Dominion or Decline : Anglo-American Naval Relations in the Pacific, 1937-1941
Author(s): Ian Cowman
This revisionist book compares and contrasts US and British naval practice and war planning in the Far East during the pre-war period. Drawing on new archival evidence, the author reveals information about the state of war planning in both navies, which radically challenges the conclusions of Marder, Roskill and others.The terms 'Singapore Strategy' and 'Main Fleet to Singapore' have carried with them implications that British Far-Eastern strategy was devoted exclusively to the relief of Singapore, and that the Admiralty was unconcerned about the area north of the Malay Barrier. This book suggests otherwise. The author argues that Admiralty planning had returned to a pre-war framework that called for the rescue and relief of Singapore and Hong Kong together; the Admiralty was not only concerned with the defence of the Malay Barrier but also had a strong interest in the area to its immediate north, and had already agreed to operate the fleet on arrival from Manila.
“[A] closely reasoned monograph. . . .Cowman gives us an instructive new look at the background to the greatest disasters suffered by British and American navies.” —The Journal of Pacific Studies
“[A] well-researched book.” —The Northern Mariner
“Cowman's research covers great breadth and depth...his book does well to draw us to the importance not of what was achieved - because in a way that was very little - but on how early the two English-speaking nations began talking to each other...This book does a good job of illuminating a dark but deserving corner of history.” —Journal of Strategic Studies