Bargaining for Supremacy (Magill's Literary Annual 1978)
Naval relations comprise a particularly vexed chapter in the history of Anglo-American diplomacy between 1919 and 1941. Until recently the nature of this troubled relationship has not been subject to close examination. There are several reasons that explain this neglect. Among these is the fact that the issues that divided Great Britain and the United States on the development, maintenance, and deployment of their war fleets were overshadowed by the larger and more ominous conflict between the Fascist powers and the Western democracies. In addition, the achievement of a high level of Anglo-American cooperation during World War II has detracted from a proper appreciation of the discord that preceded that achievement. And, perhaps most important, until the early 1970’s crucial official British documents relating to the late interwar period were closed to scholars. These factors combined to stifle important inquiry into the subject as a whole.
Captain Stephen Roskill did much to set the record straight in his two-volume work, Naval Policy Between the Wars. However, for all of Captain Roskill’s contribution to a better understanding of Anglo-American naval relations, which is considerable, there are deficiencies in his interpretation. Perhaps chief among these is his contention that the 1930’s witnessed a steady improvement in Anglo-American naval relations. James R. Leutze convincingly argues otherwise. American and British civilian and naval...
(The entire section is 2369 words.)
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