During the few years prior to publication there had been a growing interest not only in the organisation and efficiency of the British Army, but also in its role in modern British society and the place of soldiering as a significant career. The time was therefore ripe for a book such as this, which looks objectively at the position of our Army whilst at the same time showing the actual experience of a Regular soldier.
Originally published in 1972, Colonel Baynes’s book was largely written during a year’s Defence Fellowship at Edinburgh University in 1968-9, where he worked under Professor John Erickson in the Higher Defence Studies sections of the Department of Politics.
He begins by examining the ways in which armies can be used, and then turns to more specific issues connected with the employment of the British Army in the modern world. He summarises what the British Army has accomplished since 1945 and how its strength has varied, and follows with a chapter on the cost of maintaining it.
The core of the book revolves around three basic questions. First, what, in the 1970s, does British society really think about its Army, and what sort of army does it want? Second, how can soldiers be kept keen and efficient in a period of prolonged peace? And third, who will join the Army in the coming years, what will their conditions of service be like and what are their career opportunities?
Some of Colonel Baynes’s solutions to these problems are likely to be unpopular with traditionalists, although he is by no means an iconoclast and has a deep affection for, and belief in, his own profession.
At the time this book was strongly recommended to all with an interest in the security of this country and the future of its armed forces: both those serving in them and civilians.
Table of Contents
Preface. Introduction 1. What are Armies for? 2. The British Army from 1945 to 1970 3. The Cost of the Army 4. The Future Nature and Roles of the Army 5. Attitudes Towards the Army 6. Acceptable Types of Army 7. The Maintenance of Efficiency and Morale 8. Conditions of Service and Career Opportunities – Officers 9. Conditions of Service and Career Opportunities – Soldiers 10. Manpower Available to the Army 11. The Problems of Recruiting 12. A Design for an Army. Appendix: Summary of the Latest Government Proposals. Select Bibliography. Index.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. M. Baynes