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What Bill Slim Did Next: Re-opening the Imperial Defence College

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalRUSI Journal
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2016
Accepted/In press10 Sep 2016
E-pub ahead of print30 Sep 2016


King's Authors


In April 1946, the first post-war course of the Imperial Defence College got underway with General Bill Slim as the new Commandant. This was a period of uncertainty both about what the future would hold for Britain and the position it held within the radically altered international system. The college had been established during the inter-war years to provide an opportunity for senior military officers and civil servants from Britain and the Commonwealth to gain a better understanding of higher strategy and how it was conducted. With the war won, its re-opening became a priority for the British government and military but there were a number of challenges that would first have to be overcome mostly connected with the country’s much weakened financial position. The men who began their studies in London would spend much of their time studying what is now referred to as ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power and the eight months of their course provided them with a much better understanding of the influence Britain now had in the changed world.

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