Britain, Germany, and Western Nuclear Strategy by Christopher Bluth

Britain, Germany, and Western Nuclear Strategy

Christopher Bluth
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This book gives a comprehensive account of post-war British and German policies towards nuclear weapons and how these interacted in the context of alliance strategy. In this fascinating explanation of an important, but previously unresearched topic, the author gives a detailed account of major episodes in the evolution of the alliance and its doctrine - such as the MLF debate, the origins of flexible response, theatre modernization programmes - and demonstrates how British and German interests impinged upon these episodes. On occasion, these interests converged; at others, they diverged and Britain and Germany took on the role of protagonists. In all of this, one of the less well-known nuclear relationships within the alliance comes vividly into focus. The book tells this part of the alliance's story for the first time, and, in the accounts of the development of German strategy, brings a refreshingly new perspective to the predominant Anglo-American interpretations.

Publisher Description

This comprehensive account of post-war British and German policies towards nuclear weapons shows how these interacted in the context of alliance strategy. The author gives a detailed account of major episodes in the evolution of the alliance and its doctrine, such as the MLF debate, the origins of flexible response, and theatre modernization programmes, and demonstrates how British and German interests impinged upon these episodes. In all this, one of the lesser-known nuclear relationships within the alliance comes vividly into focus.

Review
Britain, Germany and Western Nuclear Strategy is the comprehensive and masterful account of this fascinating story since 1945 ... This book ... is implicitly a trilateral history ... This contributes greatly to its value ... The resulting analysis is at once simpler ... and more convincing ... densely written, with much analysis based on copious German and British secret government records that have only recently become available. This book fills a large gap in our understanding and well deserves a place on reading lists in the field of International Relations. Survival Bluth's book ... fills a gap and explains a previously unresearched topic which makes it particularly valuable ... The book is ... of considerable value for anyone interested in Alliance history and particularly useful for those interested in British-German relations. In short, the book contributes greatly to a better understanding of contemporary debates on European security and defence. German Politics This approach is both valid and useful as it addresses the implicit Anglo-American approach which dominates this field of study ... Throughout the book there is a clear narrative and continuous reference to the domestic and external influences on West German and British policy choices. With great lucidity Bluth outlines the specific post-war dilemmas facing each country whilst alerting the reader to wider global processes and trends. He provides a detailed and widely researched comprehensive study which results in a clear systematic analysis. It is essential reading for those with a specific interest in British-German relations and also for those with a more general interest in Alliance history, both political and strategic. Bluth's book should also be considered by those with an interest in the contemporary debates on European security and defence. Contemporary Security Policy Christoph Bluth has written a fine book about the complex Anglo-German relationship in the context of NATO's nuclear strategy from the 1950s to the post-Cold War world ... Bluth's book is an important contribution to understanding the role of atomic weapons and nuclear strategy during the Cold War. Political Studies A well organized and informative piece of work, the book offers a comprehensive account for all those interested in the evolution of the post-war European security system and the future development of the British-German relationship. Stephen Twigge, Intelligence and National Security Vol. 12, No.3 1997

Author Biography

Christoph Bluth is Professor of International Studies, University Leeds.

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Britain, Germany, and Western Nuclear Strategy

361.89
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