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’.
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.]