Rozanoff kills Duncan Sandys, April 3, 1954

kaiserd

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Somewhat off-topic but yet on-topic, it occurred to me that the title of this post is misleading. I read "Rozanoff kills Duncan Sandys" and imagined him being assassinated by a Russian spy! :D:p
That was also my initial thought; some guy from Spectre with an eye-patch and an evil grin.
 

Volkodav

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Much of the work was started was started by his predecessor, Aubrey Jones, but Macmillan didn't think he had to drive to force the R&D and force cuts through , in his diary he confided his thoughts on Jones, a decent chap but not suited to the rough and tumble world of politics. In Sandys he found the man he wanted.
And of course, Sandys had been involved in rocketry during the war so that probably influenced his thoughts too. Missile-myopia of course was evident in other nations too at the time.

Personally I feel that had it not been for the Korean War, the industry would have been trimmed sooner and some of the wasteful projects never begun.
I must admit I have always been impressed with France, they always seem to have been able to get the stuff they wanted by going it alone (carriers, SSNs, nukes, IRBMs, SLBMs, tanks, fighters, trainers etc.) without seemingly spending crippling amounts and without too much waste in abandoned sidelines. Had the British ministries and services had more focus and a dose of reality, things might have turned out rather different.
How much of the extra spent by the UK comes down to investing in R&D then cancelling the project for no return, over and over again? The French tended to identify a capability, invest in a solution, push that solution into service and then sell it overseas while continuing investment in the next project. The Brits kick off a project, or a British company does, the British customer (be it government or airlines etc) chop and change their requirements over and over, then when something usable arrives, attracting overseas interest, the government talks it down and kills it. Its like they want to spend on R&D but not on actually building anything.
 
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pathology_doc

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The Brits kick off a project, or a British company does, the British customer (be it government or airlines etc) chop and change their requirements over and over, then when something usable arrives, attracting overseas interest, the government talks it down and kills it.

The real problem is that the chopping and changing of requirements/official meddling (e.g. in the rationalisation/mergers of the aerospace companies) blows out the R&D budget and delays progress to the point that the resultant product misses its best service window and emerges into semi-obsolescence (Sea Vixen), becomes unaffordably expensive per unit (TSR.2), or sometimes both.

The tragedy is that sometimes the requirements are FORCED to change due to outside circumstances, but one has to wonder what would have happened to TSR.2 if English Electric had been given absolute project design leadership without Vickers being allowed to effectively independently design its "part" of the aircraft and without the requirements changing midway (e.g. as I understand it, blurring the line between tactical and strategic nuclear delivery and demanding the requisite penetration performance did a lot to drive up the per-unit cost). We probably would have had three or four hundred built, that could have been adapted easily to the new wave of guided bombs and missiles that came in as of the late 1960s.
 

zen

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In terms of the OR.339 it really should have been one of the 3. Avro, Vickers-Supermarine or EE.

Of these V-S's Single Engine offering is the most logical for a tactical machine.
 

Archibald

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Somewhat off-topic but yet on-topic, it occurred to me that the title of this post is misleading. I read "Rozanoff kills Duncan Sandys" and imagined him being assassinated by a Russian spy! :D:p
That was also my initial thought; some guy from Spectre with an eye-patch and an evil grin.

He is France closest analog from a Chuck Yeager. Except he died young.

Soooo.... blasphemy !!

Who threw that stone ?!! SHE, SHEEEE, SHEEEE, eeerrh.... HIM, HIM, HIM.
 
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Archibald

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:(:(:(:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::mad:

bloody hell... I've just learn that Python Terry Jones has passed away....

Niiiiiii !!! Niiiiii !!!

Camelot ! Camelot ! it's only a model...
 

uk 75

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I was going to start a new thread but as this one is already here it is a good starting point to what I think is an appropriate alternate history topic for this site.
The Defence White Paper of 1957 has been covered here and in other threads in some detail. Arguably it is one of the most important documents touching unbuilt Secret Projects.
My challenge to those who like alternate history is to put themselves in the shoes of Harold Macmillan and his government (or if you prefer Hugh Gaitskell or any politician for that matter).. Draw up your own Defence White Paper and get it past the various experts here . From RAF manned combat aircraft to the future of fixed wing carriers or the shape of the UK nuclear deterrent this is the stuff of secret projects.
 

zen

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The arguable points on the '57 White Paper settle on choices of QRA platform and the requirements of a Canberra successor for the RAF.

Lightning might have been further along, but a failure to understand it's limitations hampered the RAF with a limited system sucking up vital resources. Cheaper systems were available, even by domestic industry. Let alone import or license.
As were more capable systems.

But this is actually fairly minor stuff compared to the RN winning the Broken Back role. Something that set them up for their own collapse later on.

And to the looming problem of the IRBM, within which certain basic assumptions about Deterrence requirements lurk.
 

alertken

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uk75: I'll bite by flouncing with TINA (There Is {was} No Alternative) to the Sandys Storm.

Suez, 11/56. Last Hurrah! for UK/France as any-form-of mentor, role-model for civilisation (that had been UK/France's self-belief for ...well, ever). While RAF was failing to hit bases very recently in Middle East Air Force, USSR crushed Hungary, Ike crushed us, odd folk in the desert cut off our fuel, so it was rationed so absurdly soon after we had recovered from WW2. This, not Mac's speech in 1960, was the origin of winds of change affecting Brits' view of their place in the world. Which was as partner to US and other good eggs.

The Sandys Storm merely tidied and implemented inherited decisions consequent on 6/54 lapse of Mutual Defense Assistance: i.e: $ So: all- Regular Armed Forces; no weekend club jollies in RAuxAF; reducing our cost in defending our pupils, now graduated and capable of looking after themselves - about time too. Much, much more significant was Sandys' work culminating in 4/8/58 US/UK Mutual Defence Agreement by which he achieved what Churchill had failed to extract from Ike, 7/1/53: Access to US AW Art and Articles (J.Simpson, The Independent Nuclear State,Macmillan,1983,Pp.88,283n.1).

The MDA continues in effect today. He should of course immediately have chopped Blue Streak, because he had secured coverage of its share of "our" share of US' targets, nearly-free in Thor (the reason he kept it going was, quite oddly, US was contributing cash+kit - such as tooling for DH' new Stevenage site. The MRBM was why {noted by Hood, #39}, Sandys, autumn 1959, would not let DH die).

The MDA meant UK need no longer try to be Independent, thus succeeding in not well doing...very much at all, Land, Sea, Air, here, there and everywhere. We could begin, what has proven to be, a tortuous, expensive journey to Task-, Role-sharing with Allies. This journey was launched by Mac, not Sandys. He won 1959 Election on: "most of our people have never had it so good", which was precisely so, and stamping out squander was core to this: as Chancellor he had told PM Eden, 3/56 "“defence (spend) has broken our backs. We also know that we get no defence from (it. We need) wholesale cancellation of defence orders (If) we do all this, we may escape our greatest danger (not) war, but financial collapse”A.Horne,Mac/Vol.1,Macmillan,1988,P390. Mac+Min.Def.Monckton, 20/3/56 to PM: Defence spend is “little more than a façade” Proceedings/RAFHS,4,9/88,P11 - and that was pre-fiasco Suez!

So: my A to OP's Q is not to promote resurrections, but to suggest we should have chopped more solo-oddities sooner, Task-shared sooner, Land Sea and Air. Why did RN retain a Caribbean Station? What was RAF's Task in permament, family-accompanied Akrotiri which could not cheaper have been by rolling detachments? What were Kai Tak Hunters for to 1/67? Solo-centric led to Basset and Belfast, Nimrod AEW3 and MRA4 - which at chop was down to maybe 9 a/c. How long did we meander before buying MOTS for short-orders like C-17, P-8, E-7? Why did Defence Planners and Politicians not learn from....Hawker Siddeley Group (!?) who made no claim to Final Assembly in 1967 founding negotiations for (to be Airbus Industrie), but who grasped the role of Centre of Excellence, Wings.
 
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uk 75

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alertken thank you. I was hoping you would provide one of your detailed notes of events. A lot to consider. This is where the alternate history pages really help my knowledge.
 

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