Raising Churchills Army: The British Army and the War against Germany 1919-1945

Paperback | July 15, 2001

byDavid French

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This is the first serious analysis of the combat capability of the British army in the Second World War. It sweeps away the myth that the army suffered from poor morale, and that it only won its battles through the use of 'brute force' and by reverting to the techniques of the First World War. David French analyses the place of the army in British interwar strategy and during the Second World War. He shows that after 1918 the General Staff tried hard to learn the lessons of the First World War, enthusiastically embracing technology as the best way of minimizing future casualties. Inthe first half of the Second World War the army did suffer from manifold weaknesses, not just in the form of shortages of equipment, but also in the way in which it applied its doctrine. Few soldiers were actively eager to close with the enemy, but the morale of the army never collapsed and itscombat capability steadily improved from 1942 onwards. Professor French assesses Montgomery's contributions to the war effort and concludes the most important were his willingness to impose a uniform understanding of doctrine on his subordinates, and to use mechanized firepower in ways quitedifferent from Haig in the First World War.

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This is the first serious analysis of the combat capability of the British army in the Second World War. It sweeps away the myth that the army suffered from poor morale, and that it only won its battles through the use of 'brute force' and by reverting to the techniques of the First World War. David French analyses the place of the arm...

David French is at University College London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:July 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199246300

ISBN - 13:9780199246304

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'How Are You to Succeed without Causing Losses?': Doctrine and Organization, 1919-19392. Regimental Officers and the Rank and File3. Weapons and Equipment4. Discipline and Morale5. The Pre-War Army and the British Expeditionary Force6. The Reformation of the Army, Home Forces, 1940-19437. The Desert War, 1940-19428. Monty's Army: Alam Halfa to the RhineConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`David French's book makes compelling reading for any serious student of the Second World War...this book makes a key contribution to the debate about how the British fought the Second World War, and why the Allies took so long to win it.'Evening Standard