Inter-service debate and the origins of strategic culture : the 'principles of war' in the British armed forces, 1919-1939

Searle, DA ORCID: 2014, 'Inter-service debate and the origins of strategic culture : the 'principles of war' in the British armed forces, 1919-1939' , War in History, 21 (1) , pp. 4-32.

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In the literature on the emergence of the principles of war in British military thought there has been a failure to examine the reaction of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force to the appearance of the first list of principles in the army's 1920 Field Service Regulations. By considering correspondence, articles, books, field manuals, and staff college lecture scripts, this article demonstrates that there was a debate on the principles of war between the two world wars which involved all three armed services. The acceptance of the principles into the doctrine of each of the services represented a fundamental shift away from Jomini and the final acceptance of Clausewitzian approaches to the theory of war. The debate also contributed to significantly to the emergence of a 'common language' between the services, thus laying the basis for a tri-service 'strategic culture' which was attuned to the challenges of joint operations.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for European Security
Journal or Publication Title: War in History
Publisher: SAGE
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0968-3445
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor DA Searle
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 18:05
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 18:25

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