British and US Naval Innovation during the interwar period.

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After the exhausting efforts required in WWI the United States and Great Britain were war weary. This war weariness affected the political climate and manifested through extreme budget reductions in military expenditures. Military institutions of both countries continued training and sought to prepare for the Second World War. The contrast between the preparation of the navies of the United States and Great Britain represent a remarkable dichotomy of the interwar period; with the US a model of innovation and Great Britain remarkably complacent. The reasons why can be explained in how the two countries saw the threat after World War One, their assessment where the potential naval conflict would arise and what capabilities their own navy would need to be successful in the next war. During the Interwar period between WWI and WWII Britain and US took separate paths to prepare their navies for future conflicts. The British were complacent and the US was keen to prepare. Initial causes came from how the two countries evaluated the threat after World War One. Great Britain saw no single nation’s navy as their rival in contrast to the United States who assessed that Japan would be their foe in the next war. At the end of WWI Germany had scuttled its active ships. The Treaty of Versailles had further restricted Germany’s ability to build more ships and man them to such an extent the characterization at the time was that Germany had been destroyed as a sea power. British Naval planners saw the threat posed by the Germany Navy to be relegated to a coastal defense navy, which would not be able to challenge the supremacy of British Navy on the high seas. The Treaty of Versailles and later the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 gave Great Britai... ... middle of paper ... ...d serves as an example of what not to do and what to do. The British seemed to rest on their laurels of being the best navy at the end of world war one. Without an assessed adversary, an understanding of where the next naval conflict would take place and what capabilities the navy would need to be successful, innovation languished and the navy was unprepared when war began again in 1939. The United States however was able to identify who the possible threat was, were the navy would have to fight and was able to develop the capabilities to engage and defeat the threat. Works Cited Kuehn, John T. Perspectives from Great Britain, Japan, and Germany H204RA Millett, Allan R. “Patterns of Military Innovation.” Military Innovation in the Interwar Period Murray, Williamson R. (1998-08-13). Military Innovation in the Interwar Period (p. 242). Cambridge University Press

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