The Hidden Perspective: The Military Conversations 1906-1914

The Hidden Perspective: The Military Conversations 1906-1914

by David Owen


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In 1905, British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey agreed to speak secretly with his French counterparts about sending a British expeditionary force to France in the event of a German attack. Neither Parliament nor the rest of the Cabinet was informed. The Hidden Perspective takes readers back to these tense years leading up to World War I and re-creates the stormy Cabinet meetings in the fall of 1911 when the details of the military conversations were finally revealed.

Using contemporary historical documents, David Owen, himself a former foreign secretary, shows how the foreign office’s underlying belief in Britain’s moral obligation to send troops to the Continent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 contends, the carnage of World War I might have been prevented altogether.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781908323989
Publisher: Haus Publishing
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Pages: 273
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

David Owen has served as a member of Parliament, minister for the Navy, health minister, and foreign secretary. He is now an Independent Social Democrat in the House of Lords.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: From Balance of Power to Entente

Chapter Two: The Military Conversations

Chapter Three: The Cabinet Asserts Itself in 1911

Chapter Four: Last Chances for Peace – the Haldane and Tyrrell Missions

Appendix: Memorandum on the Present State of British Relations with France and Germany, 1907, written by Eyre Crowe

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