David French, Brian Holden Reid's British General Staff: Reform and Innovation PDF

By David French, Brian Holden Reid

ISBN-10: 0203018087

ISBN-13: 9780203018088

ISBN-10: 071465325X

ISBN-13: 9780714653259

The essays that contain this assortment learn the improvement and impression of the British common employees from the overdue Victorian interval till the eve of global battle II. They hint the alterations within the employees that stimulated British army procedure and next operations at the battlefield.

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Wolseley submitted a memorandum to Salisbury and addressed the Lords at length on 4 March 1901. He claimed that further serious erosion of the C-in-C’s powers beyond those laid down in 1870 (when the political supremacy of the Secretary of State had been established) took place through an Order in Council of 21 November 1895. Wolseley had given the new arrangement ‘a fair trial of five years’, but it had clearly produced ‘military weakness and…is likely to become a positive danger in times of war…a Minister… however able and conscientious, can of necessity have at best but a surface acquaintance with things mili-tary’.

The question remained of what new system should be created. Esher’s work on the Elgin Commission had impressed the Prime Minister, Balfour, and ensured that when a committee, the War Office Reconstitution Committee, was appointed in November 1903 to define a new system, Esher was appointed its chairman, with Admiral Sir John Fisher and George Clarke as the other two members. The committee worked with great speed and issued the three parts of its report when and as they were ready. The result was a somewhat confused document.

A former associate of Wolseley, General Sir Henry Brackenbury, remained DirectorGeneral of Ordnance, but Brackenbury’s adherence to Wolseley had considerably lessened. Indeed, Brackenbury had been instrumental in persuading the Hartington Commission, on which he served, to recommend the creation of a Chief of Staff, most felt with the intention of filling the post himself. Kelly-Kenny, who had become Adjutant-General in October 1901, was of the British rather than the Indian establishment, but had served with Roberts in Abyssinia in 1867–68.

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British General Staff: Reform and Innovation by David French, Brian Holden Reid


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