Strange Allies: Britain, France and the Dilemmas of Disarmament and Security, 1929-1933, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Strange Allies

Britain, France and the Dilemmas of Disarmament and Security, 1929-1933, 1st Edition

By Andrew Webster

Routledge

386 pages

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Hardback: 9781138019348
pub: 2019-07-16
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Description

Strange Allies examines three intersecting themes of fundamental importance to the international history of the period between the two world wars. First, and most broadly, it is a study of the international history of the pivotal ‘hinge years’, running from the onset of the Depression in late 1929 to the Nazi capture of power in Germany in early 1933. The second theme is the strategic relationship between Britain and France, the critical dynamic in the management of global and European international relations during this time of great fluidity and uncertainty. The most contentious and intractable issue that divided the two countries was the pursuit of international disarmament, which forms the third theme of the book.

Strange Allies is based upon extensive research in British and French archives, as well as in the archives of the League of Nations in Geneva. The book’s focus on 1929–31 in particular makes a major contribution to the international history of the interwar period by re-examining the security and strategic policies of the second Labour government in Britain and of foreign minister Aristide Briand in the post-Locarno years in France. For 1931–33, the book looks at the impact of the great financial and economic crisis of 1931 on security and disarmament planning in Britain and France. It then considers the impact of the Anglo-French relationship on the instability of Europe and on the failure of the World Disarmament Conference.

This book is the first detailed study of the Anglo-French relationship during a critical period which saw a reshaping of the boundaries of global security. Although the Anglo-French alliance is rightly seen to be pivotal to both the initial phase of implementing the Versailles settlement of 1919 and the efforts to contain Hitler and protect Europe after 1936, Strange Allies demonstrates the degree to which these states’ conflicting views of security were central to international relations in the years leading up to Hitler’s accession to power.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

Acknowledgements

List of Abbreviations

Introduction

Chapter One The trials of victory: France, Britain and disarmament after the Great War

Chapter Two Allies of yesterday: Britain in 1929

Chapter Three Security is the guardian of peace: France in 1929

Chapter Four An opening clash: Reparations and the Rhineland

Chapter Five Alternative paths: European union, international arbitration and general disarmament at the League Assembly

Chapter Six The battle of London: The continuing pursuit of naval disarmament

Chapter Seven The problems of 1930: The Rhineland, arbitration and European union

Chapter Eight Enfin désarmement: The Preparatory Commission concludes

Chapter Nine Annus terribilis: 1931 as a year of crisis

Chapter Ten Missed opportunity: Preparing for the World Disarmament Conference

Chapter Eleven Collapsing centre: The World Disarmament Conference, 1932-33

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Andrew Webster is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Murdoch University, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of France

The history of France in the modern period, from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, offers a dynamic, dramatic and multifaceted story. Political ruptures; social change; regional conflicts, world wars and military defeat; economic and cultural reach; values and identity; international influence; and the complexities of national goals in increasingly multilateral contexts, bear witness to the challenges and transformations of the time.

Encompassing political, social, cultural, economic, military and diplomatic themes, this series will adopt a broad-based approach to the investigation of France in the period from the Revolution of 1789 to the present.

Featuring original research and new interpretations from emerging and established scholars, within and outside France, it aims to be a reference point for engaging and innovative writing about France, the French and their history.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General
HIS010000
HISTORY / Europe / General
HIS013000
HISTORY / Europe / France
HIS015000
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HIS027100
HISTORY / Military / World War II
HIS037000
HISTORY / World