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Ambiguity and Deterrence – British Nuclear Strategy 1945-1964 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Ambiguity and Deterrence: British Nuclear Strategy 1945-1964

John Baylis


This book emphasizes the role of competing strategic beliefs in the formulation of British nuclear strategies between 1945 and 1964. Based on recently released documents, the British approach to nuclear weapons during this formative period was characterized by paradox and ambiguity. The paradox was that while there was a widespread consensus in political and military circles in favour of nuclear deterrence, there were constant disagreements over the requirements of an effective deterrent policy. These conflicts are centred on six main issues: whether deterrence was best achieved through ‘punis ... More

Keywords: British nuclear strategy, nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence, deterrent policy, long war, short war, stalemate

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1995 Print ISBN-13: 9780198280125
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198280125.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Baylis, author
University of Wales, Aberystwyth

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