Issued by the General Staff: doctrine writing at British GHQ, 1917-1918

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This article exploits the previously unused private papers of the General Headquarters doctrine writers to examine the process by which the British Expeditionary Force’s combat doctrine was produced and the influences upon it. It also reveals SS.198, a hitherto unknown manual from the autumn of 1917, which illustrates Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s influence upon doctrine writing at the time of the controversial Third Ypres offensive. It concludes that the doctrinal process raises serious questions about the notion of a consistent ‘learning curve’ within the BEF
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)464-491
Number of pages28
JournalWar in History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • British Army
  • First World War
  • doctrine
  • Lord Gorell
  • Edward Grigg
  • Cuthbert Headlam


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