Conscription in Britain, 1939-1964: The Militarisation of a Generation

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Taylor & Francis, 2006 - 307 Seiten
Compulsory military service in Britain can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times, but it was only in the twentieth century that it became universal. Conscription occurred during both world wars with a total of eight million men in total being conscripted into the army, navy and air forces, and after the end of the Second World War compulsory service continued for another eighteen years to meet overseas commitments and under the threat of the Cold War.

Conscription in Britain 1939-1963 outlines the historical record of conscription from the fyrd of the Dark Ages, through to Nelson's day and up to and including the First World War. The book goes on to concentrate on conscription during the Second World War and National Service which continued in the decades afterwards. The strategic and political considerations that governed British military recruitment in the period 1939-1963 are described and analyzed. Individual experiences in the services are examined, putting human flesh on the strategic and political skeleton. The book looks at aspects of conscription including the demands made on the services, how officers and men were selected and trained, and how discipline was imposed. The years following the Second World War are also investigated, considering the effect of twenty four years continuous conscription on the services themselves; on women's rights; on attitudes towards authority and patriotism; on race issues and on the breakout of individualism in the 1960s.

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Inhalt

The continental and the maritime
21
Survival and success
37
Cold War and imperial decline
56
Pacifism and pledges
79
Pulling together mostly
94
Peacetime conscription
108
The men
129
The women
136
The exempted and the rejected
180
The objectors
187
The rebels
193
Misfortunes of war
202
Patriots and neutrals
210
At sea and down the pit
216
Defending the home front
223
At the lathe on the land
229

Wrens Atts and Waffs
149
Pegs and holes
155
Officers and gentlemen
162
Colour class and creed
170
Roll on demob
235
Expediency not ideology
243
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Über den Autor (2006)

Roger Broad was conscripted into the Royal Army Educational Corps in 1950-1 before reading Modern History at the The Queen's College, Oxford. He went into journalism, and was later for 22 years as official of the European Commission and of the European Parliament.

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