Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 195
what serious disasters might follow if we kept the troops in these impossible and exposed positions during the winter. We also discussed the Salonika Expedition and I repeated stronger than ever what I had told Lord Northcliffe just previously and what I have repeated to everyone in authority since I have been back. He then put the following concrete question to me. If you were suddenly appointed Commander in Chief what force would you regard as a minimum to have any hope of taking Constantinople? I told him there were so many factors which I must be taken into consideration notably the attitude of the Greeks but supposing even Greece and Roumania declared in our favour I should I require the existing force on the peninsula one houndred thousand men landed in Asia Minor and Five houndred thousand constantjly kept up to full steength in Macedonia and Thrace. These figures seemed to stagger him.
I left this interview with a deep impression on my mind namely that Winston knows nothing of modern warfare that he jumps at the most absurdly erroneous conclusions and that he suffers from extraordinary illusions. In fact I now regard him as a grave danger to the country He told me that Ian Hamilton and His Chief of Staff had both been recalled. This is at least a step in the right direction. It saves me agitating any further on this score. I was determined to go on making exposures of their deceitfulness and incompetency until matters had reached a crisis. In fact the news has now been announced in the papers that Sir Ian has been recalled in order to make a report and that Sir Charles Munro has been sent out to report to the Cabinet on the whole situation