British Overseas Military Commitments 1945–47: Making Painful Choices

Michael Asteris

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    In February 1947 the British government made a number of policy decisions which led to withdrawal from India, Palestine and Greece. The paper seeks to demonstrate that while economic constraints highlighted the need to reduce overseas commitments, these pressures did not predetermine the choice or timing of the withdrawal decisions. The consequences of the retreats in terms of reduced military overstretch, balance of payments alleviation and the diminution in Britain’s international status are also examined. It is concluded that the Attlee administration shed a range of military burdens as rapidly and in as orderly a fashion as political and strategic circumstances permitted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)348-371
    Number of pages24
    JournalContemporary British History
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


    • military commitments
    • balance of payments
    • UK
    • Greece
    • India
    • Palestine


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