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Title: Protecting the Northern Flank, or keeping the Cold War out of Scandinavia’? British planning and the debate on the place of Norway and Denmark in a North Atlantic pact, 1947-49
Authors: Folly, MH
Keywords: Anglo-American relations;Bevin;Chiefs of Staff;Cold war;Collier;Defence;Denmark;Foreign Office;Hankey;Hauge;Lange;NATO;North Atlantic Treaty;Norway;Scandinavia;Sweden;Western Union
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: International History Review, 34(1), 45 - 69, 2012
Abstract: A pragmatic, but focused, pursuit by British policy-makers of an alliance is often regarded as a central element in the genesis of the North Atlantic Treaty. Analysis of the issue of Scandinavian membership shows that British policy was not actually consistent regarding either means or ends. It was subject to internal debate, based upon conflicting assumptions in the Oslo embassy, the Foreign Office, and the armed forces. The Foreign Office's main concern was to provide Norway and Denmark with a sense of security so that they would take measures against internal subversion, while the military was more concerned to prevent British military resources being overstretched and were prepared to accept Scandinavian neutrality: they wished if possible to keep the cold war out of Scandinavia. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and the Foreign Office did not believe this was possible, nor necessarily desirable, but were less than wholehearted about Norway and Denmark joining the pact on their own. Even in early 1949, when Soviet pressure was applied to Norway, Britain was ambivalent about whether Norway should be a founder-member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Although Britain strongly desired the alliance for long-term gains, they worked hard to ensure the form it took worked to meet their short-term needs.
Description: This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below. Copyright @ 2012 Taylor & Francis.
ISSN: 0707-5332
Appears in Collections:History
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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