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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory Analysis of Britain's War
Although this book is 300 pages long with 100 pages of notes ,it could have been longer and have explained its thesis at greater length with greater coherence. That said, this is an important book which tackles three disparate issues. This is that essentially that Britain was still a great power and could win the second world war by using its economic power. Three points...
Published 18 months ago by Rf And Tm Walters

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it Delivers
The author very consciously sets out to disprove myths re. the British State and its alleged lack of military preparation for the Second World War and its ability to fight the war.

Some bits are good. As he points out, Britain was not alone in 1940. It had the undefeated Empire to support it. The big disaster was not Dunkirk but the fall of Singapore,...
Published 19 months ago by Pete Grafton


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it Delivers, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
The author very consciously sets out to disprove myths re. the British State and its alleged lack of military preparation for the Second World War and its ability to fight the war.

Some bits are good. As he points out, Britain was not alone in 1940. It had the undefeated Empire to support it. The big disaster was not Dunkirk but the fall of Singapore, economically, as he points out (but politically, too, which he doesn't highlight). He persuasively highlights the immense difficulties of the Germans invading the United Kingdom in the immediate aftermath of the retreat at Dunkirk. The same difficulties applied in 1944 for the Allies, travelling the other way to France.

His book is about the key British politicians - Churchill very much at the helm - the engineers and the scientists who were part of Britain's War Machine. Although the book starts off very promisingly I found myself getting lost in a fog of facts and figures that dilute, rather than reinforce a point he is making. This point is made too by a Three Star Amazon reviewer of the hardback version of the book.

Although he footnotes in twenty two lines (yes: twenty two!) the movements of one ship (in Chapter 7) to make a very small point, he gives virtually no Chapter and Verse and scant footnotes to British chemical warfare preparations, which he briefly mentions. In concluding pages he makes the astounding and unproven assertion that chemical warfare was used on the Eastern front, with no evidence! The expression he uses is 'improvised poison gases'. No evidence, no footnotes!

The 'Improvised poison gases' that this reviewer is aware of were those used by the Russians in their improvised mobile killing wagons - a lesson learnt by the German SS.

His treatment of the 3 million Indians who died of starvation in Bengal in 1943 is skewered by his 'Men and the Machines' approach. To his credit he does mention this appalling famine. But he doesn't mention that was it was aggravated (some might argue caused) by political decisions by Churchill, who also blocked aid to the area. The comparisons with Stalin and the millions who died in the Ukraine are telling. (see Madhusree Murkerjee's 'Churchill's Secret War'). But all of this is irrelevant to Edgerton's 'take' on the war.

There is a lot of stimulating material, and conclusions in the book, but it is a bit like being in a touring car in a foreign land - a land you thought you knew - that gives you unexpected vistas, and then unexpectedly gets bogged down in quicksand until it is dug out, is on its way, more vistas and then more long periods in quicksand, and so on. This blunts the experience. Within the small number of books that examine the myths of Britain and the British experience in the Second World War this is very significant contribution. Having read it, you will never ever be able to think of some of the well polished myths in the same way. But it would have been even better with an effective editor.

If you are interested in the myths that cloak the role and experience of Britain and the British in the Second World War, then the book is worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory Analysis of Britain's War, 19 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
Although this book is 300 pages long with 100 pages of notes ,it could have been longer and have explained its thesis at greater length with greater coherence. That said, this is an important book which tackles three disparate issues. This is that essentially that Britain was still a great power and could win the second world war by using its economic power. Three points stand out.

Firstly, there is the question of grand strategy. Britain had great economic strength and after the debacle that resulted in the retreat from Dunkirk, it fell back on this traditional way of war. It called in its international credits and favours and prepared for what was looking like a long war. It is no surprise that Chuchill referred to Napoleon in his Dunkirk speech, that was the war Britain could wage and win. The author points out that Britain was strong enough and confident enough to wage such a war even after (or especially after) some 250,000 of its troops had been rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk. It was however necessary to have some belligerence and this was where the campaigns in the desert came from. The real blow to this strategy was events in the Far East which removed some of resources from the Empire. It was not necessary for the USA to become a fellow belligerent though this was planned for and helped to shorten the war but Britain would have won at some point nonetheless.

Secondly, there is an account of Britain's scientific and economic war which looks at some of the
issues in some detail. So we look at the Dambusters, bombing, mulberry harbours etc as well as the factory building programme.

Thirdly, there is a look at the historiography of the war which has some surprises. As with Beevor's DDay it is interesting to note how strong Britain in fact was at most times during the war.

These three elements are condensed into what can be fairly tough reading. Undoubtedly, this is one of the books on the Second World War which will be cited and argued about for some time to come. You should get the paperback edition as several minor errors have been corrected.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 May 2011
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The marketing department at Allen Lane must have loved this book - or at least the title, beyond which point most marketing people in my experience lose all interest. The title - "Britain's War Machine" - probably seem ideally placed to draw from the fathomless well of British interest in everything to do with the Second World War. The title certainly works - it grabbed me. I bought it, hoping to learn more about the logistical and strategically vital economic and technological basis from which Britain fought this war. What I take from it, however, apart from many lists of names and titles, is a redundant claim that Britain was actually much stronger in the 1930s and 1940s than has been said before. Is this 'new'?

Edgerton sets up an Aunt Sally in his Introduction, asserting that "we have all grown up in the shadow of a relentless barrage of what I call declinist histories which indulged in inverted Whiggism, finding past failure to account for present decline...For all the mountains of writing that implied otherwise, Britain has been one of a handful of great scientific, industrial and military powers of the twentieth century and its history needs to be written with that firmly in mind. In this book I do so without troubling the reader with the older declinist picture." This is a bit like switching on the TV to watch a sporting event half way through - if Edgerton is correct, and the prism through which most of us have acquired our understanding of twentieth century British history is wrong, then we need to know how it is wrong, not simply have it asserted that it is wrong. But this statement of his is in any case largely vacuous; surely everyone grew up believing the reverse - that Britain was indeed a great power for much of the twentieth century?

I have problems with the way in which Edgerton sometimes seems to use statistics to suit his need to imply that Britain actually never really struggled during any point in the Second World War. On page 165 he writes that "[British] Losses at seas, while significant, need to be kept in proportion. In 1941, a bad year, 5 per cent of British food imports were lost at sea." It is almost as if he is asking us to adopt the view that, yes, of course, 5 per cent is actually very small, nugatory - almost nothing at all. Yet a moment's reflection will surely result in an entirely different view - 5 per cent losses for a country that is already being squeezed for shipping capacity in all directions is potentially highly damaging. The notion of a 'tipping point', or that it is always at the margins that the delicate balance between lavish supply and starvation can be found, finds no consideration here.

Edgerton's point about shipping not being under any real pressure is in any case undermined by what he writes on page 189, where he considers what Britain would have needed to feed itself during the war: "This would have needed a doubling of the agricultural workforce, to perhaps a million, though it is not clear there was enough land for them to work." The country clearly was unable to feed itself. Even if the worst year saw 'only' 5 per cent shipping losses, that put immense strain on capacity. And who at that time knew for certain that next year it might not be 10 per cent?

Sometimes the problem with this book is that Edgerton does not know where to stop. Thus on page 214 he makes an interesting comparison between "Two hundred Lancasters, roughly the establishment of an RAF group, cost about the same as a single battleship." He then goes on to explore the Lancaster/battleship parallel only to end in banality: "In the air force air crew were at great risk, while the erks at base, the cooks and medics were generally quite safe." The style is relentlessly list-compiling, yet lists are not enough, they must be made to do work. The muddled (and muddied) points he wishes to make are generally lost in a rather dull prose style. He obviously wanted to write an all-encompassing book, but some of the interesting characters who pop up really deserve longer treatment.

Probably the most controversial aspect of his analysis is his assertion that Britain was not inferior to Germany in terms of tanks, self-propelled guns, and other armoured fighting vehicles, either in quantity or quality. He bases himself on a 1959 history of the Royal Tank Regiment by Basil Liddell Hart. Surely there is later and more thoughtful (and perhaps more reliable) scholarly work than this? There is no doubt that British tank production grew fast during the war and the combined Allied forces eventually had many more tanks than the Germans - but in mechanical and fighting quality they always remained inferior, or where they matched the Germans (such as in the Sherman 'Firefly' tank) there were never enough. British memoirs of the war are full of comments about the relative inferiority of the Sherman versus more or less any German tank.

Occasionally the text does not internally cohere. Thus on page 263 we can read that Edward Terrell, a barrister, was awarded 10,000 in 1949 for his invention of plastic armour (an interesting tale this but rather buried), yet two pages later, in a list of those who received awards for their inventions (and the discrepancy in the sums involved is vast, and unexplained by Edgerton) we read that Terrell was awarded 9,500. A trivial point perhaps - but which is true? And are there similar but less obvious slips?

I hate giving a poor rating to a book. So many books appear that are not worth reviewing because they are so bad. The difficulty with a book like this is that it promises a great deal, and the topic is not well covered - so it's worth reviewing, even if ultimately it disappoints. I so wanted to like this, not least because the author's background (founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College) promised an authoritative insight. But ultimately I think it is a book where preconceptions - that Britain was much stronger than usually imagined, in the build up to and during the early years of the war - got in the way. Edgerton has an axe to grind, but he fails to grind it clearly and sharply, and in any case it really isn't an axe that needs grinding. I am going to read his Warfare State, Britain 1920-1970, and hope - because it is not aimed at a general audience - it is much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The economics of British arms production.., 2 Jan 2014
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os - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
This book is a fascinating and highly readable economic history of British armament production during the Second World War period in terms of type, numbers and quality of output. Whether or not the arguments proffered stack up in their entirety is another matter, but it is hard to dispute the quality of writing and wealth of data that the writer puts before us.

David Edgerton makes some interesting claims that certainly deserve consideration. Firstly that Britain was never as 'alone' as we are led to understand in conventional histories. This is because Britain was at the centre of a huge trade and political network, supplying men, facilities, expertise as well agricultural products, minerals and oil in unstinting abundance. So despite the unexpected fall of France, Britain could continue the fight because of the support and resources available from her Empire.

Secondly that Britain had a highly efficient, productive and responsive industrial sector that could and did produce armaments of sufficient quality and amounts to support the war effort very successfully. The most significant example of this would have to be the Lancaster bomber. The four engined heavy bomber argues Edgerton took the war to Germany far more effectively then say corresponding Navy expenditure on Battleships. But add in British development of radio location for land and sea use, the jet engine and improvements in bomb and shell design there is considerable evidence of innovation and application that had real impacts in the theatre of war.

Thirdly that Britain could match if not exceed Germany in just about any category of production and despite the best efforts of the U-Boats supplies of food and oil always got through in sufficient amounts not to hinder the war effort or affect morale unduly.

Edgerton makes a vital point that it was the disastrous Japanese invasion of Malaysia and Singapore that really highlighted the British problem. That it wasn't the lack of men or arms, it was leadership that failed. This narrative is important because it contradicts the broader view of how the British view of themselves as being 'plucky' and prepared. The trouble in Asia highlighted the idea that a small well led army could beat a better equipped and more numerous force lacking the will or appropriate strategies to win. For historians and officers in the field to blame inferior numbers and quality of British arms was so he argues a much more palatable a way to explain set- backs in Asia, Africa and in France then any shortcomings in tactics ,vision or gumption exhibited by British forces.

The general theme is that Churchill though shaken by the fall of France could see that Britain could eventually win the war against Germany. This confidence was well founded so it seems given that Britain had ready supplies of men, materials, finance and expertise to prosecute a long war.
Of course problems in the East meant that supplies of oil and rubber, vital materials were stopped along with having to fight a war on two fronts meant that a successful conclusion to the European conflict outcome was unlikely without outside support, namely from America.

`Britain's War Machine' marks perhaps a new understanding of this countries war effort or at least putting it in context. Primarily by suggesting that the Second World War was essentially a land war- a war of massed armies- the type of war that Britain with its reliance on airpower, naval strength and technical innovation was not suited to fight. The Soviet Union through sheer manpower resources and ability to replace loss of equipment by ever greater levels of production illustrates this argument well. The war in Europe was won primarily in the East. Japan meanwhile was defeated not by Britain's efforts but through Americas industrial might and ultimately willingness to develop and use the Atomic bomb. Fans of the more arcane aspects of British weapon development will really enjoy the relish and detail with which the author describes the many projects that were under development during the war. The rest of us will be entertained if not provoked by Edgerton's persuasive line of argument.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating revisionist history, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
This is a good counter to the standard popular histories that posit a weak Britain struggling for survival against a far more powerful and ruthless enemy. This argument is not directed against any "straw man" - only this week Channel 4 television aired a documentary on the DeHavilland Mosquito subtitled "The Plane That Saved Britain". The myth of British weakness is extremely powerful and long-legged, and I doubt that even Edgerton's revisionism will fully eradicate it.

Edgerton has a thorough go at it, nevertheless, and convincingly demonstrates that the British Empire had a negligible chance of being beaten by Nazi Germany and its allies, largely thanks to the material wealth contained within the Empire, and the leverage it maintained over "neutral" suppliers. He also demonstrates that Britain was in many ways more technologically advanced, and had better supplied armed forces, than any of the Axis powers.

I suppose the question that the book begs is why the myth of British weakness and technological inferiority continues to have so much appeal. He suggests at the end of the book that the tendency to blame the standard of equipment for early British defeats deflected blame from the poor performance of the Army themselves - that it exposed their lack of resolve, resourcefulness and tenacity.

In essence, a more competent and powerful Britain must necessarily appear to be a comparatively less heroic one. The British themselves are attached to the myth of their own heroism, and the Americans are attached to the myth of "saving" an otherwise doomed Mother country. Against these irrationalities, the cogent arguments and statistical tables of even the most diligent historian are always going to struggle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important work, 9 Dec 2012
This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
Anyone seriously interested in the grand strategy of Britain in relation to Germany and its wider place in the world needs to read this book. It challenges some common conceptions about the plight of Britain and it going it alone against the might of the Axis powers: an understanding that underestimates the role of Empire and Britain's superior position in relation to resources, both material and geographical. The book debunks several myths about ariel bombardment among other things, and contains an array of helpful statistics about actually war casualties. More than an eye-opener, this is an important challenge to the official and popular ideological history of the Second World War.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important and ground-breaking, 21 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
The theme of this book is that Britain would have defeated Germany anyway because of its more advanced economy and technology compared to Germany, and its ability to draw on the resources of the Empire. Therefore, it was not the luck of winning the Battle of Britain (supposedly against the odds) or the intervention of the US that turned the tide. I don't know if this is right, but it's certainly an argument everyone interested in history ought to know about, and having read the book it seemed convincing to me, backed up by a huge amount of detail across the range of relevant subject matter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain's War Machine, 23 Sep 2012
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A. Newton (London) - See all my reviews
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I have often wondered by Britain fought on alone in WW2 after the fall of France and this book provides the best answer I have found - we thought we'd win. We are reminded that Britain remained (and indeed remains) a very rich, powerful, advanced country despite a century of wailing by prophets of doom. It is a useful reminder that much history is written by interest groups seeking to win arguments about the future rather than objective analysts of the past. Given that British war production was so immense, and that much of our equipment was so good, I was left wondering whether Mr Edgerton might like next to examine whether it was put to proper use by the armed services - was military doctrine and leadership faulty and if so why?
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary and stimulating, 29 May 2011
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David Edgerton's "Britain's War Machine" is a wonderful book which deserves a place on one's boookshelf beside the companion work The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze.

The first merit of Edgerton is to demolish the die-hard myth of Britain's unpreparedness in 1939. On the contrary he convincingly demonstrates that Britain was first of all opulent, "the richest state in Europe... certainly richer than Germany"; no wonder that "the British were the great meat-eaters of Europe" (even during the war "rationing did not imply drastically cut supplies, except in the case of sugar") and that "Britain was the most motorized nation in Europe" as well as "the world's largest importer of oil"; to be more precise "Britain started and ended the war as the world's largest importer". "So powerful was Britain in the world economy that it could in effect force many people around the world to supply it with goods for credit". Moreover "it had resources to spare, was wealthy enough to make mistakes, and could fight as it chose to rather than had to".

This enviable condition reflected itself both in the industry and in the armed forces. "The warfare state was one of plenty, of armed forces generously supplied with new equipment by new factories", "interwar Britain was a military superpower at sea and in the air, supporting the largest arms industry in the world" (incidentally, "it was the largest arms exporter of the world"). "Britain rearmed on a scale unprecedented in peacetime". The "liberal militarism" which pervaded Britain caused a veritable "orgy of techno-nationalist excess", the scientific pursuit of its industrial and military aims was spasmodic: not only "in some key sectors, efficiency of production was the same as in the USA", but "if one of the forces was organized with Teutonic efficiency and regimentation, it was the RAF, not the Luftwaffe". Moreover "Britain was the world's greatest tank producer in the years 1941 and 1942" and "although it was widely believed from 1941-42 that Britain tanks in North Africa were inferior to German in quantity and quality, this view was shown to be incorrect". "By nearly every standard the British army was much better equipped than the German army from the beginning to the end of the war". "Another measure of preparedness was that during the war forty-four overwhelmingly new ordnance factories were in operation".

Britain was so utterly self conscious of its industrial might and technical primacy that "when the British team... went to the US with new British developments in October 1940, there was again a clear sense that the British had more to offer the Americans than vice versa". On the battlefield "the British were also much more successful imperialists than the Germans, mobilizing a huge imperial force, a large part of it effectively mercenary".

The second merit of the book resides in the enormous amount of little known facts that it collects in support of its solid analysis (always suggesting orders of magnitude). The narrative is full of paragraphs which can be read as veritable monographs: the history of the ambitious and velleitarian atomic bomb program since 1941; the airframe and aircraft engine industry; the rifle crisis and the radios shortage in 1940; the import issue and the Liberty ships program; the story of Churchill, his cronies, the boffins and their often bizarre, costly but inconclusive war-winning gadgets; the uneasy relationship among science, technology, universities and operational research; the food and agriculture problems; the oil and fuel production (one of the very best parts of the book, perfectly supported by extremely enlightening maps of refineries, hydrogenation plants and pipelines locations; the perfect complement to Goralski and Freeburg's Oil and War: How the Deadly Struggle for Fuel in WWII Meant Victory or Defeat); the peculiarities of the British Army (the first to have a complete cold-store chain as well as a blood transfusion system); "the Middle East Supply Centre [which] coordinated civil imports and promoted local supply", including the "growing of potatoes in Egypt and Syria, potatoes without which the British soldier does not consider himself properly fed", and the lavish "some 10 million fourteen-man packs... produced between 1942 and 1945, in seven varieties, which included pudding"; the bureaucracies (one finds out that "at one stage of the war the three key procurement officers [Ministry of Supply, Ministry of Aircraft Production and the Controller of the Navy] all knew each other from their days as naval officers" and "many crucial disputes between their ministries were solved in a genial manner in private": those three so called "boilermakers" launched every week at the Carlton Hotel!); "the Bengal famine of 1943, when millions perished".

Such a well documented (118 pages of notes and bibliography!) and convincing praise of the British Imperial spirit makes the continental reader sometimes cringe, as his ears resound with the words of Mussolini, when he declared war on the "plutocratic democracies", proclaiming that the Axis war was "the struggle of the poor and proletarian peoples against the exploiters which ferociously hold the monopoly of the world wealth".

Yet there are some aspects of the book which are at the same time stimulating and unconvincing.

A statement like "it went to war, allied with France, in pursuit of great interests, by choice", appears to hint that in September 1939 Britain was not just a purely formal aggressor (in fact declaring war on Germany in defence of Poland and of the status quo). No real evidence is offered for such an interpretation, which could be nonetheless correct, at least towards Italy, if it is true that (as Raynolds M. Salerno explains, Vital Crossroads: Mediterranean Origins of the Second World War, 1935-1940 (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)) as early as 1937 "Eden told the Cabinet that Britain should adopt a policy of intimidation by manifesting the progress of British rearmament with military reinforcement in the Mediterranean". One observes "Britain's arrogance in the Mediterranean" theater only (and intermittently), when a contemptuous Alexander Cadogan affirmed: "We shall have quite enough abuse of `Ice-creamers'" and wondered "what to do with the ice-cream vendors. Drown the brutes is what I should like to do" (quoted by Salerno).

Somehow enigmatic remains Edgerton's statement that "if we understand British strength not in continental military terms but in British terms, there is little doubt about relative British strength, bearing in mind that Britain never envisaged fighting a great power alone". The richest and supposedly most powerfully armed nation in Europe would be expected to demonstrate its strength on the battlefield, i.e. in the classical (not British nor continental) terms. Considering then that "external support was vital to high British mobilization. Indeed Lend-Lease was designed precisely to achieve this", one wonders if British strength was intrinsic or not. And if not, what was the price to pay and to whom. Edgerton stresses the "cheapness of the victory" affirming that "for the richest belligerents, the USA and Britain, victory came at very low cost" and that for Britain the war was "only a financial and not a commercial or industrial Dunkirk". Yet reflecting on the undeniable postwar British decline, Edgerton comes to the point with a phrase which is worth the whole book: "Britain's stupendous relative decline in wartime was caused not by its decision to fight, but by that of the USA". In fact Britain strove to keep direct military American help out of Europe for as long as possible, or at least for as long as the British could show off a purely indigenous triumph. As H.P. Willmott observes (When Men Lost Faith in Reason: Reflections on War and Society in the Twentieth Century (Studies in Military History & International Affairs)), "at a time when Britain stood on the edge of the eclipse as a great power, here was the victory that paid for all the defeats, won before dependence upon the United States undercut Britain's status and authority: Alamein was Britain's swan-song... Alamein, not the Somme, was Europe's last great love-battle. This was the last battle involving Europeans with virtually no reference to outsiders and somehow it seems both perverse and appropriate that with its fate to be decided by non- and extra-European powers greater than itself, Europe should have fought its final battle beyond its shores". Nevertheless not even Alamein prevented that feared direct American intervention which would compound British problems and engender Britain's decline. Thus it seems that the fall of the Empire originated from the Mediterranean stoppage since mid 1940, following which, Edgerton notes, "indeed Egypt was now closer to Australia than to Britain". Very meaningful was therefore the alternative proposed to the Britons: "Beef or Bardia"; but even though Bardia was taken (and in what a spectacular and "mechanical" way!), the defeated and humiliated Italians (Cadogan's "purulent dogs"!) managed nevertheless to make the Germans keep the Mediterranean closed for two fatal years more.

Taking into account the postwar convergence and the catching up with Britain of all European powers (particularly Italy, although it had mobilized for the war the tiniest fraction of its scant national income: see Mark Harrison, ed., The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison (Studies in Macroeconomic History)), Edgerton does not convince as he writes that "US growth, not British failure, was the main cause of the spectacular British relative decline between 1941 and 1945". Moreover his observation that "industrially Britain had been strengthened by the war" looks not significant, since, as Harrison notes, "Each of our six countries... finished the war with a larger stock of machine tools than before".

Instead it seems rather natural that immediately after the war a resentful First Lord of the Sea wrote (Admiralty, FO 371/67751): "To the Italians, a reminder is required that they declared war on us and we beat them. But before their defeat, they did us irreparable harm, which they cannot and they should not forget. Because of this harm, we are now a poor nation, as poor as they, and cannot give charity gifts as the U.S. do. Apart from wealth, they never stabbed the U.S. in the back, and our motives and memories are conditioned differently to those of the Americans".
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new slant on WWII, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
Full of interesting 'I bet you didn't know' facts, this book casts a new light on the way in which Britain and subsequently the USA won the war in the West against Germany.

One of the main points is the extent to which the Allies out-produced Germany in weaponry. The corollary, barely alluded to, is why we didn't do better sooner.
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