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Typically used for political and military leaders of the Allies who thought victory could be achieved by knocking Germany's allies out of the war rather than by directly defeating Germany on the Western Front, the position held by Westerners.

With stalemate on the Western Front at the beginning of 1915, some in Britain and France looked to strike Germany's allies and bring neutral nations into the war against the Central Powers. Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria had battle-hardened standing armies and bordered Serbia. Although Serbia had defeated three Austro-Hungarian offensives in 1914, it was isolated, with access to its allies only through Montenegro.

Plans to support Serbia included offensives against Austria-Hungary by a landing on the Dalmatian Coast in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by providing support from the Aegean Sea through Greece or Bulgaria.

The most recent and weakest of the Central Powers, Turkey seemed the one most susceptible to being knocked out of the war. Seizing the Turkish capital of Constantinople in offensives launched from Salonika in Greece or the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey might encourage Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, Turkey's opponents in the Balkan Wars, to join the Entente powers. Overthrowing the Turkish government might bring the country to the Allied side or leave it neutral, opening the Black Sea and Russia to trade once again.

British Easterners included Hankey, Secretary of the War Council, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, and even Lord Kitchener and Sir John French. French easterners included generals Joseph Gallieni, Franchet d’Esperey, and Castelnau.