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Title: 'Ambushed by victory' : Allied strategy on how to win the First World War
Author: McCrae, Meighen Sarah Cassandra
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This study examines the Allied notion of victory and how it was expressed in the depth of Allied strategic planning in 1918 for a campaign in 1919. Using the Supreme War Council (SWC) as a lens this study's arguments are threefold. The first is that, with the creation of the SWC, the Allies pursued a notion of victory that was focused on a decisive military defeat of the German army. Their timeline to victory over the enemy was affected by their perception of the enemy’s strength, their assessment of the difficulties inherent in overcoming the military advantage offered by the Central Powers' interior lines, their appraisal of the European members' morale to continue the war, and their ability to gather the necessary superiority in material and manpower resources. The second argument is that, through the SWC, the Allies were able to successfully coordinate strategy and resources. This study analyses the workings of the SWC as an international body and an early example of modern alliance warfare, comparing the perspectives of the British, French, American and Italian representatives in their willingness and unwillingness to coordinate national needs with alliance ones, arguing that the coalition did form a unified policy and strategy for the campaign in 1919. The abrupt ending of the war has obscured historians' understanding of coalition warfare in the First World War, as they have not sufficiently considered the serious planning that took place for 1919. Third, it argues that at the SWC level, the coalition members recognized the interdependent nature of the theatres, and thus the importance of all them for the conduct of the war.
Supervisor: Strachan, Hew F. A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of War ; History of Britain and Europe ; International,imperial and global history ; Modern Britain and Europe ; World War,1914-1918 ; First World War,1914-1918 ; Allied and Associated Powers ; Supreme War Council ; World War ; First World War ; France ; United States ; Great Britain ; Italy ; Permanent Military Representatives ; Allied Maritime Transport Council ; Inter-Allied Munitions Council ; Inter-Allied Transport Council ; Strategy