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Home Defence and the Sandys Defence White Paper, 1957

Grant, Matthew (2008) 'Home Defence and the Sandys Defence White Paper, 1957.' Journal of Strategic Studies, 31 (6). pp. 925-949. ISSN 0140-2390

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Long understood as the key document in Britain's Cold War history, the Duncan Sandys Defence White Paper of 1957 nevertheless has a largely forgotten context: home defence. This article argues that understanding this context allows important new conclusions to be drawn concerning the drafting, presentation and the reception of the document and the deterrent strategy it expounded. It argues that the Paper failed to establish a new doctrine for civil defence which reconciled the policy with the wider deterrent strategy. In doing this, the Paper presented a muddled policy to the public: one which failed to justify the reductions in civil defence provision but which stressed the destructive power of thermonuclear weapons. This had the effect of encouraging the critics of the government's nuclear strategy to flag up the absence of adequate civil defence measures and highlight the 'admission' that there was no defence against the hydrogen bomb.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nuclear Weapons; Deterrence; Civil Defence; Home Defence; Sandys; Defence Policy; Conscription
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 12:04
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:50

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