Uneasy Coalition: The Entente Experience in World War I

By Jehuda L. Wallach | Go to book overview

Foch was made commander in chief on the whole front was largely responsible for the failure of their Spring Offensive in 1918. Lloyd George concluded that had a General Reserve been set up under central command before the March offensive, the defeats of March and April would never have occurred. 51

In his study, Sir Frederick Maurice drew attention to another problematic facet of the unified command, arguing that Foch began his task of coordinating the action of the Allied armies on the western front with a small staff of about one dozen officers solely concerned with military operations. But later, when French, British, and American troops became intermingled, the problems of coordinating different systems of supply and administration became acute, and an administrative staff was added. At first two British officers were appointed as liaison officers with General Foch, but by the middle of July a regular British mission headed by a senior British general was established at his headquarters. Maurice observed that French military methods and practice were different from British and that it took time for the new machinery to run smoothly. Foch used to issue his instructions to his armies in the form of directives, and their meaning and his intentions were not always grasped at once by the British generals, who were used to receiving orders of a different kind and in different form. 52

The problems of logistics in a wartime coalition will be discussed in Chapter 8.


NOTES
1.
Lord Maurice Hankey, The Supreme Command 1914-18, vol. 1, London, 1961, p. 140.
2.
Supra, p. 87. Quoted by Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis 1911-1918, London, 1964, p. 797.
3.
Charles Bugnet, Foch Speaks, New York, 1929, p. 250.
4.
Ibid., p. 221.
5.
Gerald French, The Life of Field-Marshal Sir John French, London, 1931, p. 245.
6.
Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, The Personal Memoirs of Joffre, vol. 1, New York, 1932, p. 357.
7.
Vide: Charles Julien Huguet, Britain and the War, London, 1928; and Edward L. Spears , Liaison 1914, London, 1930.
8.
Supra, p. 54.
9.
Sir Charles Edward Callwell, Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, vol. 1, New York, 1927, p. 217.
10.
Ibid.
11.
Ibid., pp. 217-18.
12.
Raymond Poincaré, The Memoirs of Raymond Poincaré, vol. 4, New York, 1931, p. 68.
13.
Ibid., p. 51.

-117-

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Uneasy Coalition: The Entente Experience in World War I
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - Suggestions for a Typology of Wartime Coalitions 1
  • 2 - Prewar Planning Between Allies and Potential Allies 7
  • Notes 19
  • 3 - Particularistic Interests in the Coalition 21
  • Notes 41
  • 4 - Human Relations 45
  • Notes 70
  • 5 - Coordination Conferences and Coordination Bodies 75
  • Notes 97
  • 6 - General Reserve and Unified Command 101
  • Notes 117
  • 7 - Amalgamation of Forces 119
  • Notes 129
  • 8 - Logistics and War Finances 131
  • Notes 149
  • 9 - Alliance on the Peace Path 153
  • Notes 167
  • 10 - Conclusions and Lessons 169
  • Notes 176
  • Appendix A Members of the Alliance 177
  • Appendix B Sessions of the Supreme War council (SWC) 179
  • Appendix C Inter-Allied Committees 181
  • Bibliography 183
  • Index 187
  • About the Author 193
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