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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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The Army and the Withdrawal from East of Suez

The Army and the Withdrawal from East of Suez

(p.268) 12 The Army and the Withdrawal from East of Suez
Army, Empire, and Cold War

David French

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the outcome of Sandys' promise that his reformed armed forces would reduce the burden of defence on the Exchequer. It then explores how a variety of political constraints began to limit how and where the British could commit ground forces beyond NATO. It shows how these factors interacted in the mid‐1960s to persuade the Wilson government that not only the economic but also the political cost of maintaining forces east of Suez had become too expensive. Finally, it analyses the ways in which the army was restructured in the second half of the 1960s to reflect the government's new defence priorities.

Keywords:   defence spending, political constraints, Labour government and defence, Healey's reforms and the British army

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