This business history analyzes the connections between private business, disarmament, and re-armament as they affected arms procurement and military technology transfers in Eastern Europe from 1919 to 1939. Rather than focusing on the negotiations or the political problems involved with the Disarmament Conferences, this study concerns itself with the business effects of the disarmament discussions. Accordingly, Schneider-Creusot, Škoda, Vickers, and their respective business activities in Eastern European markets serve as the chief subjects for this book, and the core primary sources relied upon include their unpublished corporate archival documents. Shifting the scope of analysis to consider the business dimension allows for a fresh appraisal of the linkages between the arms trade, disarmament, and re-armament. The business approach also explodes the myth of the 'merchants of death' from the inside. It concludes by tracing the armaments business between 1939 and 1941 as it transitioned from peacetime to war.
Introduction; 1. The Schneider-Škoda Alliance, 1919–1930; 2. Disarmament by default, the British Arms business in Eastern Europe, 1921–1930; 3. The Škoda scandal in Romania, 1930–1934; 4. Limited modernizations and surreptitious re-armaments: the aircraft business in Eastern Europe, 1920–1930; 5. Soviet re-armament, Great Depression, and general disarmament, 1930–1933; 6. Czechs and balances, re-armament and the Switch from peace to war, 1934–41; Conclusion.
Jonathan A. Grant is Professor of Modern Russian History at Florida State University. His previous publications include Rulers, Guns and Money (2007) and Big Business in Russia (1999).
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