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By Nicholas Rostow

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Additional info for Anglo-French Relations, 1934–36

Example text

Churchill believed that the Luftwaffe approached equality with the RAF, and, indeed, that, if construction plans went unchanged, Germany's air force would soon be as strong as, or stronger than Britain's. 99 In a common and generally mistaken judgement, Churchill thought that German civilian aircraft could be converted to military use, improving Germany's position still more and correspondingly increasing the danger to Britain. Civil aviation did provide pilots, maintenance crews and facilities, which further augmented Germany's actual and potential air power.

Baldwin would be 'bold', showing government determination to have a strong air force. There would be a large expansion but no panic. Completion of the four-year programme to provide 22 new squadrons for Home Defence and three additional squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm would be accelerated by two years. Simon, who would wind up the debate, repeatedly urged that the Commons would want to know what the government were doing; but the Committee decided that '[n]o attempt should be made to visualise at the moment the consequences of the action we are proposing.

3 million -a 33 per cent cut in the recommendations of the DRC. Scarred by the crisis of 1931, his colleagues perhaps took Chamberlain's assertion of national poverty more seriously than he did. He made as much of political as of economic reasons for small appropriations. ' He could 'hardly believe it possible that that country [Germany] will be in a condition to wage war on the west within five years' and therefore there was no rush. Still, the defence effort should focus on Germany because it was nearer than Japan to Britain.

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