The Supreme War Council and British Military Plans for 1918
WlTH the backing of the War Cabinet, Lloyd George left London on November 3 on one of his most crucial missions of the war. The task facing him was formidable and the stakes were high. If he failed, he knew that Haig and Robertson wanted to continue the Flanders offensive next year, which might break the spirit of the British Expeditionary Force. Lloyd George marched under the banner of “supreme command,” but his real purpose was to take the war away from the “Westerners,” who had been in control since late 1915. He would use the artichoke method, stripping away one leaf of the general staff s authority at a time. With his man Wilson as a member of the Allied general staff, he hoped to have two sets of military opinion from which to select. Never again would he occupy the impossible position he had found himself in during the Passchendaele debate. Then it had been his amateur strategy against the monolithic military bloc, with Haig, Robertson, and Jellicoe all speaking with one voice.