Lloyd George Attempts to Overthrow the Generals
As the third year of campaigning approached an end, the strain on the nation was great. Whiskey was weaker and dress duller. Houses were in need of paint, fences in need of repair, and roads in need of surfacing. Wounded soldiers in their distinctive blue jackets abounded and telegrams informing parents and wives of the death of loved ones fell like leaves as the Somme offensive continued into the mud and snow of November. Death played no favorites. Asquith lost two nephews and his oldest son, Raymond; Hankey, his brother Donald. Lloyd George, who had two sons in khaki, was luckier. Undersea assault by the German submarine was taking a terrible toll on shipping. Walter Runciman, the president of the Board of Trade, warned the government that “my expert advisers believed that I am far too sanguine in advising the War Committee that the complete breakdown in shipping will come in June, 1917; they are convinced that it will come much sooner than June."1 Britain’s deteriorating financial situation was another matter of grave concern.