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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 ‘New Model Army’ and the Cold War, 1945–1952

The ‘New Model Army’ and the Cold War, 1945–1952

(p.36) 2 The ‘New Model Army’ and the Cold War, 1945–1952
Army, Empire, and Cold War

David French

Oxford University Press

By 1949 the wartime army had been demobilised and War Office planners were creating the foundations of what Montgomery called the ‘New Model Army’. It had began to come into existence in 1947, with the passage of the National Service Act. It was not an all‐purpose army. Apart from making minimal allowances for colonial garrisons, it was configured with one major mission in mind, to deter or fight a hot war in Europe or the Middle East beginning no earlier than about 1957. But, by 1948‐49 the geopolitical situation that had given birth to it had begun to change in ways that undercut some of the fundamental assumptions upon which it had been constructed. The Cold War had begun, and after Montgomery left the War Office in November 1948, his successor as CIGS, Sir William Slim, had to spend the next three years reconfiguring his predecessor's creation to meet the new strategic circumstances that confronted Britain.

Keywords:   demobilization, deterrence, Montgomery's ‘New Model Army’, Slim's Cold War Army, Cold War rearmament programme

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