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18 November 1982
A Policy for Peace 
by Field-Marshal Lord Carver.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 571 11969 7
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The Third World War: The Untold Story 
by General Sir John Hackett.
Sidgwick, 256 pp., £9.95, June 1982, 9780283984495
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Six Armies in Normandy 
by John Keegan.
Cape, 395 pp., £8.95, April 1982, 0 224 01541 9
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... is important, but it has scarcely caught on yet. Meanwhile, the current spate of books on military matters mostly follows rather well-trodden tracks. In his new little book A Policy for Peace Field-MarshalLordCarver, an ex-Chief of Defence Staff, has the courage to tell us, as he has told the House of Lords and other audiences, that he does not believe that nuclear war, once started, could be limited ...
3 May 1984
The Unsinkable Aircraft-Carrier: American Military Power in Britain 
by Duncan Campbell.
Joseph, 351 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 7181 2289 5
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... ll bet you had no more notion than I had of the sheer scale of the United States presence.’ I doubt whether Government sources will be able to deny much that Campbell says, since as Field Marshal LordCarver has put it, ‘Campbell does not rely on emotion or distortion.’ I have reservations about only one point of fact. At the beginning of his book, he says: In June/July 1946, shortly after ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: What on earth should I talk about?

4 March 1982
... it. Present-day radicals are often impatient with the House of Commons. I think they are wrong: the Constitution is the foundation of our liberties, particularly as constantly reformed. So God bless Lord Grey of the Reform Bill and the Whigs who reluctantly supported him. To deliver the Romanes Lecture in Oxford is a legendary achievement. At least I thought so until a few months ago when I was ...
18 October 1984
Greenham Common: Women at the Wire 
edited by Barbara Harford and Sarah Hopkins.
Women’s Press, 171 pp., £3.95, June 1984, 0 7043 3926 9
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Weapons and Hope 
by Freeman Dyson.
Harper and Row, 347 pp., £10.95, May 1984, 0 06 337037 9
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... soberest and most traditional of Warriors may feel that it is time to alter the rules of the game. Before this particular point came up, a number of very senior military and political people such as Field-MarshalLordCarver and ex-Ambassador Kennan had already come out in favour of cutting down nuclear weapons: Dyson is not alone. The point about nuclear night, however, might be expected to suggest to rather ...
2 July 1981
Monty: The Making of a General, 1887-1942 
by Nigel Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton, 871 pp., £12, June 1981, 0 241 10583 8
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The War between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command 
by David Irving.
Allen Lane, 446 pp., £9.95, June 1981, 0 7139 1344 4
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... address them in their ante-room. I didn’t belong to Alamein and so had no right to attend, but one year was invited to do so by the company commander. I accepted with little enthusiasm. The Field-Marshal was by then retired, but his reputation continued to circulate and was reinforced by hints, anecdotes and diary extracts in the flood of Second World War literature then leaving the presses: he was ...
11 March 1993
Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... been for the errors and obsessions of WWW2 has started a very noisy debate which is being enjoyed by many, though the genuinely anguished cries of true devotees can also be heard above the din. When Lord Moran published his take-the-temperature-and-tell memoirs in 1966, not only breaching doctor-patient confidentiality but also revealing that WWW2 was sometimes ill as well as often tipsy, not to say ...

Operation Overstretch

David Ramsbotham: Unfair to the Army

20 February 2003
... widely known at the time. Remarkably, its subsequent disclosure attracted little or no attention. We were conducting what is now called ‘pre-emptive defence’. Almost the first question the future LordCarver asked me when he came to visit my company was how I persuaded my riflemen that it was right for them to violate an international frontier. The ‘party line’, which came into play if we had ...

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