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Corbett, Liddell Hart and the ‘British Way in Warfare’ in the 1960s

Speller, Ian (2008) Corbett, Liddell Hart and the ‘British Way in Warfare’ in the 1960s. Defence Studies, 8 (2). pp. 227-239. ISSN 1470-2436

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Abstract

The notion that there is, or at least was, a peculiarly ‘British way in warfare’, based around the use of maritime forces and the avoidance of major military commitments on the continent of Europe, has been the cause of one of the more enduring debates within the history of British defence policy. The debate has been a lively one that, in many respects, has revealed as much about the predilections of the various commentators as it has shed light on the past. Critics on both sides of the argument have not been averse to using and abusing the historical record for their own purposes. One of the reasons for this is that the debate is not just of academic interest. Arguments over the ‘British way in warfare’ have often been marshalled in support of a particular national strategy and, by extension, in favour of devoting greater or lesser resources to different military capabilities. To cut a complex story rather short, if one believes in the ‘British way’ then this suggests a focus on maritime capabilities whereas if one believes the alternative view, in the necessity and efficacy of a major military commitment to Europe, then the army and associated tactical air forces deserve a greater share. Such debates, always lively, take on a particular significance when resources are scarce and governments need to make hard decisions over priorities

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version of this article has been published in Defence Studies Vol.8 No.2(2008)[copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14702430802099383
Keywords: maritime; warfare; military; policy; strategy; Europe; Britain;
Subjects: Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy > History
Item ID: 3871
Depositing User: Ian Speller
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2012 15:10
Journal or Publication Title: Defence Studies
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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