Asquith as war leader

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History and Philosophy


Asquith was at the pinnacle of his success when the course of his life and that of his country was changed by the outbreak of the First World War. Instead of being over by Christmas 1914, the war became a stalemate, with opposing trenches extending from the Channel coast to the Swiss border. During the initial stages of the war Asquith's oratory, tact and skill, combined with his imperturbability and prestige, made him indispensable. As the war dragged on, his failure to show the ruthlessness needed to win at any cost made him ill-suited to direct the nation in total war. In December 1916 Asquith was manoeuvred out of Downing Street by Lloyd George. Asquith as War Leader is the first comprehensive study of this exceptionally talented Prime Minister's war record. In a thorough examination of British war policy, with its evolutionary shifts and internal dissensions, George H. Cassar has defined the precise nature of Asquith's involvement and responsibility. He describes Asquith's part in bringing Britain into the war, in shaping war aims and strategy, and in mobilising the nation's resources. Because he was not the Prime Minister who won in 1918, Asquith's achievements in dealing with the problems of fighting a war on an unprecedented scale have been insufficiently recognised.

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OCLC No.:621294450

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