AUTHORClark, Ian / Wheeler, Nickolas J.
TITLEThe British Origins of Nuclear Strategy
PUBLISHERClarendon Press
CITYOxford, England

This book describes the evolution of British nuclear strategy during the first decade following World War II and argues that Britain made many contributions to nuclear strategic thought during that time. It traces the foundation of British nuclear strategy back to World War I, the interwar years, and Britain’s experiences during World War II. The book also covers the country’s wartime atomic program and how, after the war, Britain came to the decision to create an independent atomic force and later an independent hydrogen bomb. While examining Britain’s unique nuclear strategy and comparing it to that of the United States, the authors argue that Britain developed a strategy that focused on hitting targets, such as bomber bases, that were high priority targets for the defense of Britain, but not high priorities for the United States, whose war plans focused more on industrial and population centers. Finally, the authors examine what is known about the Global Strategy Paper of 1952 that first set out the idea of deterrence and what impact that paper had upon American strategic thinking and President Eisenhower’s New Look, which relied more heavily than previously on nuclear weapons.

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