Michael, I thought [your article on “Battleships Down: Early Signs in the Decline of British Imperial Power across the Span of the Indian Ocean”] is a very insightful piece that opens up an important and (as far as I know) unexplored dimension of the comparative Lanka-India route to Independence. I am not going to post these comments online because they will just encourage the abusive trolls.
Filed under British colonialism, communal relations, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes, World War II
My essay on “The Basis of British Power” (July 2020) was instigated by articles from Prabath de Silva and Leelananda de Silva on aspects of the Donoughmore Reforms and subsequent developments. Vinod Moonesinghe has seized on secondary dimensions to press some hoary old strands of Trotskyist thinking and to laud (A) the intervention of SWRD Bandaranaike and the MEP forces for getting rid of British military bases in the 1950s and (B) the radical political messages of the young LSSP politicians who burst onto the scene in the late 1920s and early 1930s. This is linked to the standard Marxist belittling of the achievements of DS Senanayake and associates in the interpretation of the island’s path to independence.
.Vinod RG Senanayake
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Cross posted at Thoughts on Military History , 24 September 2011, with this title “Fighting Power as the Arbiter of Leadership Effectiveness”
In an era of fourth generation warfare where the achievement of strategic end-goals lay squarely at the feet of politicians, the application of fighting power as a militaries core war fighting capability is being increasingly questioned with a concentration on Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Peacekeeping Support Operations (PSO). For example, Colonel Gian Gentile has lamented on the death of the US Armor Corps as the US Army moves to an infantry-centric force grounded in population centric COIN. This has left it, in Gentile’s opinion, unable to produce effective fighting power. This raises the important question of how fighting power is defined and how it affects of the study of leadership.
In venturing into reflections on VE Day commemorations, by pure chance I stumbled on You Tube reviews of the ways in which German POWs were dealt with in Britain during and after the war. This data base also provides partial information on the enormous loss of life on the various moments in the Western front as the Allied forces advanced on Germany after D Day in June 1944.
Hitler Germany’s greatest reach 1942
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Wars are fought–soldiers die–to testify to the truth of a society’s sacred ideal. If so many people die for an ideology—it must be real.
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The King and Queen of Britain with Winston Churchill in between and Princess Elizabeth nd Princess Margaret on the flanks
Churchill waves to the crowds below
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Adam Kuper in London Review of Books Vol. 24 No. 10 · 23 May 2002
- Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life by Stanley Tambiah
Cambridge, 517 pp, £60.00, February 2002, ISBN 0 521 52102 5
- The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. I: Anthropology and Society by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw
Yale, 406 pp, £30.00, February 2001, ISBN 0 300 08124 3
- The Essential Edmund Leach: Vol. II: Culture and Human Nature by Stephen Hugh-Jones and James Laidlaw
Yale, 420 pp, £30.00, February 2001, ISBN 0 300 08508 7
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