war

“Britain invented the technique of ‘operational research’, which meant scientists (cheerfully nicknamed ‘boffins’) advising the armed forces on the most effective way to use existing weapons rather than having to invent new ones. p. 72

Above all, the Soviet command had shown that it was willing to learn from experience and able to communicate what it had learnt to the subordinate formations, coupled with the resolve to enforce such instructions. p. 433

But modern battles are not won by tricks, or by good luck either. In the main they are won by supply officers who, thoroughly understanding the operational plan, contrive to have the right ammunition, fuel and food in the right place at the right time. p. 445

The battle of the Atlantic was never won in the sense that land battles were. Germany could win the war by cutting the sea traffic to Britain but Britain could not win by conquering the U-boat menace. In fact the submarine was never conquered, which is why the victors all built submarine fleets after the war. Far from being the weapon of minor naval posers, the nuclear submarine became the modern capital ship. p. 105

For nations of energetic, highly intelligent and well educationed people, where engineering, art and product design were more highly esteemed than they were anywhere else in the world, trading could be cheaper and far more beneficial than making war. The history of the second half of the twentieth century clearly indicates that both Japan and West Germany learned that simple lesson. pp. 600-601

At the time of writing the world is witnessing a power struggle between the world’s most closed and racially exclusive society, and the world’s most open and dynamic one. The success of [one] in this economic clash will show all countries that open, integrated societies prosper. The success of [the other’s] closed, class-conscious, racially exclusive society will convince them otherwise. p. 601”

Blood, Tears and Folly; Len Deighton; 1993

Type 80 S-Band Search Radar at RAF Sopley (Photo: via John Levesley)

U-Boat Type XXIII

Chart 1 – Australia’s exports and imports as a share of GDP

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