제국의 유지와 방어: 영국의 군사력과 군사정책, 1880~1945년
The Maintenance and Defense of a Global Empire: the Military Power and Strategy of Britain, 1880~1945
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.28, pp. 61-83
- 영제국 (The British Empire); 제국방어 (imperial defence); 군사기술 (military technology); 해군우위 (naval supremacy); 전략적 폭격(strategic bombing)
- Despite the enormous scholarly attention given to the British Empire, the military power and strategy of the British state to guard and promote its imperial interests have been inadequately explored. Contrary to the wishes of the nineteenth-century liberal critics of the Empire Iike Cobden， Bright and Hobson, Britain mobilized and deployed a great deal of military muscle to protect its worldwide trade routes and markets. And, unlike many later commentators who have regarded Britain’s military power as ineffective and outmoded， Britain consistently pursed not only superiority in military technology but novelty in military thinking and strategy‘ The British military in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries is a case in point. Faced with the mounting challenges from Germany and others in the later nineteenth century, Britain turned to high-tech weaponry to maintain its naval supremacy that had been central to its colonial success since the early modem era. The result was the rapid increase in naval armaments emphasizing technological superiority, which culminated in the construction of the formidable battleship， ‘Dreadnought’ in 1906. By the outbreak of the Great War the Royal Navy also had the largest submarine force and the biggest air service within its arm. The First World War brought a new element to British ways of fighting: strategic bombing. In response to the German airship (Zeppelin) attacks on Britain, the Royal Navy Air Service pioneered the strategic bombing of German cities and ports, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) was created by early 1918. The 1920s was a critical period when the independence of the RAF was greatly disturbed by the Army and the Navy who wanted theRAF to be disbanded. The danger was removed mainly by the crisis in the Middle East. When the people in such newly ’mandated’ territories as Mesopotamia (Iraq), Transjordan and Palestine revolted against the British rule, the use of aircraft in strategic bombing was put into effect as a more efficient and economical way to terrorize and suppress those rebelious in such sparsely populated regions. In the 1930s the RAF becme the main weapon' against Germany, and not the fighter but the bomber-‘the dreadnought of the air’-became the backbone of Britain’s aeronautical strategy. By 1939 the RAF was the biggest spender of all military services, whereas it had been the lowest in the 1920s. The intense strategic air offensive of Britain (and Allied powers) against German cities and civilians during WWⅡ was in a sense a logical conclusion to this pre-war development. The technologically-oriented military buildup and the policy of strategic bombing that Britain had persistently pursed become important historical legacies that the US has inherited since the Second World War.
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