British Demobilization after the Second World War

TitleBritish Demobilization after the Second World War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsPope, Rex
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Date Published01/1995

Historians of war and society have tended to focus on either the middle to long view, examining the extent to which war did or did not affect social structure and social policy over time, or on changing experiences or attitudes during the actual course of war. Within the differing time frames, emphases and arguments have varied. Those emphasizing the actual experience of war are similarly divided. Relatively little has been written on the process of transition from war to peace: the demobilization and resettlement arrangements for those in the services or for the civilian workforce, the removal of economic or other wartime controls. Yet the planning and implementation of these policies took time in the same political and ideological context as those more commonly considered. This paper explores one aspect of economic and social demobilization: the planning, during the latter stages of the Second World War, of the demobilization of over five million British service personnel and the implementation of policies during 1945-6.

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