The Imperial Army Project: Britain and the Land Forces of the Dominions and India, 1902-1945

ISBN : 9780198845805

Douglas E. Delaney
384 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jan 2020
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How did British authorities manage to secure the commitment of large dominion and Indian armies that could plan, fight, shoot, communicate, and sustain themselves, in concert with the British Army and with each other, during the era of the two world wars? What did the British want from the dominion and Indian armies and how did they go about trying to get it? Douglas E Delaney seeks to answer these questions to understand whether the imperial army project was successful.
Answering these questions requires a long-term perspective - one that begins with efforts to fix the armies of the British Empire in the aftermath of their desultory performance in South Africa (1899-1903) and follows through to the high point of imperial military cooperation during the Second World War. Based on multi-archival research conducted in six different countries, on four continents, Delaney argues that the military compatibility of the British Empire armies was the product of a deliberate and enduring imperial army project, one that aimed at standardizing and piecing together the armies of the empire, while, at the same time, accommodating the burgeoning autonomy of the dominions and even India. At its core, this book is really about how a military coalition worked.



1 Frameworks: Elgin, Esher, Haldane and the Idea of an Imperial Army, 1902-1909

2 The Imperial General Staff, Military Education, Army Apostles, and the Land Forces of the Dominions and India, 1904-1914

3 Growing, Controlling, and Fighting Imperial Armies, 1914-1918

4 The Strands of Cooperation, 1919-1933

5 Imperial Armies in the Period of Rearmament and Appeasement, 1933-1939

6 The Last Great Imperial War Effort, 1939-1945




About the author: 

Douglas E. Delaney holds the Canada Research Chair in War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of The Soldiers' General: Bert Hoffmeister at War (2005), which won the 2007 C.P. Stacey Prize for Canadian Military History, and Corps Commanders: Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-1945 (2011). He is also co-editor of Capturing Hill 70: Canada's Forgotten Battle of the First World War (2016) and Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War (2017). Professor Delaney is a retired lieutenant-colonel who served with the First and Third Battalions, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

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