A Very British Experience

Coalition, Defence and Strategy in the Second World War

By Andrew Stewart

This book examines the three defining elements of Britain's collective wartime experience during World War II: the challenges of building and maintaining coalitions and alliances, the paramount importance of defending the British mainland and its population, and the central role that the African continent assumed in British strategic planning. An introductory essay sets out how the British wartime experience was underpinned by these critical elements. The topics addressed include: 1940 and the defense of Britain * relations with the US * the British Empire Air Training Plan * General 'Boy' Browning and Operation Market Garden * the recall of General Alan Cunningham from Libya in 1941 * plans for defending the Royal family * Exercise Genesis, which turned West London into a battleground for a day in May 1942 * the role of the Eastern Fleet off Africa. The book also includes a compelling chapter on the loss of the Tobruk garrison in June 1942 - one of the worst military disasters suffered by the British Empire during World War II. The essay on Tobruk demonstrates how all three defining elements of wartime experience converged: the loss of public confidence about how the war was being conducted; its impact on the relationship with the Union of South Africa, a key partner in the Dominion wartime coalition; and the absolute necessity that existed for deep strategic planning on the African continent, subsequently to be realized at the final battle at El Alamein. *** "A Very British Experience will be useful for those interested in the Second World War, as it throws new light on the inner tensions within Britain and its Empire and Commonwealth that helped shape events." - The New York Military Affairs Symposium Review, Winter-Spring 2012~

270 pages

Publication Date: 8/1/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781845194390

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