Essay on The Decline of British Military Innovation

1282 Words6 Pages
World War I was perhaps the greatest catalyst for military innovation in modern history. The speed in which the doctrinal, technical and tactical changes were developed and implemented was astounding. At the end of World War I, Britain was at the forefront of doctrinal and technological innovation in the field of armor and aircraft warfare. The factors which caused Britain to lose their innovative edge in these areas prior to World War II was the 10 year rule policy, operational attitude of the British Army, and an emphasis on land based aviation. At the conclusion of World War I, Britain had the largest navy in the world, a brand new Royal Air Force (RAF) and an army that had extended its technical, tactical and…show more content…
The ten-year policy was used by the British Government to continually decrease defense spending until the policy was ended in 1932. The second factor that stifled the innovation of the British military is the operational attitude of the military leadership. The British military failed to study the lessons learned from World War I until 1932. This failure to study the battles of the war in a timely manner resulted in the development of inferior doctrine and training concepts. If the lessons would have been learned earlier than 1932, substantial changes could have been made to the British doctrine and professional military education system prior to 1932. The structural, leadership and cultural changes to the British Army after World War I contributed to a pervasive disinterest in innovation. The ideas and attitudes of the military leadership remained those of the prewar army. Those who seemed to be innovators were outcast and the leadership of the British Army did not take their ideas seriously. Between 1923 and 1928, the British Army conducted numerous field exercises to determine the proper use of mechanized or armored forces. Although some shortfalls were identified in these maneuvers, the overall potential of armored forces was evident. These tests identified the tactical advantages of firepower and maneuver of armored forces and the considerable logistical and
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