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[ Reading ] ➿ Britains War Machine Author David Edgerton –

Britains War Machine GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEARThe Familiar Image Of The British In The Second World War Is That Of The Plucky Underdog Taking On German Might David Edgerton S Bold, Compelling New History Shows The Conflict In A New Light, With Britain As A Very Wealthy Country, Formidable In Arms, Ruthless In Pursuit Of Its Interests And Sitting At The Heart Of A Global Production System.The British, Indeed Churchillian, Vision Of War And Modernity Was Challenged By Repeated Defeat By Less Well Equipped Enemies Yet The End Result Was A Vindication Of This Vision Like The United States, A Powerful Britain Won A Cheap Victory, While Others Paid A Great Price Britain S War Machine, By Putting Resources, Machines And Experts At The Heart Of A Global Rather Than Merely Imperial Story, Demolishes Some Of The Most Cherished Myths About Wartime Britain And Gives Us A Very Different And Often Unsettling Picture Of A Great Power In Action

[ Reading ] ➿ Britains War Machine  Author David Edgerton –
  • Paperback
  • 442 pages
  • Britains War Machine
  • David Edgerton
  • English
  • 02 August 2017
  • 9780141026107

    10 thoughts on “[ Reading ] ➿ Britains War Machine Author David Edgerton –

  1. says:

    So our poor old Empire is alone in the world Aye, we are the whole five hundred million of us An economic history of the British Empire during the Second World War Goes against the conventional story of a small island alone against the rest of Europe Edgerton emphasizes the British having a vast, multicontinental empire, with a massive navy and merchant marine, as well as the resources to produce modern war equipment en masse as well as to innovate The navy and air force were Britain s greatest strengths, and the army, although small, was well equipped in his estimates he even makes pains to rehabilitate the British tanks The people of the British Isles were also well fed though the rest of the Empire wasn t always so, especially the Bengals and the Blitz, as bad as it was, was ultimately less horrific the devastation which befell nearly every other country in Europe.Of all things, Edgerton suggests that the earlier myths or descriptions of German technical superiority were the result of British scientists own lobbying, and attempts to portray themselves as isolated figures instead of parts of a vast and well funded system He also includes a useful discussion on Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell, who moved beyond his role as a scientific advisor into a dominating figure on production, planning, and economic statistics in general, as leader of the S Branch.While the ...

  2. says:

    David Edgerton s book turns popular myths about Britain in the Second World War upside down and inside out But a word of warning first.He is making a point about history and not giving us a narrative so it would help if you already had some understanding of the course of the second world war and its past historiography.There are times when the author revels in his piling up of data to prove his points which are very many so that some chapters require a fair amount of concentration of effort to understand fully.But I do not want to put you off the book because it is informative, sometimes downright exciting as it shifts mental models and well illustrated with tables, maps and extensive notes.Where to begin I was persuaded by the sheer logic of the book that much of what I thought was true was not true it has even changed my view of contemporary political priorities.He is persuasive that the British Empire was never not going to win the Second World War with perhaps my own caveat that a lucky invas...

  3. says:

    A good companion to works such as Tooze s Wages of Destruction and Collingham s The Taste of War, this work investigates British attitudes towards a war that was thought to be determined by modern technology The British Empire was notable for its reliance on its powerful industrial basis Perhaps Edgerton s book is not as thorough as the two studies mentioned above The book has a stronger political slant, as Edgerton argues that later historical interpretation of the war was strongly colored by the rise of British nationalism and post war political thinking, which displaced the strongly internationalist outlook of the was years This gave rise to the myth of Britain standing alone against the might of Nazi occupied Europe, which in turn fed many small myths This work makes a strong effort to replace myth with facts and figures, a...

  4. says:

    Very data rich and does some heavy myth busting of common misconceptions about Great Britain and the Second World War It HAD way too many examples and failed to keep the narrative moving steadily and coherently from chapter to chapter Don t bother with it...

  5. says:

    This is a strange book Starts off fantastically and convincingly, goes through a 100 page section which just bombards you with statistics, then gets it together again at the end.Unbelievably level of research 300 pages long, plus 150 pages of footnotes.

  6. says:

    BY PERMISSION FROM www.paper trails.caOriginal Post shallow review I suppose mostly summary but such a great book I ve been reading while knocking around NZ one last time in my surf van and today Lest We Forget I can t resist throwing it up here.With a blizzard of fact and annecdote, Edgerton here demolishes the traditional narrative the British have told themselves that after the fall of France amid the Battle of Britain, under threat of Hitler s unrealized OP SEALION invasion plans in 1941, they stood alone as a plucky underdog holding out against ruthlessly efficient mechanized Nazi blitzkrieg In reality, Britain was far from alone, as Canadian know well believing this story requires writing Canada out of the war, along with India, British Africa, and the rest of the roughly one quarter of the manpower of the human race It rests on a very twentieth century and very English assumption that only white peoples in Europe countries count strategically.If legeandary Kiwi born catoonist David Low is a good example, it also rested on the very colonial England worship of the rest of us Britons elsewhere in defferential, perennially small minded quarters of the empire If the Anglo American Atlanticists have written us out of our central role in world history, we ve only been too keen to help.Most bizarrely, it rests on a peculiarly un English underrating of the strategic weight of sea power the Roya...

  7. says:

    More often or not, I come across a work of history and think this is a good book Very rarely do I come across a book that changes my entire perception of an historical event This book is one of them Students of WW2 history are familiar with the image of plucky Britain standing up to the Nazi juggernaut Edgerton takes a mills bomb to this idea and blows it out of the water Using a barrage no pun intended of stats, tables and pages of brilliantly researched data, Edgerton turns one of the enduring myths of WW2 on its head If anything, it was Germany that was the underdog The sheer scale of Britain s empire, the resources at its disposal, and its ability to fight and dictate war on its terms, made victory inevitable Edgerton rightly points to the horrendous attrition on the Eastern Front and compares it with Britain s losses we got off lightly part of that was Britain s goal to fight a modern war In contrast, the low mechanization of the Wehrmacht and the Red Army was a reminder of the slaughter of the Great War Edgerton demolishes myths about Britain s food supply only the Americans were better feed manpower how can a country with a global empire of 500 million ...

  8. says:

    On the way back from a trip to the UK I dipped into the bookstore at the airport and couldn t resist a 3 for 2 Sonderangebot The main inspiration was David Edgerton s book on the mobilisation of the Empire in Britain s War Machine I got excited by the tables of British and overseas production as well as the maps of oil pipelines and major centres of war production Topping that is the list of highest awards from the Royal Commission of Awards for Inventions Edgerton weaves contempo...

  9. says:

    I loved this book To me, Edgerton s work is what Hanson s The Second World Wars would have looked like if it had been done properly The British War Machine is too wide ranging for me to do it justice in this short review, but it is basically a top level industrial and economic overview of Britain in World War Two Edgerton presents a revisionist take on Britain s global position, convincingly arguing that the U.K never stood alone against Germany Instead, it was well endowed due to its imperial holdings and well support by the British Dominions Edgerton also shows that it was 1942, when Japan began its Pacific rampage, that Britain s position was seriously weakened, not 1940 Indeed, the entire book is full of fascinating, revisionist takes that seriously undermine the conventional narrative of Britain during the Second World War I learned, for example, that Northern Ireland was largely excluded from the British war boom, that the U.K had the most mechanized, tank heavy force in the war, and that British industry was much flexible than that of the Americans and Britain was much efficient in shipbuilding I also learned many interesting facts about global logistics and the politics of food rationing that I would have never even considered before As with all books like this, there are some pages were Edgerton goes into an excessive amount of detail on the exact numbers of units produced, but t...

  10. says:

    The blurb suggested a popular history that would make a narrative case that the popular view of British war production that it wasn t good enough was false The book is actually a pretty dry academic recounting of British war production a third of the book is notes and references with a lot of facts, figures, and names, and not so much narrative It does occasionally get round to the case it promises British war production was strong and innovative, easily the match o...

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