chapter  7
28 Pages

The Nivelle Offensive

LLOYD George’s ability to impose his will on the high command depended upon the political support he could muster. In a fight the generals could count on powerful allies. A large segment of Fleet Street, with Northcliffe, Gwynne, and Leo Maxse, the editor of the ultrapatriotic and jingoistic National Review, leading the way, was solidly behind Robertson and Haig. In fact, if the recent upheaval in the government had resulted in Lloyd George’s resigning and taking his heretical strategical views to the people, the consequences would probably have been disastrous for him. Later, as we will see, when he dropped all restraint and publicly blasted the high command’s conduct of the war in an intemperate speech in Paris in November, the violent reaction of the press forced him to beat a hasty retreat.