In This Review

Changing Direction: British Military Planning For Post-War Strategic Defence, 1942-1947
Changing Direction: British Military Planning For Post-War Strategic Defence, 1942-1947
By Julian Lewis
Sherwood Press, 1988, 475 pp

An intriguing narrative of the debate during World War II between the Foreign Office and the British Chiefs of Staff over two questions: which country would pose a threat to Britain after the war, and what the nature of future warfare would be. Some in the Foreign Office (but not all, and not Anthony Eden) argued that the Soviet Union would be the major threat, while the military (also divided) was still worrying about a postwar threat from Germany; it was not until 1946 that "Foreign Office apprehension about post-war Soviet intentions had come into line with C.O.S. apprehension about post-war Soviet capabilities." The book contains a large number of contemporaneous top-secret documents, including a few acid memos on the reliability of the Americans.