Wartime summaries by Sir Douglas Haig and PM
In a despatch published on Wednesday, Sir Douglas Haig describes the operations of his forces from the opening of the Arras battle on April 9, 1917, to the conclusion of the Flanders offensive in November.
During the seven and a half months under review the victories of Arras, Vimy Ridge, Messines Ridge and Flanders were won by the British and those at Moronvilliers, Verdun and Malmaison by the French.
The British were very unfortunate as to the weather, and the defection of Russia with the weakness developed in Italy, made the task of our troops heavier than was anticipated.
Without reckoning, therefore, says Sir Douglas, the possibilities which have been opened up by our territorial gains in Flanders and without considering the effect which a less vigorous prosecution of the war by us might have had in other theatres, we have every reason to be satisfied with the results which have been achieved by the past year’s fighting.
And addressing a conference in London, Mr Lloyd George made a pronouncement on war aims, of which some principal points are: we were not fighting a war of aggression, and the destruction and disruption of Germany had never been a war aim with us; the Allies demand the restoration of Belgian independence, and reparation for her devastation; restoration of Serbia, Montenegro, and the occupied parts of France, Italy and Romania.