15/11/1916 Searching for a strategy: generals and politicians meet in Paris

Allied leaders are meeting in Paris to decide on how best to prosecute the war. The old argument between easterners and westerners continues. The representatives of Russia, Romania, and Serbia favour the despatch of a larger force to Salonika in Greece, to press the Central Powers in the Balkans. For the Serbs this might allow them to regain their country, now under enemy occupation, while the Romanians hope that an increased French and British presence in Salonika might save them from the same fate. The French however are more interested in concentrating on the Western Front, so that they can expel the Germans from their country. The British generals concur, while their politicians are more ambivalent.

Asquith, Britain’s prime minister, attends the conference and dines with Haig. Asquith is pleased with the recent success the British have enjoyed at the Somme. Haig is pleased by this political vote of confidence. He orders his generals at the Somme to halt any further attacks for now, in case something untoward happens that displeases Asquith.

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