23/12/1915 Kitchener sidelined as Britain further rearranges its generals

The top generals of the British Army continues to play a game of musical chairs. Haig has replaced French as commander on the Western Front. William Robertson replaces Archibald Murray as Chief of the Imperial General Staff. This is the most senior position in the British army but it is more about administration and organisation than the direction of strategy. Robertson’s background as the chief British staff officer on the Western Front made him an obvious candidate this role.

Roberson is close to Haig and sees his role as providing him with the resources needed to pursue his plans. He does not intend to meddle in Haig’s direction of the war in Belgium and France. He sees the Western Front as the key theatre of the war and wants efforts concentrated there against Germany, Britain’s main enemy.

Robertson’s predecessor had been responsible to Lord Kitchener, Britain’s minister of war. Kitchener has however lost the confidence of many in both the army and the government. Now Kitchener is sidelined, with Robertson to report directly to the War Council, the cabinet committee that oversees strategic military concerns.

Murray is sent off to take command of British forces in Egypt.

image source:

General William Robertson (Wikipedia)

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