the British Army since 9/11". Does anyone know if the report was ultimately released or what might have been in it?

 

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Edited by PhilB
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There appears to be a footnote referencing the assertion so that may well be worth checking. If not then this may be the report the author is talking about

https://www.naval-military-press.com/product/report-of-the-committee-on-the-lessons-of-the-great-war/

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The footnote isn’t very helpful, Ilkley. I suspect your suggestion is right and that is the publication. The blurb says:-

“This concise report, then, is of uncommon historical interest in being the official findings of a high-powered committee of Generals which in October 1932 reported to the War Office on lessons learned from the 1914-18 conflict. Among the conclusions reached by the committee (which, as early as 1932, foresaw the possibility of a ‘second round’ fought with Germany), – were the importance of a centrally controlled War Department which would not delegate powers to local theatres; the necessity of a rapid expansion of Britain’s small professional army; the importance of keeping abreast of scientific developments relevant to warfare; training up an officer corps rather than allowing them to be killed early as cannon fodder; and the necessity of forming a national ‘non-party’ government. Brief though it is, this is an extremely interesting and important insight into military thinking among the Higher Command in the period leading up to the Second World War.”

Some interesting points in there!

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It was the Kirke Report, official title:  
Committee on the lessons of the Great War: Report

Edited by MartH
Typo
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Note it is issued as Secret

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Thanks for the replies. I think this line might have been problematic:-

 "training up an officer corps rather than allowing them to be killed early as cannon fodder;"

It would hardly raise morale for the ORs to know that the officers were to be protected while the rest supplied the cannon fodder. And who is more valuable, a newish 2/Lt or an experienced senior NCO?

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  • PhilB changed the title to First World War "Lessons-Learned" Report.

How many pages? How many lessons?

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6 hours ago, PhilB said:

 "training up an officer corps rather than allowing them to be killed early as cannon fodder;"

 

A word search of the document WO 33/1297 does not reveal that statement, nor even the terms "officer corps", "cannon", "fodder".

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Apologies, I interpreted that "this line might have been problematic..." intimated the above quote was verbatim from the report, not the book.

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I wonder how many changes between draft and secret copy issued.

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