The Cabinet Papers banner

Defence policy 1919-1932

The former First World War battleship, HMS Iron Duke, was converted to a gunnery training ship during the 1930s.
The former First World War battleship, HMS Iron Duke, was converted to a gunnery training ship during the 1930s.
©Imperial War Museum Q65645

Britain ended the First World War with massive and highly skilled armed forces, but inter-war cuts in defence spending had a long-term and detrimental effect once rearmament started - an effect lasting into the Second World War.

Related documents

Search using Imperial defence Defence policy The Royal Air Force (RAF)

Further reading

  • Barnett, C., The Collapse of British Power (London: Eyre Methuen, 1972)
  • Barnett, C., Engage the Enemy More Closely: The Royal Navy in the Second World War (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1991)
  • Edgerton, D., The Prophet Militant and Industrial: The Pecularities of Correli Barnett In Twentieth Century British History, 2 (3), pp. 360-79 (1991)
  • Edgerton, D., Welfare State: Britain, 1920-1970 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • Montgomery-Hyde, H., British Air Policy Between the Wars 1918-1939 (London: Heinemann, 1976)
  • Reynolds, D., 2nd ed., Britannia Overruled. British Policy and World Power in the Twentieth Century (London: Longman, 2000)
  • Richardson, R., The Evolution of British Disarmament Policy in the 1920s (London: Pinter, 1989)
  • Roskill, S.W., Naval Policy Between the Wars Vol. 1 (London: Collins, 1968)