Origins of Australian Industrialisation to Produce Munitions: Economic and Political Drivers of Australian Colonial Aspirations to Acquire Independence in Munitions Production
Considering the economic and political history of of the disparate Australian colonies from settlement the book connects this within Pax Britannica and protection by the Royal Navy till the British climacteric at the turn of the twentieth century. The power politics of Europe leading to naval expansion by France initially, colonising in the Pacific, followed by Germany, and the United States provoked colonial political angst. With the defeat of Russia on both land and sea by Japan in 1905, followed by a postwar ambition to raise an army of a million men, Australians perceived national and racial oblivion. Social and political decisions were made to acquire an autonomous munitions production capability and build a navy. It had been demonstrated during all the war scares of the latter half of the nineteenth century the British arms industry was unable to supply weapons to the colonies when they were most needed. The methods of manufacturing, the technology of the weapons, and munitions are examined in detail.