Winston Churchill and the Imperial Defence College

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    For Britain and its Empire, a period of intense reection and debate followed the conclusion of the bloodbath that had been the First World War. One of the main themes discussed was how in the event of another war, military resources and forces that were scattered around the world could be better prepared, co-ordinated, managed, and led. This was not new. Similar discussions had taken place since at least 1890, when the Hartington Commission had proposed the establishment of a naval and military council. In 1904 Arthur Balfour took over the chairmanship of a Cabinet Defence Committee, and, with the prime minister in the chair, it was renamed the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID) and seen “as an attempt to create an Imperial General Staff on a temporary basis.” It had its own dedicated secretariat, but, with no executive powers, its ability to function effectively was seriously hampered. Following the outbreak of war in 1914, the CID ceased to meet. It was more than four years later, in November 1919, before it re-convened, by which point it was clear that there had been signicant changes not just to the international system but also to the imperial network which held such an important role within it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-21
    JournalFinest Hour - The Journal of Winston Churchill
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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