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Lloyd George at War, 1916-1918

Lloyd George at War, 1916-1918

George H. Cassar


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‘Lloyd George at War, 1916–1918’ provides a much needed re-evaluation of this charismatic prime minister’s wartime leadership. Calling on a wide range of primary sources and focussing on Lloyd George’s role in the war cabinet, Cassar compellingly argues that George’s reputation as the “man who won the war” was wholly unmerited. Instead Cassar shows that Lloyd George’s heavy handed leadership was often detrimental to the Allied cause. From his wholehearted support for the disastrous Nivelle offensive, to his pursuit of a peripheral strategy that diverted troops away from the critical theatre of war on the Western Front, Cassar shows that Lloyd George consistently bucked the advice of his generals in preference for ineffectual and dangerous military strategies. Cassar’s approach also differs from that of other studies of Lloyd George by adopting a thematic approach in preference to a chronological narrative, thereby allowing a closer evaluation of Lloyd George’s handling of complex issues.

‘Cassar’s views cannot be lightly set aside. […] His case against Lloyd George is well made […] Measured and reasonable […] A fine scholarly study, founded on deep research and knowledge […] It is of more than just historical interest […] At a time when the UK’s strategy, or lack of it, is receiving considerable attention, Cassar’s careful study of how and why things went wrong is worth more than a passing glance.’ —Gary Sheffield, 'The RUSI Journal'

George H. Cassar is Professor of Military and Modern European History at Eastern Michigan University and a leading authority on Britain at war.

‘Lloyd George at War, 1916–1918’ refutes the traditional view that Lloyd George was the person most responsible for winning the Great War. Cassar’s careful analysis shows that while his work on the home front was on the whole good, he was an abysmal failure as a strategist and nearly cost Britain the war.