Encyclopedia - The Allied Conference at Calais, 4 December 1915

French Premier Aristide Briand The Allied Conference of 4 December 1915, called by the British, was one of a number of Allied summits convened at the French port of Calais in northern France.

Attending the conference was the British minister of war Lord Kitchener (together with Chief of the General Staff William Robertson) and the French Prime Minister Aristide Briand (alongside French Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre).

Britain's intention in calling the conference was simple - to persuade the French to abandon the campaign in Salonika, which the former regarded as a pointless, wasteful backwater of the wider offensive.  Britain's position was that the Allies could ill-afford the manpower resources diverted to Salonika while shortages were experienced on the Western Front and Gallipoli.

Briand and Joffre ultimately agreed to abandon the Salonika campaign, although not without much reluctant hesitation.  Astonished however by the extent of French popular and political opposition to the withdrawal however, the French seized the opportunity presented by the major inter-allied conference convened at Chantilly just two days later - at which Joffre fortuitously presided - to reverse the decision over the heads of the British.

With a continued Allied commitment to Salonika the British promptly resolved to evacuate the Gallipoli peninsula; the decision was however pending in any event.

"Devil Dogs" was the nickname given to the U.S. Marines by the German Army.

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