Military Commitments in the 1930–39 Period: (1) Responses to Aggression
Military and naval responses to the aggressive policies of Japan, Germany and Italy were governed by the political constraints already examined in the last chapter and three specific military factors of which the reader may need to be reminded. The first is that the Services, especially the Navy, were equipped to meet the requirements of the 1920s; not only did new military equipment need to be produced for the 1930s but older material needed refurbishing; warships had in any case to spend prolonged periods of up to two years in dockyards for normal refits, a refurbishing involving a full modernisation could take over three years. The Depression, too, affected military capacity. At the time of the 1931–32 Far East Crisis, for example, of the ten battleships in UK waters, seven were on reduced crews and three in reserve as an economy. Third, as will have been seen from the last chapter, naval, military and air staffs, conscious of weakness, were correctly giving rearmament the priority attention.
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