This book thoroughly explores and analyses naval policy during the period of austerity that followed the First World War. During this post-war period, as the Royal Navy identified Japan its likely opponent in a future naval war, the British Government was forced to "tighten its belt" and cut back on naval expenditure in the interests of "National Economy". G.H. Bennett draws connections between the early 20th century and the present day, showing how the same kind of connections exist between naval and foreign policy, the provision of ships for the Royal Navy, business and regional prosperity and employment.
The Royal Navy in the Age of Austerity 1919-22 engages with a series of important historiographical debates relating to the history of the Royal Navy, the failures of British Defence policy in the inter-war period and the evolution of British foreign policy after 1919, together with more mundane debates about British economic, industrial, social and political history in the aftermath of the First World War. It will be of great interest to scholars and students of British naval history.
G.H. Bennett is Associate Professor of History at Plymouth University, UK. He is the author of Bismarck: The Chase and Sinking of Hitler's Goliath (2012), The RAF's French Foreign Legion: De Gaulle, the British and the Re-Emergence of French Air Power 1940-45 (2011) and British Naval Aviation in World War II (2007).
Preface Introduction 1. The Long Term Decline of British Power 2. The Navy and the Nation 3. Japan as a Factor in British Strategic Thinking 4. The Impact of the First World War 5. Politics, Politicians and Whitehall 6. The Need for Economy 7. Washington, Tokyo and British Interests in the Pacific 8. Framing British Naval Policy 9. Lee of Fareham's May Memorandum 10. Next Generation Battleships 11. Washington Conference 12. Geddes and the Amery Memorandum 13. Repercussions 14. Aftermath Conclusion Bibliography Sources Index