Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Battleships and dividends : the rise of private armaments firms in Great Britain and Italy, c.1860-1914
Author: Marchisio, Giulio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8285
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis analyses the rise of private armaments firms in Great Britain and in Italy from mid-19th century to the outbreak of the First World War, with a focus on naval armaments and military shipbuilding. During this period, the armaments industry underwent a radical transformation, moving from being based on public-owned arsenals and yards to being based on private firms – the system of military procurement prevalent today. The key reason behind this transformation was the increasingly rapid evolution of military technology which started in the late 1850s and which was especially marked in naval ordnance and warship design. Guns and vessels, which previously could have been used for decades, were now outdated in a few years. Rapid technological change forced governments to constantly re-equip their armed forces, thus creating the opportunity for private firms both to supply goods which government arsenals did not make, and to supplement their production when this was not sufficient. It also favoured the expansion of the international armaments trade because advanced technologies were difficult to replicate. By 1914, private armaments firms had become the leading suppliers of crucial military hardware and the driving force behind technical innovations. Moreover, armaments firms now ranked among the largest private companies in many economies. This research casts fresh light on this development through a comparative analysis of the Italian and British cases. Both countries experienced a similar trend, despite very different economic, strategic and political conditions. Analysing the evolution of their armaments industries thus highlights both the common long-term changes and the differences, notably in the relationship between private companies and governments, and the level of competition inside the industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available