Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain and the Defence of Empire

  • George C. Peden


In his study of British grand strategy before the Second World War, Norman Gibbs was careful to note that the limitations of military power included finance and the productive capacity of industry.1 He also dismissed the myth that British weakness in the 1930s was simply the result of ‘supposed dictatorial obstinacy’ on the part of Neville Chamberlain.2 However, Gibbs was inhibited, as the author of an official history, when dealing with political personalities, and, in particular, he could not directly confront the legend of Winston Churchill as the Cassandra of the period.3 What follows may be seen as a footnote to Gibbs, in that this chapter is an attempt to compare how Churchill and Chamberlain coped with the limitations of military power. The focus is on their attitudes to the defence of Britain’s widely scattered Empire, for it was there that the imbalance between limited military power and extensive commitments was greatest.


Depression Europe Egypt Defend Omic 


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Copyright information

© John B. Hattendorf and Malcolm H. Murfett 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • George C. Peden

There are no affiliations available

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