Download Churchill and the Strategic Dilemmas Before the World Wars: by John H. Maurer PDF

By John H. Maurer

Ahead of Michael I. Handel died his colleagues and scholars compiled this number of essays that have been written for a convention on approach held in the course of 2001. The papers handle Churchill's perspectives and ideas on battle, procedure and realpolitik.

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Extra info for Churchill and the Strategic Dilemmas Before the World Wars: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel (British Foreign & Colonial Policy)

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The response from the German government to Grey’s enquiry was hardly encouraging: Berlin repeated Tirpitz’s released statement that he would consider a British proposal permitting Germany to complete its naval program and establishing a ratio of eight-to-five in squadrons of eight battleships each. From the British perspective, this was hardly a serious proposal. What Tirpitz wanted was for the British government to accept that Germany should carry out its full program of warship construction. The German Navy Secretary was not proposing any reduction whatsoever in Germany’s shipbuilding program.

Although Grey had been informed of the back-channel attempt by Ballin and Cassel to open talks, and he approved of the visit of the British battle squadron to Kiel, the Foreign Secretary was taken aback when Goschen’s telegram arrived with the invitation from the Kaiser (through Prince Henry) that Churchill would travel along as well to Germany. 92 Grey quickly moved to put the brakes on negotiations led by Churchill. Instead of a summit at Kiel, Grey suggested that the two sides explore ways to reduce the naval rivalry by opening talks at a much lower level, involving the naval attaches in London and Berlin.

Churchill announced that the government would introduce a supplementary estimate, providing for additional naval construction and personnel. Britain would carry out Churchill’s threat to stay ahead of Germany at sea by building four additional battleships over the next six years, maintaining a two-to-one advantage over the two ships added by the amendment to the German navy law. 44 These steps were meant to enhance British security in home waters in response to Germany’s naval buildup. In moving so quickly in response to the projected German increases, Churchill undercut the ability of the opposition Tories to create a naval panic over the government’s defense measures, as they had in 1909.

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