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Title: The invasion of the United Kingdom : public controversy and official planning 1888-1918
Author: Moon, Howard Roy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3415 4700
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1968
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To invade and conquer Great Britain by conveying the large armies of the Continent to her shores was a strategic problem which absorbed the most eminent military authorities of pre-1914 Europe. Firpitz, Schlieffen, Foch, Roberts, Repington, Fisher, and the British, French, and German General Staffs devoted years of study to the complex issues involved in this enigmatic enterprise. In Britain, the question inspired the birth of the Blue Water School of naval strategy and for a generation thereafter remained the chief contention in a bitter struggle for predominance between the two services. Invasion was the first defence problem to be considered by the Committee of Imperial Defence and remained its major preoccupation, inspiring altogether five exhaustive reviews between 1902 and 1914. Interest in invasion was not, however, confined to the military establishment. The German staff studies were activated by the Kaiser himself. In Britain, Cabinet ministers such as Balfour and Churchill, and civilian strategists such as Corbett, attacked the mysteries of invasion with an intellectual sophistication which eclipsed the work of serving professionals. Especially in Britain, a possible invasion was a defence question which preoccupied all classes of society. Journals and newspapers analyzed its complexities for the patriotic edification of a middle class readership, while unscrupulous Journalists and publicists exploited the public's anxiety over overseas attack for less noble motives. The common man attested to his interest in the issue by purchasing sensational prophesies of future invasion by the million, and invasion scare in 1888, 1900, 1909, and l914 revealed a deep national concern that would diminish only during the war itself. he test of war provided the final proof that invasion was a remote contingency. By 1918, a long strategic era was drawing to a close as airpower displaced seapower as Britain's first line of defence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available