Total war tends to create a situation that falls back on established social and cultural discourses and institutional arrangements at the same time that it provides the opportunity for a shifting and renegotiation of these arrangements. This book explores how the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) drew upon, and/or subverted cultural mythologies to make sense of their wartime service. It focuses on this renegotiation of gender and examines seven key themes implicit in this process. The first theme concerns the ways women's military organizations utilized traditional notions of genteel femininity and its accompanying nurturance, cheerfulness and devotion in their promise of service, yet went beyond the parameters of such cultural mythologies. The second focuses on the gendering of military heroism. The third theme addresses the context of female military service in terms of the preparation women received, the opportunities they were given and the risks they took, and focuses on their coping behaviours. Theme four focuses specifically on women's transgression into the masculine terrain of driving and mechanics and shares the ways they developed skills and competencies previously off-limits for women. Such transgressions almost invariably led to women having to negotiate masculine authority and develop skills in autonomy, independence and assertiveness - the focus of theme five. The last two themes discussed in the book address the integration and consolidation of women's organizations as the war progressed and their service became indispensable.
This volume takes the metaphorical character of the Cold War seriously and charts how the bomb was used as a symbol for nuclear war at the very heart of this conflict. The contributions consider the historical relevance of the political, cultural and artistic ramifications of nuclear weapons as signifiers for a new type of conflict. Tis understanding of the metaphorical qualities of the Cold War is encapsulated in the notion of an imaginary war, or, more precisely, a war against the imagination. As an attack against the imagination, the nuclear threat forced politicians and ordinary people to accept the notion that preparations for nuclear annihilation would contribute towards peace, and that the existence of these weapons, and the anticipation of large-scale destruction that came with them, were an inescapable corollary of security, freedom and future prosperity on both sides of the Cold war divide.
During the Second World War, some 250,000 British servicemen were taken captive either by the Axis powers or the Japanese, as a result of which their wives and families became completely dependent on the military and civil authorities for news of their loved ones and for financial and material support. This book outlines the nature of their plight, and shows how they attempted to overcome the particular difficulties they faced during and in the immediate aftermath of hostilities. It opens up a whole new area of analysis and examines the experiences of the millions of service dependents created by total war. Taking as its starting point the provisions made by pre-Second World War British governments to meet the needs of its service dependents, the book then goes on to focus on the most disadvantaged elements of this group – the wives, children and dependents of men taken prisoner – and the changes brought about by the exigencies of total war. Further chapters reflect on how these families organised to lobby government and the strategies they adopted to circumvent apparent bureaucratic ineptitude and misinformation. The book contributes to our understanding of the ways in which welfare provision was developed during the Second World War.
This book examines British imperial attitudes towards China during their early
encounters from 1792 to 1840. It makes the first attempt to bring together the
political history of Sino-Western relations and cultural studies of British
representations of China, as a new way of understanding the origins of the Opium
War – a deeply consequential event which arguably reshaped relations between
China and the West for the next hundred years. The book focuses on the crucial
half-century before the war, a medium-term (moyenne durée) period which scholars
such as Kitson and Markley have recently compared in importance to that of the
American and French Revolutions. This study investigates a range of
Sino-British political moments of connection, from the Macartney embassy
(1792–94), through the Amherst embassy (1816–17) to the Napier incident (1834)
and the lead-up to the opium crisis (1839–40). It examines a wealth of primary
materials, some of which have not received sufficient attention before, focusing
on the perceptions formed by those who had first-hand experience of China or
possessed political influence in Britain. The book shows that through this
period Britain produced increasingly hostile feelings towards China, but at the
same time British opinion formers and decision-makers disagreed with each other
on fundamental matters such as whether to adopt a pacific or aggressive policy
towards the Qing and the disposition of the Chinese emperor. This study, in the
end, reveals how the idea of war against the Chinese empire was created on the
basis of these developing imperial attitudes.
The Korean War in Britain explores the social and cultural impact of the Korean War (1950–53) on Britain. Coming just five years after the ravages of the Second World War, Korea was a deeply unsettling moment in post-war British history. When North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950, Britons worried about a return to total war and the prospect of atomic warfare. As the war progressed, British people grew uneasy about the conduct of the war. From American ‘germ’ warfare allegations to anxiety over Communist use of ‘brainwashing’, the Korean War precipitated a series of short-lived panics in 1950s Britain. But by the time of its uneasy ceasefire in 1953, the war was becoming increasingly forgotten, with more attention paid to England’s cricket victory at the Ashes than to returning troops. Using Mass Observation surveys, letters, diaries and a wide range of under-explored contemporary material, this book charts the war’s changing position in British popular imagination, from initial anxiety in the summer of 1950 through to growing apathy by the end of the war and into the late-twentieth century. Built around three central concepts – citizenship, selfhood and forgetting – The Korean War in Britain connects a critical moment in Cold War history to post-war Britain, calling for a more integrated approach to Britain’s Cold War past. It explores the war a variety of viewpoints – conscript, POW, protestor and veteran – to offer the first social history of this ‘forgotten war’. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Britain’s post-1945 history.
The ancient Greeks experienced war in many forms. By land and by sea, they conducted raids, ambushes, battles and sieges; they embarked on campaigns of intimidation, conquest and annihilation; they fought against fellow Greeks and non-Greeks. Drawing on literary, epigraphic and archaeological material, this wide-ranging synthesis looks at the practicalities of Greek warfare and its wider social ramifications. Alongside discussions of the nature and role of battle, logistics, strategy and equipment are examinations of other fundamentals of war: religious and economic factors, militarism and martial values, and the relationships between the individual and the community, before, during and after wars. The book takes account of the main developments of modern scholarship in the field, engaging with the many theories and interpretations that have been advanced in recent years.
The neo-classical troopers' memorial of New Zealand, together with others around the former British Empire, illustrates the manner in which the South African War became a major imperial. This book explores how South Africa is negotiating its past in and through various modes of performance in contemporary theatre, public events and memorial spaces. Opinion on the war was as divided among white Afrikaners, Africans, 'Coloureds' and English-speaking white South Africans as these communities were from each other. The book analyses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a live event and as an archive asking throughout how the TRC has affected the definition of identity and memory in contemporary South Africa, including disavowed memories. It surveys a century of controversy surrounding the origins of the war and in particular the argument that gold shaped British policy towards the Transvaal in the drift towards war. The remarkable South African career of Flora Shaw, the first woman to gain a professional position on The Times, is portrayed in the book. The book also examines the expensive operation mounted by The Times in order to cover the war. While acknowledging the need not to overstress the role of personality, the book echoes J. A. S. Grenville in describing the combination of Milner and Chamberlain as a 'fateful partnership'. Current renegotiations of popular repertoires, particularly songs and dances related to the struggle, revivals of classic European and South African protest plays, new history plays and specific racial and ethnic histories and identities, are analysed.
This book examines the mid-Victorian Conservative Party's significant but overlooked role in British foreign policy and in contemporary debate about Britain's relations with Europe. It considers the Conservatives' response—in opposition and government—to the tumultuous era of Napoleon III, the Crimean War and Italian Unification. Within a clear chronological framework, the book focuses on ‘high’ politics, and offers a detailed account of the party's foreign policy in government under its longest-serving but forgotten leader, the fourteenth Earl of Derby. It attaches equal significance to domestic politics, and incorporates an analysis of Disraeli's role in internal tussles over policy, illuminating the roots of the power struggle he would later win against Derby's son in the 1870s. Overall, the book helps provide us with a fuller picture of mid-Victorian Britain's engagement with the world.
This book assesses the English national war effort during the Anglo-Spanish war (1585–1603), examining wartime government in a wide-ranging set of contexts. It looks first at political problems: the structure of the wartime state, popular attitudes to the war and the government’s efforts to influence them, resistance to demands, and the problems of governing a country divided in religion and a regime deeply fearful of the future. It then assesses the machinery in practice, looking at the work of the central regime under the Queen herself alongside the local government machinery of lord lieutenancies which carried the demands of the centre into the counties, towns and parishes of England. These mechanisms of rule were crucial to the success of the war effort, by providing troops to fight overseas, running the militia which defended against the Spanish Armada (1588) and other invasion attempts and paying for them both through local taxes. The book draws evidence and case studies from across the country and from politics and government at all levels, from the court and Privy Council to the counties and parishes, but it seeks to examine England as a single polity. In this way it ranges much more widely than the war alone and provides a new assessment of the effectiveness of the Elizabethan state as a whole. It challenges many existing assumptions about the weakness of the state in the face of military change, finding a political system in much better health than has previously been thought.
The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.