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Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning, 1955-1958 - Nuclear History Program 1 (Hardback)
  • Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning, 1955-1958 - Nuclear History Program 1 (Hardback)

Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning, 1955-1958 - Nuclear History Program 1 (Hardback)

Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 16/05/1991
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During the 1950s nuclear weapons began to play an increasingly important role in Britain's defence policy. The development of thermonuclear bombs and assessments of the great destruction that would result from an exchange of nuclear warheads helped alter Britain's planning for war, and influenced the structure and deployment of her armed forces. In this study Martin Navias seeks to analyse the significance of the 1957 White Paper on Defence in the context of British strategic planning during the mid-1950s. He assesses claims that the White Paper represented a culmination of trends already prevalent in British defence planning, discusses whether the basis for a truly independent deterrent was established during 1955-6, and identifies continuities and discontinuities in strategic policies. A major theme throughout is the relationship between nuclear deterrence and the shape and size of conventional forces. Before Duncan Sandys became Minister of Defence, that ministry seemed unable to impose itself on the service departments. Sandys, however, was able to override many traditional service preferences. The result was the adoption of a British New Look: conventional forces were reduced, greater relative importance was placed on the nuclear deterrent, but once more the requirements of a truly independent deterrent did not receive priority.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198277545
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 223 x 145 x 22 mm

`he has used a wide range of material very carefully. The book is based upon his doctoral thesis, but it has been reworked and amplified, and fairly reflects the intricacy of a period when most of the new truths that seemed to be emerging were insistent and uncomfortable.' The RUSI Journal
`authoritative ... scholarly and very competently structured' Political Studies
'Martin Navias's book represents the first major British contribution to the Nuclear History Program research effort ... In this post-cold war era, nuclear history has emerged as a rich vein of scholarly enquiry. The main theme of this interesting and well-researched book is continuity and change in British strategic policy during the mid-to-late 1950s. Navias has produced the most scholarly study yet available on the evolution of British strategic planning in the late 1950s. The study makes a major contribution to the literature on the subject. Its novel, if controversial, interpretation of the Sandys white paper helps to breathe fresh life into the debates about British strategy in this formative period of the nuclear age. It represents an impressive start to the NHP publication list.' John Baylis, University College of Wales, International History Review, XIV, 3, Aug '92
'Martin S. Navias's book is a fascinating study of the formulation of the 1957 White Paper ... an insightful portrait of British nuclear planning and a very useful contribution to nuclear history ... Students of postwar British military policy and nuclear history will find much value in Navias' book. Through its rich detail and extensive employment of original government documents, the book contributes to our understanding of a number of important themes ... Navias's work will be of great interest to scholars working with these - and many other - themes in miltary policy.':LPeter J. Roman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Albion, Winter 1992

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