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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Sir Horace Wilson and appeasement
Author(s): Peden, George
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Keywords: Wilson, Horace John, Sir, 1882-1972
Great Britain Politics and government 1936-1945
Great Britain Foreign relations 1936-1945
Great Britain Foreign relations Germany
World War, 1939-1945 Causes
Issue Date: Dec-2010
Date Deposited: 11-Mar-2011
Citation: Peden G (2010) Sir Horace Wilson and appeasement. Historical Journal, 53 (4), pp. 983-1014.
Abstract: Sir Horace Wilson was Neville Chamberlain’s confidential adviser while the latter was prime minister. The article addresses three questions. First, what was Wilson’s role in Whitehall in connection with rearmament and foreign policy ? Second, did he diminish the influence of the Foreign Office? Third, what contribution does his defence of appeasement make to understanding of a subject that continues to divide historians ? The article concludes that Wilson played an important role in enabling Chamberlain to pursue his foreign policy goals. However, when there was outright disagreement between Wilson and the Foreign Office, it was the Foreign Office view that prevailed. Finally, the evidence of Wilson’s words and actions, both in 1937–9 and later, broadly supports R. A. C. Parker’s post-revisionist interpretation of appeasement, particularly as regards Munich, but Wilson was a good deal firmer in 1939 about Britain’s will to fight, if necessary, than his critics then or later allowed.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0018246X10000270
Rights: Published in The Historical Journal by Cambridge University Press. Copyright: Cambridge University Press, 2010

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