Britain's War Machine : Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War, Paperback

Britain's War Machine : Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This title was selected for "Guardian" books of the year.

The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might.

David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.

The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies.

Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision.

Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. "Britain's War Machine", by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages, 8pp colour, 16pp b&w
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780141026107



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I agree with the earlier reviewer who describes this as a phd thesis. It is still a good read and the thesis it advances that it was a heavily armed and very rich nation backed by multiple allies that entered WW2 because it chose to and expected to win . Not a weak nation with no other choice that was dependent on others to stop it being defeated. Reading this I thought repeatedly of Athur C Clarke in his early short fiction he has the 3 wartime allies and Britain is very much a co-equal.