Spies in Uniform: British Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War (Hardback)
  • Spies in Uniform: British Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War (Hardback)
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Spies in Uniform: British Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War (Hardback)

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£162.50
Hardback 286 Pages / Published: 05/01/2006
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Why did the British government declare war on Germany in August 1914? Was it because Germany posed a threat to British national security? Today many prominent historians would argue that this was not the case and that a million British citizens died needlessly for a misguided cause. This book counters such revisionist arguments. Matthew Seligmann disputes the suggestion that the British government either got its facts wrong about the German threat or even, as some have claimed, deliberately 'invented' it in order to justify an otherwise unnecessary alignment with France and Russia. By examining the military and naval intelligence assessments forwarded from Germany to London by Britain's service attaches in Berlin, its 'men on the spot', Spies in Uniform clearly demonstrates that the British authorities had every reason to be alarmed. From these crucial intelligence documents, previously thought to have been lost, Dr Seligmann shows that in the decade before the First World War, the British government was kept well informed about military and naval developments in the Reich. In particular, the attaches consistently warned that German ambitions to challenge Britain posed a real and imminent danger to national security. As a result, the book concludes that the British government's perception of a German threat before 1914, far from being mistaken or invented, was rooted in hard and credible intelligence.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199261505
Number of pages: 286
Weight: 577 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Seligmann has used naval and military history to open a fresh perspective on an important subject, and, of equal importance, he has placed his conclusions in a context that ensures they reach the widest audience. * Andrew Lambert, The English Historical Review *
His archival research is exhaustive and his analysis lucid and exceptionally systematic * Geoff Berridge, Diplomacy and Statecraft *
Seligmann's book is beautifully structured and reasoned, and the argument is developed with elegance. * Nicholas A Lambert, International Journal of Maritime History *
This book fills a very significant gap in our knowledge of British policy towards Germany before the First World War... his work not only provides an exemplary case study in intelligence history, but also raises many broader issues. * David Stevenson, Intelligence and National Security *
an original and important contribution to the continuing debate about why Britain went to war in 1914 * David French, The International History Review *
... this is a very important book. It is also a good read. * G. R. Berridge, Diplomacy and Statecraft *
Spies in Uniform is an excellent work of scholarship that is of particular value for intelligence specialists but also of more general importance for its rejection of the revisionist case that the decision for war in 1914 was mistaken and based on a spurious German threat. * Jeremy Black, History *
Seligmann has produced a fine study of hitherto undeappreciated intelligence provider to the British government.... Highly recommended * Dr. Thomas Boghardt, Defense Intelligence Journal *
This is a very good and useful book. His book needs to be widely read, and its approach emulated * Keith Neilson, War in History *
a valuable contribution to our understanding of a major historical issue.Seligman has used naval and military history to open a fresh perspective on an important subject, and, of equal importance, he has placed his conclusions in a context that ensures they reach the widest audience. * Andrew Lambert, English Historical Review *
Spies in Uniform is essential reading for scholars studying the development of Britain's Intelligence Community during the early part of the twentieth century, as well as British diplomacy and military policy during the run-up to the First World War. * Douglas Ford, Contemporary British History *

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