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Army, Empire, and Cold WarThe British Army and Military Policy, 1945-1971$
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David French

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548231.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Army, Empire, and Cold War

David French

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the historiography of the army after 1945. It explains how and why it has been largely forgotten by historians of post‐war Britain, and explains how those few who have written about it have misconceived its roles, doctrines and organization. It suggests that the post‐war army represented a breakaway from a particular British strategic culture that dated back to the eighteenth century. It was a culture that regarded the armed forces as a kind of national insurance policy, and it was a culture that established a tension between how much governments wanted to spend on defence, and how much they believed they could afford to spend.

Keywords:   British army, British strategic culture, historiography

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