chapter  8
32 Pages

Passchendaele: The Rack of Choice

LLOYD George’s freedom to respond to the fluid political and military situation facing the Allies had been limited by his involvement in Nivelle’s offensive. The members of the War Cabinet who had supported Nivelle over Haig-no less than himself-were in a chastened mood. Their authority in military policy had been lowered, Robertson’s and Haig’s prestige and influence enhanced. One also suspects that Lloyd George’s confidence was shaken-at least for the moment. In the past he had been able to keep his distance from the big attacks in the West and make a plausible case for being right about Serbia, Rumania, etc. Now, for the first time, his reputation was entwined with the planning and failure of a great western attack. No matter how deep-rooted his skepticism of Haig’s and Robertson’s s plans, he now shrank from overruling them. His irresolute-at times even noncommittal-stance in the coming months is more readily understood when this is kept in mind.