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2010 | 65 | 2 | 141-157

Article title

Jan Smuts w sporze między Easterners a Westerners (propozycja objęcia dowództwa frontu w Palestynie - maj 1917 roku)


Title variants

Jan Smuts in dispute between Easterners and Westerners (proposition of obtaining command of Palestine front - May 1917)

Languages of publication


When in 1916 it became obvious that western front would be very hard to breach, British high authorities divided into two rival factions.Westernersrepresented by the generals were convinced that Germans could be beaten only on the Western front and operations on other fronts would be mere "sideshows".Easternersled by the Prime Minister Lloyd George opposed that point of view. They claimed that the enemy should be attacked in the weakest point, namely Turkey. Lloyd George wanted general Jan Smuts to lead the offensive in Palestine. The latter seemed to be the adequate person for the task. He came to England just two months earlier, but enjoyed high esteem owed to his successful campaign in East Africa and enthusiastically acclaimed speeches. He also wrote report where he has evaluated all of the fronts and upheld toEasternerarguments. When the proposition was made, Smuts spoke to someWesternerrepresentatives, like general Robertson, and learned from them, that no commander of Egyptian Expeditionary Forces could count on any reinforcements or supplies. Taking that into account, Smuts decided to turn down Prime Ministers offer. Fear of being stranded in Palestine as well as his ambitions to remain in England, the core of all events, comprised to his decision. Nevertheless Smuts managed to remain in good relations with both factions.



  • Instytut Historii UMCS


Document Type

Publication order reference


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