Essay on Military Innovation

1193 Words Sep 24th, 2013 5 Pages
During the years between the two World Wars, British military theorists were among the most forward-thinking and innovative in the world. Figures such as J.F.C. Fuller, Basil Liddell, Hart, and Sir Hugh Trenchard espoused visions of warfare that sought to organize forces and employ technological innovations in ways unheard of in previous conflicts. From the tank to the airplane, British thinkers were among the intellectual vanguard that developed the foundational concepts that shaped the future battlefields of the 20th Century and beyond. However, by 1940 Great Britain had lost her innovative edge, resulting in initial battlefield defeats and near disaster at the hands of her enemies. This loss was due primarily to the political and …show more content…
Public distaste for the military and economic depression were not the only obstacles to the advancement of innovation in the British armed forces. The enemy of innovation is often the ensconced sense of tradition within a military hierarchy, and Great Britain was no different in this regard. The above described challenges for the advancement of mechanized forces in the inter-war period were exacerbated by the perceived threat to long-established institutions within the British Army. Most notably, there was a high level of concern about the continued role of the old horse cavalry due to the significant influence of that branch within British society and the military hierarchy. Mechanization was rightly seen by traditionalists as pushing the horse out of future battlefields, so the cavalry succeeded in maintaining a prominent place in the British Army’s formations and doctrine during the inter-war years. Although these horse cavalry formations would eventually become the nucleus of future tank units, the strength of tradition impeded mechanized innovation and contributed to making British ground forces unready to match the technologically and numerically superior German Army at the outbreak of World War II. Many of the same trials also beset Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) in the inter-war period. There was no shortage of innovative thinking during this time

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