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The Rise and Fall of the British Navy
by Richard Humble
1st. Published 1986 by Queen Anne Press
a division of Mcdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd., London
A navy cloth bound book with gilt lettering to the spine in Very Good condition in a Very Good unclipped dust wrapper.
ISBN 0 356 12227 1
The earth's surface is seventy per cent water; ninety per cent of Britain's trade and raw materials are imported by sea — indeed, this country needs three hundred shiploads a week to subsist. But even in a post-Falklands, Margaret Thatcher government there is no Minister for the Navy.
The Rise and Fall of the British Navy is an eloquent indictment of successive government neglect of the Senior Service since 1945. Indeed, it was arguably the withdrawal of the ice-patrol ship Endurance from the South Atlantic that encouraged an Argentine dictatorship in 1982 of an easy occupation of the Falklands. This was not an isolated instance of British misjudgement; the closure of Chatham dockyards, where only recently millions had been spent on equipment for servicing nuclear submarines, has been succeeded by their reconstruction at Devonport. The author laments that defence in Britain is based primarily around nuclear weapons, and emphatically shows that the Russians' worldwide capability includes nuclear power merely as one constituent of its arsenal. Even in relative terms the Soviet Navy is a greater threat to our shores than was ever posed by the Spanish Armada, Napoleon or Hitler. After reading this book no one will doubt this simple fact.
Richard Humble was born in 1945 and educated at Epsom and Oriel College, Oxford. He was editor of the Purnell illustrated edition of Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples and has written a number of books on naval and military history, his first being Hitler's High Seas Fleet (1971). He has also been commissioned to write the Fleet Air Arm official history of the Falklands War. He lives in Devon with his wife and twin daughters.
PART I Instrument of Survival: From the Tudors to VJ Day
1 Four Centuries of Sea Power 1509–1919
2 Two Decades of Decline 1919-1939
3 Crisis and Triumph 1939-1943
4 Poor Relations 1943-1945
5 Retrospect 1945: The Last Lesson?
PART II The Instrument Demolished 1945–1985
6 Demobilisation and Austerity 1945-1948
7 The Birth of NATO 1949-1950
8 From Korea to `Suez' 1950-1956
9 'Suez' and After: The Fatal Reaction
10 Submarine Revolution, Carrier Debate
11 The Doomsday Ships: Into the Polaris Era
12 Nineteen-Sixties: The Deadly Decade
13 The Long Bleed: 1966-1982
14 The Falklands War March-June 1982
15 Falklands Aftermath: On Course for Disaster?
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