Download Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to by G. C. Peden PDF

By G. C. Peden

This e-book integrates process, expertise and economics and offers a brand new means of twentieth-century army background and Britain's decline as an exceptional energy. G. C. Peden explores how from the Edwardian period to the Nineteen Sixties struggle used to be remodeled by means of a chain of thoughts, together with dreadnoughts, submarines, airplane, tanks, radar, nuclear guns and guided missiles. He indicates that the price of those new guns tended to upward push extra fast than nationwide source of revenue and argues that method needed to be tailored to take account of either the elevated efficiency of latest guns and the economy's diminishing skill to maintain military of a given dimension. ahead of the advance of nuclear guns, British procedure was once in accordance with a capability to wear out an enemy via blockade, attrition (in the 1st international conflict) and strategic bombing (in the Second), and consequently energy rested as a lot on monetary power as on armaments.

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

Example text

Restraint on defence expenditure was imposed by the conventions of political economy accepted by ministers and administrators of the day. Government expenditure on non-productive activities like defence was believed to divert money from private enterprise, the source of increasing wealth (and taxable capacity) of the community. 46 Governments had to assess risk, but they did so in the belief that too high a premium in the form of taxation would have an adverse effect on the economy. The chancellor of the exchequer was expected to balance his budget at as low a level of expenditure (and therefore of taxation) as was compatible with the policies of the government.

The latter category was built only in 1906–8 but ocean-going destroyers of 1,000 tons were being completed by 1912. Increased size enabled them to escort the battle fleet in the North Sea, and to attack the enemy fleet with torpedoes. When the first submarines – of an American design – were introduced into the Royal Navy in 1902, they were regarded as defensive weapons, but by 1910 British firms had produced craft capable of offensive operations off the German coast. Britain adopted the submarine four years before Germany and had about twice as many in service as the Germans in 1914.

Policymakers Defence policy before 1914 was very much in the hands of the Admiralty and the War Office. No minutes were taken at Cabinet meetings, the sole record of the proceedings being a letter written by the prime minister to the king. Such interdepartmental co-ordination as took place was done through the CID, which was formed in December 1902, with the older Colonial Defence Committee and the Joint Military and Naval Committee as sub-committees. From May 1904 the CID had a permanent secretariat, and became an important forum for strategic debates, with sub-committees studying a wide range of issues.

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