The ‘New Model Army’ and the Cold War, 1945–1952

David French

in Army, Empire, and Cold War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199548231
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739224 | DOI:
The ‘New Model Army’ and the Cold War, 1945–1952

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By 1949 the wartime army had been demobilised and War Office planners were creating the foundations of what Montgomery called the ‘New Model Army’. It had began to come into existence in 1947, with the passage of the National Service Act. It was not an all‐purpose army. Apart from making minimal allowances for colonial garrisons, it was configured with one major mission in mind, to deter or fight a hot war in Europe or the Middle East beginning no earlier than about 1957. But, by 1948‐49 the geopolitical situation that had given birth to it had begun to change in ways that undercut some of the fundamental assumptions upon which it had been constructed. The Cold War had begun, and after Montgomery left the War Office in November 1948, his successor as CIGS, Sir William Slim, had to spend the next three years reconfiguring his predecessor's creation to meet the new strategic circumstances that confronted Britain.

Keywords: demobilization; deterrence; Montgomery's ‘New Model Army’; Slim's Cold War Army; Cold War rearmament programme

Chapter.  10577 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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