The Hidden Perspective: The Military Conversations 1906-1914
The Hidden Perspective The Military Conversations 1906-1914 Author:David Owen Within weeks of taking office in December 1905, British Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Foreign Secretary Edward Grey agreed to allow the General Staff of the Army to secretly enter detailed talks with their French counterparts about sending a British expeditionary force to France in the event of a German attack. Neither Parliament n... more »or the rest of the Cabinet were informed. In fact, Campbell-Bannerman?s successor as prime minister, H. H. Asquith, wasn?t aware of the talks for the first three years he held office.
The Hidden Perspective takes readers back to the tense years leading up to World War I, using contemporary historical documents to re-create the stormy Cabinet meetings in the fall of 1911 when the details of the military conversations were finally revealed. David Owen, himself a former foreign secretary, shows how the foreign office?s underlying belief in Britain?s moral obligation to send troops to the Continent influenced political decision-making and helped create the impression that war was inevitable. Had Britain?s diplomatic and naval strategy been handled more skillfully during these years, Owen argues, the carnage of World War I might have been prevented altogether.« less