Home Land War The Generals Some Prominent British Generals and their Fortunes in The Great War - Robertson

Some Prominent British Generals and their Fortunes in The Great War - Robertson

Article Index
Some Prominent British Generals and their Fortunes in The Great War
All Pages

ROBERTSON, (Wully) William Robert (1860-1933)

robertsonRobertson was a very exceptional soldier indeed; he is the only British ranker who has earned a Field Marshal’s baton.

After the outbreak of the war in 1914, he was firstly an assistant to French (idem.) during 1914-15, serving as Quarter-Master General of the BEF, where he undertook a ruthless reorganisation. Then, in January 1915, he became French’s Chief of the General Staff.

From December 1915, he was a highly effective Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) in Whitehall, and became a key figure in the British war effort as military adviser to the government and King George V. Robertson’s ‘war ideas’ included: conscription; killing Germans rather than expensively capturing territory; a strengthening of the general staff in  the War Office; the build up of British and Commonwealth troop strength on the Western Front, and the creation of a joint Allied plan to coordinate and formulate future operational plans. But his unrelenting support for a Western Front oriented policy clashed with that of Lloyd George and his clique of ‘Easterners’. Also, he did not agree with Lloyd George’s creation of a Supreme War Council.

He was eventually dismissed in February 1918 and posted to a relatively minor Home Command. Later, in June 1918, he was moved to the more prestigious post of Commander-in-Chief Home Command. However, after the war, he again played a leading role as commander of the British Army on the Rhine.

General comment: Robertson was an excellent staff officer with clear ideas and the will and ability to see them through. His belief that the war could only be won if Germany was defeated in the West, allied his fierce loyalty to Haig (idem.), inevitably collided with Lloyd George’s belief in an Eastern solution and his (Lloyd George’s) growing apathy to Haig. Robertson was a political casualty of war if ever there was one.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 October 2014 14:17 )  

Search with Google

Join the WFA

Join the WFA

Join the WFA online, by post, or at a Branch near you!

Site news

The WFA's site is undergoing a major rebuilding programme at the moment. We are moving to a new, faster server, with a new version of the content management system that has powered the site successfully since 2008. We will introduce a slightly different look and feel to that currently.
You may spot the phrase "Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in .... " on parts of the website. Do not be alarmed! These are simply alerts but they do not constitute a danger to you or your computer. They are the result of a recent (current) server software upgrade that means there is a minor issue when listings are generated.
The website content (and, for the most part, its structure) will be unchanged and is indeed being expanded and improved. Search will be much more able to find the material you want in a site of almost 4,000 articles, and we will make other improvements such as content tagging.
We hope the work will be complete by December 2014.

Join us on Facebook

Support the WFA

If you have found this website to be of help to you, please support us.



Sponsored Links