Some key issues need to be brought to the surface, issues which Great Britain, and most nations faced during the Great Depression and leading up to the Second World War. The comments stated above by Basil Liddell Hart and Winston Churchill, were borne out of intense pressure and personal responsibility for; Great Britain, London, and the stability and security of European sovereignty.
Budgetary pressures, an overload of areas requiring urgent policy action, competing and contrary opinions regarding policy decisions, the feeling of personal responsibility for the lives of civilians and military personnel. Further, the world had just come out of the Great Depression which brought about food rationing, unsanitary conditions, no spending, business failures, unemployment, precipitous fall in tax revenues, increased government debt to finance economic expansion and wartime reparations. These to name a few, indicate that in that era, making policy decisions would have been like thinking outside in the middle of the day during a heatwave. The circumstances were strenuous, and what was at stake, is to this day, world changing.
In strategy and planning, it is easier to imagine and then plan for a most extreme event, an event that if located by point on a circle would be as close to the circumference as possible. The further away the point is from the circumference, the more uncertainty, and the more unpredictable it is to know and plan for ‘unknown’, unforeseen details.
The height of the Roaring 20’s economic boom (L), Feeding the lines of unemployed during the Great Depression (R)
Perhaps the struggles experienced by the citizens who were born from the late 1880s, of the Long Depression lasting 20 years ending 1896 (mainly agricultural sector), World War One, having the three-year recession from 1919 to 1921, experiencing the highs of the roaring 1920’s, to then enduring the Great Depression ending in 1931. These five macro events, would have cultivated a high tolerance to negative circumstances, and formed strong community and family ties within civil society. So therefore, as devastating as the Second World War was, British society had practice in dealing with such sustained adversity.
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