Munitions 9: Zaharoff and the Secret Elite

I’d reblog First World War Hidden History’s entire munitions series if I had time and it wouldn’t overwhelm every other subject on First Night History; I am slowly doing so with their Gallipoli posts, mind you! FWWHH sniff out the appalling goings-on of the secret élite during The Great War. The stench of hypocrisy is breathtaking. Not surprisingly, money is at its root and it’s the people who suffer, never the politicians or the corporate élite. Some things never change as anyone with half an eye on current affairs will know. So much for leadership. It stinks.

First World War Hidden History

Sir Basil Zaharoff Amongst many of the allegations against Basil Zaharoff is the claim that he was an advisor to Lloyd George and influenced British foreign policy. [1] That Zaharoff was used by the Secret Elite as an arms procurer and expert is unquestioned; that he dictated foreign policy during the war is an exaggeration too far. He was never a member of the Secret Elite but had close associations with those who were, including Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland and Leander Starr Jameson. [2] Zaharoff shared a financial stake in the Sunday Times with Steel-Maitland, a Fellow of All Souls and associate of Alfred Milner, [3] and Jameson, the man whose folly brought about the fall of Cecil Rhodes. [4] He used his money to buy favour and honours. He was the richest of salesmen and had no qualms about the source of his wealth, but the extent of his influence between 1914-18 had much less impact…

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The Bryce Enquiry … But You Cannot Speak To The Witnesses

First World War Hidden History

1st_Viscount_Bryce_1902 - Viscount Bryce author of the Bryce ReportOf the milestones in the Propaganda war aimed at the heart of America, arguably the most devastating was the Bryce Report, the Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages [1] which examined the conduct of German troops in Belgium, the breaches in the rules of war, and the inhumanity perpetrated against the civilian population. Lurid stories of German atrocities came first hand from the many Belgian refugees who fled to Britain in August and September 1914 and filled newspapers of every political hue. None howled louder than the Northcliffe stable. On 12 and 17 August the Daily Mail railed against ‘German Brutality’, including the murder of five civilians corroborated by sworn statements from ‘witnesses’. Coming as it did when news from the front was scarce, such damning stories caught the public imagination and set it on fire. On 21 August, Hamilton Fyfe, a Northcliffe journalist who had served on…

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