Chapter

Limited War and the Search for a Compromise Peace, September 1939–May 1940

Scott Newton

in Profits of Peace

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198202127
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191675164 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202127.003.0007
Limited War and the Search for a Compromise Peace, September 1939–May 1940

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The outbreak of war was followed by a flurry of activity on the part of the government. For several months the civil service had been preparing plans for the establishment of a wartime administration. These now came into their own; Chamberlain accepted the resignation of his Cabinet and appointed a new, War Cabinet. However, the state of mobilization over which the Chamberlain government presided was appropriate to the ‘phoney war’, a period characterized by virtually no land-based fighting which lasted from the defeat of Poland in September 1939 until April 1940. Chamberlain had gone to war because he had reluctantly been forced to the conclusion that Nazi objectives threatened international order and British security and influence. Neither he nor his wartime government was prepared to adopt a strategy which put at risk what was being defended.

Keywords: Chamberlain; War Cabinet; foreign policy; trade policy; Nazi regime

Chapter.  11499 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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