Retrenchment and Suez: 1955–6

  • C. J. Bartlett


The paramount considerations guiding British defence policy in 1955 were the desire to create an effective nuclear capability, the belief that in Europe the Soviet threat might be lessening but that elsewhere — and especially in the Middle East — it might increase, and the conviction that the current defence programme was still beyond the nation’s resources. Fortunately only Cyprus was demanding more manpower, and if the NATO commitment remained constant, elsewhere from Austria to Korea reductions were taking place. Technologically the arrival of the thermo-nuclear era promised some savings in the future, if only because preparation for a long war had become superfluous. On the other hand, with air warfare about to move into the supersonic age, and perhaps soon into that of the missile, technological development could add enormous burdens to defence spending.


Middle East Nuclear Weapon Arab World Suez Canal Civil Defence 
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© C. J. Bartlett 1972

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  • C. J. Bartlett

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