Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Decision in the AtlanticThe Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Marcus Faulkner and Christopher M. Bell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781949668001

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9781949668001.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

“Immobilized by Reason of Repair” and by the Choice “Between Lithgow and Hitler”

“Immobilized by Reason of Repair” and by the Choice “Between Lithgow and Hitler”

Class Conflict in Britain’s Wartime Merchant Shipping Repair Yards

(p.46) 3 “Immobilized by Reason of Repair” and by the Choice “Between Lithgow and Hitler”
Decision in the Atlantic

Kevin Smith

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter by Kevin Smith examines Britain's survival in the Second World War and how it depended upon maintaining its lines of maritime communications for overseas supplies. Obsession with anti-submarine warfare obscures examination of complementary British managerial efforts to maximize merchant shipping capacity – especially through the key task of rapid, thorough repair of damaged cargo vessels. An examination of the comparative cost to shipping capacity imposed by submarine attacks and by repair delays illustrates the need to integrate our analysis of the managerial and martial aspects of maritime warfare by suggesting that even after acknowledging the permanent loss of sunken ships, the much larger volume of ships immobilized by reason of repair imposed a comparable reduction in cargo capacity. Consequently, Britain's dependence upon American allocations of newly-built cargo vessels was exacerbated. One especially important impediment to repairing ships (and a legacy of the Great Depression) was bitter class conflict between shipyard workers and shipbuilders, especially the Admiralty Controller of Merchant Shipbuilding and Repair – as well as between that Controller and the Minister of Labour. This chapter suggests new avenues toward situating maritime warfare in a broader context.

Keywords:   Battle of the Atlantic, class conflict, maritime war, merchant shipping capacity, merchant shipping repair, Minister of Labour

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .