Churchill and Sea Power

Paperback | May 25, 2016

byChristopher M. Bell

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Winston Churchill had a longer and closer relationship with the Royal Navy than any British statesman in modern times, but his record as a naval strategist and custodian of the nation's sea power has been mired in controversy since the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign in 1915. Today, Churchillis regarded by many as an inept strategist who interfered in naval operations and often overrode his professional advisers - with inevitably disastrous results. Churchill and Seapower is the first major study of Winston Churchill's record as a naval strategist and his impact as the most prominent guardian of Britain's sea power in the modern era. Based on extensive archival research, the book debunks many popular and well-entrenched myths surroundingcontroversial episodes in both World Wars, including the Dardanelles disaster, the Norwegian Campaign, the Battle of the Atlantic, and the devastating loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse in 1941. It shows that many common criticisms of Churchill have been exaggerated, but also that some of hismistakes have been largely overlooked - such as his willingness to prolong the Battle of the Atlantic in order to concentrate resources on the bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. The book also examines Churchill's evolution as a maritime strategist over the course of his career, and documents his critical part in managing Britain's naval decline during the first half of the twentieth century. Churchill's genuine affection for the Royal Navy has often distracted attentionfrom the fact that his views on sea power were pragmatic and unsentimental. For, as Christopher M. Bell shows, in a period dominated by declining resources, global threats, and rapid technological change, it was increasingly air rather than sea power that Churchill looked to as the foundation ofBritain's security.

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From the Publisher

Winston Churchill had a longer and closer relationship with the Royal Navy than any British statesman in modern times, but his record as a naval strategist and custodian of the nation's sea power has been mired in controversy since the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign in 1915. Today, Churchillis regarded by many as an inept strategist wh...

Christopher M. Bell is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of The Royal Navy, Seapower and Strategy between the Wars (2000) and co-editor of Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective (2003).

other books by Christopher M. Bell

Churchill and the Dardanelles: Myth, Memory, and Reputation
Churchill and the Dardanelles: Myth, Memory, and Reputa...

Hardcover|Apr 23 2017

$46.72 online$52.50list price(save 11%)
see all books by Christopher M. Bell
Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.21 × 6.02 × 0.01 inPublished:May 25, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199678502

ISBN - 13:9780199678501

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Sea Power in the Age of Churchill1. Apprenticeship: 1901-19142. Learning Curve: The First World War3. Adjusting to the Post-war World, 1919-244. The Treasury Years: The Ten Year rule, the Japanese 'Bogey', and the 'Yankee Menace'5. Disarmament, Rearmament, and the Path to War: The 1930s6. First Lord of the Admiralty, 1939-1940: The Phoney War and the Norwegian Campaign7. The War against Germany and Italy, 1940-19418. Courting Disaster: The Deterrence of Japan and the Dispatch of Force Z9. The Battle of the Atlantic, the Imports Crisis, and the Closing of the 'Air Gap'10. The Defeat of the Axis Powers11. Churchill's Last Naval BattleEpilogue: The Verdict of HistoryNotesSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Bell combines archival and published material to make a convincing case for Churchill's reputation as a naval strategist...the author shows Churchill's approach to naval power to be unsentimental and pragmatic in his views on sea power...But Churchill also met the navy's most important needsand protected its long-term interests as well as possible in the context of changing strategic requirements, concludes Bell in this illuminating study." --Publishers Weekly