Falling between the “War of Movement” in 1914 and the major attrition battles of 1916, 1915 was a critical year in the First World War. As France failed in ever-larger offensives to break through the German trenches, Britain shifted its strategy from defence of empire to total commitment to the continental war.
In the second of three planned volumes, Roy Prete analyzes the political and military policies and strategies of Britain and France and their joint command relationship on the Western Front in 1915. The opposing strategies of the two governments proved to be the main determinant in the sometimes ragged relations between the French commander-in-chief, Joseph Joffre, and his British counterpart, Sir John French, as they sought to drive the German army out of France and to aid their hard-pressed Russian ally. With an impressive marshalling of evidence, Strategy and Command demonstrates that the increased British commitment to the continental war, manifested in sending Kitchener’s New Armies to France in 1915, was largely due to the disastrous situation of the Russian army on the Eastern Front and the perceived weakness of the French government.
Based on extensive research in French and British political and military archives, this new in-depth study of Anglo-French military relations on the Western Front in 1915 fills a major gap in the unfolding drama of the First World War.
About the author
Roy A. Prete teaches in the Department of History at the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston.
“The time is right for a fresh examination of coalitions in general, and the Anglo-French coalition during the period of the world wars, in particular. [Prete] has, through meticulous research in multiple archives, brought to life new sources.” H-France Review