Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics and by Andrew Suttie

By Andrew Suttie

This booklet presents an research of the method and behavior of operations at the Western entrance in the course of 1914-1918. It examines the British and Allied army attempt within the battle but additionally the British major Minister's account of that attempt.

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G. H. ’81 Two others had the opportunity to read all or part of the draft Memoirs. By virtue of his position as Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald was sent drafts of particular chapters for comment. 82 Writing the War Memoirs 1931–36 23 Lloyd George’s treatment of MacDonald in the Memoirs is less than flattering. A particularly critical passage on the labour unrest in 1917 in Britain aroused MacDonald’s scorn: It is clear that the spectacle of Russia had inspired both Mr Ramsay MacDonald and Mr [Philip] Snowden with a vision of themselves sweeping into power, like another Lenin and Trotsky, upon a great wave of popular enthusiasm.

Thus in April 1934 Hankey wrote to Lloyd George: The Submarine Chapter is wonderful. May I show it to the man in our historical section who ‘devilled’ for this part of the Official History? You needn’t fear he is pro-Jellicoe! We had horrid rows with J. at the time and I had to intervene myself! 73 Hankey’s influence over the writing of the War Memoirs was beneficial in terms of factual accuracy and in toning down some of Lloyd George’s more barbed comments on some of his ex-colleagues. Generally, he had a high opinion of the Memoirs: the volumes were a unique contribution to history, which will be read for years to come.

LG. They would have scuppered up the French. 17 In other words, not only would the BEF most likely have been destroyed, but the Germans may well have inflicted a decisive defeat upon the French, which in turn would have severely restricted Britain’s ability to continue the war effectively. In the light of this it is noteworthy that in the final volume of the War Memoirs, in a chapter entitled ‘Some Reflections on the Functions of Governments and Soldiers Respectively in a War’, Lloyd George chose to disregard his old strictures about the great mistake in deploying with the French rather than in Antwerp, and instead described the actual deployment of the BEF in August 1914 as the saviour of the French army: One of the ablest of the German Generals told me recently that but for the force of four highly trained British divisions placed on the Belgian frontier the German Army would have outflanked and Sedanised the whole of the French Fifth Army and thus brought the War to a triumphant end on the Western Front.

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