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Title: Climbing the learning curve:British intelligence on Japanese strategy and military capabilities during the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, July 1937 to August 1945
Author: Ford, Douglas Eric.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3473 7500
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: Institute of Historical Research (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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The evolution of British assessments regarding the threat posed by japan's strategy and military capabilities during the Pacific War is a subject that has been neglected. Using archival material that has been previously unused, this thesis will examine the manner in which intelligence influenced the British military establishment's perception of its Japanese adversary. Moreover, it will attempt to determine the effect that intelligence had on British war plans in the Far Eastern theaters. Using the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese conflict in July 1937 as the starting point, the thesis will illustrate the extent to which Britain's miscalculation of its adversary prior to Japan's declaration of war on the West in December 1941 was due to the absence of reliable intelligence. In addition to the obstacles created by the secretive manner in which Japan conducted its diplomacy and strategic planning, Britain's lack of first-hand experience in dealing with its adversary prevented its military establishment from grasping the dangers that could be posed by japan's expansionist moves. The shock created by Japan's spectacular victories in Southeast Asia following the outbreak of war in December 1941 was necessary to convince Britain that Japan was in fact both willing and capable of challenging the West. Furthermore, Britain's reverses brought home the extent to which its forces in the Far East were inadequate. As the conflict progressed, the British military establishment used the intelligence obtained through its encounters with Japan's armed forces in order to obtain an accurate picture the threat that its enemy could pose, as well as to determine the most effective means by which the challenges could be overcome. The thesis will therefore attempt to shed new light on Britain's conduct of its war against Japan by illustrating the extent to which first-hand combat experience was necessary in order to enable the military establishment to accurately assess its enemy, and to devise an effective strategy by which to defeat it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History