By David Edgerton
The wide-spread snapshot of the British within the moment international struggle is that of the plucky underdog taking over German may perhaps. David Edgerton's daring, compelling new historical past indicates the clash in a brand new gentle, with Britain as a really filthy rich nation, bold in fingers, ruthless in pursuit of its pursuits, and accountable for a world creation method. instead of belittled by means of a Nazi behemoth, Britain arguably had the world's so much complex mechanized forces. It had not just an exceptional empire, yet allies huge and small.
Edgerton exhibits that Britain fought on many fronts and its many domestic fronts stored it quite good provided with guns, foodstuff and oil, permitting it to mobilize to a unprecedented quantity. It created and deployed an unlimited empire of machines, from the common-or-garden tramp steamer to the battleship, from the rifle to the tank, made in sizeable factories internationally. Scientists and engineers invented new guns, inspired by way of a central authority and top minister captivated with the most recent applied sciences. The British, certainly Churchillian, imaginative and prescient of warfare and modernity was once challenged by way of repeated defeat by the hands of much less well-equipped enemies. but the outcome used to be a vindication of this imaginative and prescient. just like the usa, a strong Britain gained an inexpensive victory, whereas others paid an excellent rate.
Putting assets, machines and specialists on the middle of a world instead of in basic terms imperial tale, Britain's warfare desktop demolishes timeworn myths approximately wartime Britain and provides us a groundbreaking and infrequently unsettling photograph of an excellent energy in motion.
"A lovely booktold with authority, readability and compelling energy."
--James Holland, writer of The conflict of england
"Absolutely interesting. This booklet will make you're thinking that otherwise approximately Britain's function within the moment international War."
--Laurence Rees, writer of Auschwitz: The Nazis and the "Final Solution"
"A striking success. He re-envisions Britain's function within the moment international conflict and with it Britain's position in modernity. The interval won't ever glance an identical again."
--Adam Tooze, writer of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
Hessell-Tiltman Prize Nominee (2012)
Read Online or Download Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources, and Experts in the Second World War PDF
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Additional resources for Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources, and Experts in the Second World War
Not that modern industry was confined to Greater London. Nor should we distinguish old and new too clearly. A great example was a famous Manchester firm, the Metropolitan-Vickers company, one of the main electrical-equipment makers (which was controlled by US interests). It made heavy equipment mainly, from gigantic steam turbines to generating sets, electric motors of many sorts, and all the paraphernalia of electricity supply from transformers to rectifiers. It also made electronic equipment, including radar transmission gear.
29 In the 1930s the main suppliers of wheat were Canada, Australia, Argentina and Europe. Roughly half Britain’s meat came from overseas. Beef and lamb came from the River Plate and Australasia; bacon (and eggs) came almost exclusively from continental Europe. The British were the great meat-eaters of Europe, eating 30 per cent more meat per capita than Germans. The kind of meat they ate was very different too. 30 If, as many believed, having a small domestic agricultural sector was an index of modernity, then Britain was easily the most modern large nation in the world.
This difference in journey time was significant in that it put the Empire suppliers at a distinct disadvantage in the case of beef. While all lamb was frozen and was thus very long-lived, chilled beef, far superior to frozen, could not survive the long journey from Australasia. In South America low-quality animals were labelled ‘freezers’ and ‘continentals’, indicating their fate and destination. British companies and the British government invested a great deal of research effort into refrigeration in order to imperialize beef supply.
Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources, and Experts in the Second World War by David Edgerton