The British Way in Warfare: Power and the International System, 1856–1956: Essays in Honour of David French (Hardback) book cover

The British Way in Warfare: Power and the International System, 1856–1956

Essays in Honour of David French

By Keith Neilson

Edited by Greg Kennedy

© 2010 – Routledge

358 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780754665939
pub: 2010-05-07

About the Book

In his groundbreaking book The British Way in Warfare (Routledge, 1990), David French outlined the skillful combination of maritime, economic and diplomatic power employed by Britain to achieve its international goals. Almost two decades later, this collection offers a reassessment of French's thesis, using it as a lens through which to explore Britain's relationship with various kinds of power (military and civil) and how this was employed across the globe. In particular, each essay addresses the ways in which the use of power manifested itself in the maintenance of Britain's place within the international system between 1856 and 1956. Adopting twin methodologies, the collection firstly addresses the broad question of Britain's relationship with other Great Powers and how these influenced the strategies used, before then testing these with specific case studies. By taking this approach, it is possible to discern which policies were successful and which failed, and whether these remained constant across time and space. Measuring Britain's strategy against her commercial, imperial, and military competitors (including France, the USA, Italy, Germany, and Russia) allows intriguing conclusions to be drawn about just how an essentially maritime power could compete with much larger - and potentially more powerful - continental rivals. With contributions from an outstanding selection of military scholars, this collection addresses fundamental questions about the intersection of military, economic and diplomatic history, that are as relevant today as they were during the height of Britain's imperial power. It will prove essential reading, not only for those with an interest in British military history, but for anyone wishing to understand how power - in all its multifaceted guises - can be employed for national advantage on the international stage.


'… of particular value to undergraduate and postgraduate students who are looking to absorb complex arguments quickly and effectively… this is a stimulating collection of essays by distinguished scholars.' English Historical Review 'This is a book well worth pondering over… it contains intellectual nourishment of a high order.' RUSI Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Keith Neilson and Greg Kennedy; The British way in warfare and Russia, Keith Neilson; Some principles of Anglo-American strategic relations, 1900-45, Greg Kennedy; Italy and the British way of warfare, Bruce Strang; Managing the British way in warfare: France and Britain's continental commitment, 1904-1918, William Philpott; British power and French security, 1919-1939, Peter Jackson; Germany, Britain, and warmaking, Dennis Showalter; The Territorial Army and national defence, Hew Strachan; The British Army and Anglo-American military relations in Second World War, Niall Barr; Co-operation in the Anglo-Canadian armies, 1939-1945, Douglas E. Delaney; The naval war course, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy and the origins of 'the British way in warfare', Andrew Lambert; Financing Kitchener's (and everyone else's) armies, Kathleen Burk; Financing Churchill's army, George Peden; 'The method in which we were schooled by experience': British strategy and a continental commitment before 1914, T.G. Otte; The British Empire vs. the Hidden Hand: British intelligence and strategy and 'the CUP-Jew-German-Bolshevik combination, 1918-1924, John Ferris; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Keith Neilson, Royal Military College of Canada, Canada and Greg Kennedy, King's College London, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain