The Road to War (1989)

BBC

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Date Added: 9 years ago.

Documentary Description


THE ROAD TO WAR



This four-episode documentary shows how international relations in the 21st century are  being a reprisal of the Interwars period 90 years ago:



"Britain, like other victorious powers, was determined to disarm, especially now that no conceivable enemy existed. The army was the first to be emasculated. To justify the cuts, the government adopted the 'Ten Year Rule'  - an assumption for the purposes of military planning that peace would last ten years. The navy - guardian of the imperial sea lanes - was drastically diminished. By the start of the 1930s, Britain was a weaker naval power in relation to her rivals than she had been since the 17th century when her fleet had been defeated by the Dutch, Britain's most modern service, the Air Force, was all but grounded. When the war ended, the Royal Air Force was the largest air force in the world and the only independent air force in existence. lt had 22,000 aircraft on charge, 1,600 of them in actual action on the Western Front. And then, dramatically, in two years, it had reduced from 22,000 on charge to only 120 serviceable aircraft in the whole of the Royal Air Force. Tremendous drop. And aircrafts were being scrapped, chopped up, burned in every direction. You could buy an SE-5 fighter for five pounds and a 504 trainer for joy riding for ten. Weakened by disarmament, the British put their trust in the League of Nations, set up in Geneva, the League was to settle disputes by arbitration and in the last resort would fall back on 'collective security'. ln extreme cases, this meant joint military action by member nations. Britain's immediate concern was the preservation of its vulnerable Empire. By the 1930s, she was scarcely strong enough to protect even the British lsles against a threat from Europe, and that was only a first commitment."  



From: The Road to War, Episode 1 - Great Britain

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