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At the Crossroads Between Peace and War: The London Naval Conference in 1930
     

At the Crossroads Between Peace and War: The London Naval Conference in 1930

by John H. Maurer, Christopher Bell
 

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A great power arms race in naval weaponry and platforms, rising challengers seeking to overturn the existing international order in Asia, an economic slump that put immense pressure on politicians in democracies to trim defense budgets, and diplomatic efforts by statesmen to find ways to promote mutual security and avoid rivalries that could lead to war—all these

Overview

A great power arms race in naval weaponry and platforms, rising challengers seeking to overturn the existing international order in Asia, an economic slump that put immense pressure on politicians in democracies to trim defense budgets, and diplomatic efforts by statesmen to find ways to promote mutual security and avoid rivalries that could lead to war—all these features mark the current-day strategic environment. These features also marked in the era between the two world wars. To prevent the naval rivalries that augured international conflict, statesmen and naval leaders sought to negotiate arms control agreement. Their efforts to avert a great power naval arms race were crowned with achievement at the London Conference of 1930.

What was accomplished at London, of course, did not prove lasting; nor did it lead to additional meaningful arms control and prevent future wars. Instead, London proved a dead end in the evolution of interwar international relations. The London Treaty marked the high point of interwar arms control. When measured against the magnitude of the international catastrophe that would unfold over the next decade, this achievement in arms control now appears practically meaningless at best and dangerous at worst. Critics of interwar arms control argue that, by weakening of American and British naval power, as well as stirring up extremist nationalism in Japanese internal politics, the London agreement represents a case study in political folly that contributed to the awful events leading to the war. The London Conference of 1930 thus represents a watershed, a turning point in the history of the interwar period.

In this volume, leading naval historians tackle the question of how to assess the role played by naval arms control in the history of the interwar period. In addressing this important question, the authors uncover new evidence about the role of intelligence and behind-the-scenes political deal making that adds much to our knowledge of the international and naval history of this important era. This volume’s authors provide the first complete account of the strategic calculations and negotiations that shaped the outcome at the London Conference. No one interested in twentieth-century naval history, international relations and the rivalries of rising and declining great powers, and the origins of the Second World War can afford to miss this important new history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612513317
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
02/15/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

John H. Maurer serves as a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department at the Naval War College. He has published books examining the outbreak of the First World War, military interventions in the developing world, naval arms control, and a study about Winston Churchill’s views on British foreign policy and strategy. He lives in Middletown, RI.

Christopher M. Bell is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the author of Churchill and Sea Power (2012) and The Royal Navy, Seapower and Strategy between the Wars (2000), and co-editor of Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century: An International Perspective (2003).

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