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Lloyd George admits ‘incredible blunders’ in the war
David Lloyd George delivering a speech on the need for an Allied War Council Photo: Manchester Guardian History of War, 1917

Lloyd George admits ‘incredible blunders’ in the war

Paris, 14 November 1917 - David Lloyd George has admitted that the Allies have been guilty of ‘incredible blunders’ in their conduct of the war.

The British Prime Minister was speaking in Paris at a luncheon hosted by the French Premier, where he made reference to the new allied Supreme War Council, the necessity for which was underlined by the absence of a coherent strategy for the first three years of the war.

According to Lloyd George, the unity of the Allies had been ‘pure make-believe’ up this point and the huge error of not ‘guarding the gates of the Balkans’ was attributed to the fact that it was ‘no one’s business in particular’.

Illustration of the flags of Italy, Russia, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom - the Allies from the early years of the war. Lloyd George has said that cooperation between them has been non existent prior to the establishment of the Supreme War Council (Image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA)

The Supreme War Council has been set up by the governments of France, Italy and Great Britain, to ensure a united direction in the conduct of efforts on the western front.

The council will consist of the leading ministers of the allied countries, and will be advised by senior and distinguished soldiers. Russia and the United States are absent from the council as there had been no time to consult them in advance.

In an editorial the Cork Examiner noted that Lloyd George's ‘somewhat depressing’ speech ‘makes clear that the Allies do not any longer anticipate an early termination of the war’.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.