Sakade challenges the narrative that the focus of British manufacturing went "from Empire to Europe" and argues rather that, following the Second World War, the key relationship was in fact trans-Atlantic.
There is a commonly accepted belief that, during the twentieth century, British manufacturing declined irreparably, that Britain lost its industrial hegemony. But this is too simplistic. In fact, in the decades after 1945, Britain staked out a new role for itself as a key participant in a US-led process of globalisation. Far from becoming merely a European player, the UK actually managed to preserve a key share in a global market, and the British defence industry was, to a large extent, successfully rehabilitated. Sakade returns to the original scholarly parameters of the decline controversy, and especially questions around post-war decline in the fields of high technology and the national defence industrial base. Using the case of the strategically critical military and civil aircraft industry, he argues that British industry remained relatively robust.
A valuable read for historians of British aviation and more widely of 20th century British Industry.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Britain’s ‘new role’ between Europe and the US after 1945 Part I. The Post-War British Aircraft Industry, 1943-1964 1. The origins of Anglo-American production collaboration in the first jet-age (1943-56) 2. Sandy’s Defence White Paper and the Rationalisation of the British Aircraft Industry, 1957–60 3. BOAC’s Financial Crisis and the End of the "Fly British" Policy, 1963–66 Part II. The British Dilemma. 1964-1969 4. The Cancellation of Britain’s Top Projects, 1963–65 5. The Politics Behind the Plowden Doctrine: European and American Alternatives for the British Aircraft Industry 6. The "European Technological Community" and the Anglo-German MRCA project, 1966–69 Part III. European cooperative airliner projects and Anglo–American Industrial Collaboration, 1968-1982 7. The second jet age and the bankruptcy of Rolls-Royce, 1967–71 8. Trapped in a Loveless Marriage: The Anglo-French Concorde crisis of 1974 9. Playing a Double Game: The British aircraft industry in the third jet age Conclusion
Takeshi Sakade is Associate Professor in Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University, Japan.