This book’s contribution to the discussion on the origin’s of the First World War is a pioneering study of both the British General Staff and the evolution of military strategy in the period immediately prior to the war. It describes the development of the General Staff, Britain’s agency for strategic planning, and goes on to give an account of its role in devising strategy. Problems are examined as they arose at grass-roots level in the War Office and progressed upward towards the Cabinet. The complex cross-currents involving the Admiralty, Foreign Office, Treasury and individuals from Edward VII downwards are charted. The account covers British military policy up to 1916, interpreting the Gallipoli campaign and explanation for its failure.

chapter |31 pages

Army and Empire

chapter |30 pages

The Triumph of Lord Esher

chapter |35 pages

Division and Debate

chapter |34 pages

The Machine Constructed

chapter |34 pages

The Imperial Design

chapter |33 pages

Strategic Reorientation

chapter |40 pages


chapter |40 pages


chapter |21 pages

France and Germany

chapter |35 pages

Democracy at War