State Library of NSW
War Minister, no effort was made to create a new General Staff and the government were apparently well content to leave the entire direction of all the branches of the Service in his able hands - a task which has naturally proved beyond the powers of even a super-Napoleon. Thirdly, the War Council, which seems to be a development of what was formerly the Committee of Imperial Defence, assumed the general direction of the strategy of the war. Thus in lieu of a trained General Staff our many campaigns have been directed on some occasions at Lord Kitchener's sole initiative but in the majority of cases by a group of civilians, well skilled in political strategy and tactics, but quite unacquainted with war, either from the practical or theoretical standpoint. Each member, however, has apparently been able to call upon the support of some tame military expert to back his schemes, however wild and ill conceived.I propose only to deal with the Dardanelles Expedition, but there is one point which cannot be passed over because it throws such a flodd of light on the manner in which all our operations have been I conducted up to date. This is the origin of the Antwerp Expedition.Note his words:'The project of sending a relieving army to Antwerp did not originate with me. It originated with Lord Kitchener and the French Government. I was not concerned or consulted in the arrangements until they had advanced a long way, and until large bodies of troops were moving or under orders to move.... On the night of October 2nd at midnight I was summoned to a conference at Lord Kitchener's house, where Sir Edward Grey, Lord Kitchener and others were present.'
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