Read e-book online Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to PDF

By G. C. Peden

ISBN-10: 0521867487

ISBN-13: 9780521867481

This e-book integrates technique, expertise and economics and offers a brand new approach of taking a look at twentieth-century army background and Britain's decline as a very good strength. G. C. Peden explores how from the Edwardian period to the Sixties struggle was once reworked via a chain of thoughts, together with dreadnoughts, submarines, airplane, tanks, radar, nuclear guns and guided missiles. He exhibits that the price of those new guns tended to upward push extra speedy than nationwide source of revenue and argues that process needed to be tailored to take account of either the elevated efficiency of recent guns and the economy's diminishing skill to maintain militia of a given measurement. sooner than the improvement of nuclear guns, British process was once according to a capability to wear out an enemy via blockade, attrition (in the 1st international warfare) and strategic bombing (in the Second), and as a result energy rested as a lot on financial power as on armaments.

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Read or Download Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to Hydrogen Bombs (Cambridge Military Histories) PDF

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Additional info for Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to Hydrogen Bombs (Cambridge Military Histories)

Example text

Foreign Office papers were frequently circulated to the CID, and a Foreign Office official chaired one of its most important sub-committees, that on Neutral and Enemy Merchant Ships. Sir Edward Grey, who was foreign secretary from December 1905 to December 1916, and was described by Asquith as ‘sound, temperate and strong’,11 played a major part in identifying the risks that Britain faced. The secretary of state for the colonies nominated an assistant secretary to the CID secretariat to service the Overseas Defence Sub-Committee, and the secretary of state for India nominated an assistant secretary to deal with problems relating to the defence of the sub-continent.

The economy and finance The size of the armed forces that Britain could maintain was determined by the growth of her economy, and therefore of the chancellor of the exchequer’s revenue, relative to the growth in the cost of armaments. Britain’s lead as the first industrial nation was being eroded from the 1870s, and average annual growth rates in GDP and labour productivity 35 Ibid. 36 Edgerton, England and the Aeroplane, p. 10. 37 There is evidence of a loss of competitiveness in what had been leading sectors, in particular coal, iron and steel and textiles, and a failure to establish a lead in new industrial sectors, such as chemicals and electrical engineering.

The Foreign Office, for its part, hoped that diplomacy could be backed by armed force. Normally an individual’s perspective on defence policy reflected his position in bureaucratic politics, the classic example being Churchill, who was a strong advocate of expensive naval building programmes when he was first lord of the Admiralty before the First World War, but a stern critic of the naval estimates when he was chancellor of the exchequer in the 1920s. An apparent exception was Sir Warren Fisher, permanent secretary of the 36 Robert J.

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Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to Hydrogen Bombs (Cambridge Military Histories) by G. C. Peden

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