Too Important for the Generals - Allan Mallinson

Hardback - Very Good Condition

First Edition


“War is too important to be left to the generals, snapped future French prime minister Georges Clemenceau on learning of yet another bloody and futile offensive on the Western Front.

The question persists: why did the First World War take so long to win and exact so appalling a human cost? In this major new analysis, acclaimed military historian Allan Mallinson provides controversial and disturbing answers.

He disputes the growing consensus among historians that British generals were not to blame for the losses and setbacks and that, given the magnitude of their task, they did as well as anyone could have. He takes issue with the popular view that the ‘amateur’ strategic opinions of politicians such as Lloyd George and, especially, Winston Churchill prolonged the war and increased the death toll. On the contrary, he argues, even before the war began Churchill had a far better grasp of strategy than any of the admirals or generals. And he repudiates the notion that Churchill’s stature as a wartime prime minister after 1940 owes much to the lessons he learned from his First World War mistakes’ – notably the Dardanelles campaign – maintaining instead that Churchill’s achievement in the Second World War owes much to his determination that the thwarting of his better strategic judgement by the ‘professionals’ in the First would not be repeated.

From day one of the war, Mallinson argues, Britain was wrong-footed by faulty French military doctrine and paid the price in casualties. He shows that Lloyd George understood only too well the catastrophically dysfunctional condition of military policy-making and struggled against the weight of military opposition to fix it. And he asserts that both the British and the French failed to appreciate what the Americans’ contribution to victory could be – and, after the war, to acknowledge fully what it had actually been.

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Too Important for the Generals: Losing and Winning the First World War by Allan Mallinson

First Edition.

In a very good condition. Some light creasing to the edges of the dust jacket and a sticker mark on the front. See photos for more details.

Additional information

Weight 708 g
Dimensions 24 × 16 × 3.7 cm




Allan Mallinson

Extra Information

First Edition