Trick or Treat? The Anglo-French Alliance, 1919
An entente cordiale transformed into a lasting bond after the war to end all wars - but it was not to be. Antony Lentin looks at who duped whom in the manoeuvrings for an Anglo-French alliance following the 1918 armistice
Signed by Lloyd George and Clemenceau on June 28th, 1919, the same day as the signature of the Treaty of Versailles, the short-lived Anglo-French Alliance seldom receives more than a glance from historians. And yet for the French, at the time, it was an integral part, indeed the pivot, of the Versailles settlement, 'the keystone of European peace', in Clemenceau's words. A leading scholar, L.A.R. Yates, stresses that it 'served as the key factor in making possible the Versailles treaty'. What was the significance of the alliance, stillborn as it proved, in the history of the Paris Peace Conference? What caused the 'keystone' of the Versailles settlement to collapse?