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Title: The men who planned the war : a study of the staff of the British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918
Author: Harris, Paul Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 4921
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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The historiography of the First World War has produced few systematic studies of the staff officers of the British army on the Western Front. The work of the staff and their development during the war has largely been overshadowed by the debate over the quality of generalship. As a consequence the picture of the command function is incomplete. This thesis aims to fill the gap in understanding through a detailed analysis of the characteristics of the staff and their evolution over four years of war. It will evaluate changes in the profile of the staff and assess the implications for command performance. The staff will be subjected to scrutiny over several strands of analysis including training, staff duties, origins and experience, career paths and turnover and the differences evident between formations. The research will also explore how the staff addressed the considerable challenges that confronted them to emerge as part of a war-winning army. This study will refute the popular view that the staff were largely incompetent and ignorant of front-line conditions.
Supervisor: Philpott, William James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available