Book Launch - Coalition Strategy and the End of the First World War: The Supreme War Council and War Planning, 1917-1918

Event details

Book Launch

Date & time

Thursday 21 March 2019


The Atrium, Hedley Bull Building 130 Garran Road Australian National University ACT 2615


Major General Mick Ryan


Mitch Clyne

Book launch by Major General Mick Ryan. MAJGEN Ryan was appointed as the Commander of the Australian Defence College in 2018, after having variously served in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. MAJGEN Ryan holds degrees from the University of New England and Johns Hopkins University, and is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, as well as the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting.

Abstract: When the Germans requested an armistice in October 1918, it was a shock to the Allied political and military leadership. They had been expecting, and planning for, the war to continue into 1919, the year they hoped to achieve a complete military victory over the Central Powers. Meighen McCrae illuminates how, throughout this planning process, the Supreme War Council evolved to become the predominant mechanism for coalition war-making. She analyses the Council’s role in the formulation of an Allied strategy for 1918–1919 across the various theatres of war and compares the perspectives of the British, French, Americans and Italians. In doing so we learn how, in an early example of modern alliance warfare, the Supreme War Council had to coordinate national needs with coalition ones.

Advance praise: ‘With this timely, balanced and illuminating study of the Supreme War Council, Meighen McCrae gives us an excellent opportunity to reconsider both Allied strategy in 1917–18 and the difficulties of fighting a coalition war. Essential reading for students of the First World War, grand strategy and conflict resolution.’ Jonathan Boff - University of Birmingham

Advance praise: ‘Meighen McCrae’s deeply researched study of the creation, workings and achievements of the Supreme War Council in 1918 illuminates the key factors that bound together the Entente Allies, allowing them to prevail. Using American, British and French sources, she gives a more comprehensive picture of the war’s global nature than that offered by many historians. This fine work enhances our understanding of how and why the First World War ended in Allied victory.’ Elizabeth Greenhalgh - University of New South Wales, Canberra

Dr Meighen McCrae is a lecturer in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University. Prior to taking up this post she was a lecturer in the International Politics Department, Aberystwyth University. She also taught for King’s College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. In 2015 Dr McCrae was awarded her DPhil from the University of Oxford while working under the supervision of Sir Hew Strachan.

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