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Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941

Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941
Author: Joseph Maiolo
ISBN 13: 9780465011148
ISBN 10: 465011144
Edition: 1St Edition
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2010-09-28
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 504
List Price: $35.00

A leading military historian chronicles the global arms race of the 1930s as it led inexorably to the unleashing of the dogs of war

Publishers Weekly

Maiolo (The Royal Navy and Nazi Germany, 1933-1939), of the department of war studies at King’s College, London, challenges the familiar thesis that WWII was a consequence of the democracies neglecting their defenses in the 1920s and failing to rearm quickly enough in the 1930s to stop Axis aggression. This thoroughly researched work makes an alternate case: growing political tension in the 1930s generated a general arms race. It began with the “Red militarism” initiated by Soviet Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky. It was thrown into high gear when Nazi Germany repudiated the Versailles treaty, and a synergy of action-reaction surges increased the pace of military spending and production. With an “emulate-or-capitulate logic,” the arms race became “a vast maelstrom,” with its own dynamic that destroyed the participants’ master plans. Maiolo makes a strong case that by 1939 the Axis’s enemies had taken a sufficient lead that Italy, Japan, and Germany sought to create windows of opportunity using what they had. The result was a global, total war--and continuation of the arms race in thermonuclear, superpower contexts that continued until the U.S.S.R.’s implosion. 16 b&w illus.; maps. (Oct.)