UK Department of Defense

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Exterior view of the Department of Defense in Whitehall

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense ( English Ministry of Defense ) is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces and with the implementation of the government prescribed Defense Policy commissioned.


In the inter-war period , politicians and civil servants examined the performance of the British state during the First World War and found an increased need for coordination between the country's three armed forces . The coalition of then Prime Minister David Lloyd George rejected the creation of a unified defense ministry in 1921, but set up the General Staff in 1923 to meet the desire for greater cooperation between the branches of the armed forces. Due to the topicality of rearmament, Stanley Baldwin then judged the post of in the 1930sMinister for Coordination of Defense . This took Lord Chatfield until the end of the government Chamberlain. Successful work was denied to him because of his lack of authority over the ministries of the armed forces, which he was not subordinate to, and because of his lack of political influence.

Shortly after taking office in 1940, Winston Churchill created the office of Secretary of Defense. In addition to the already existing coordination competence, it has now been subordinated to the General Staff to increase its effectiveness. Churchill held the post until 1946, when the Clement Attlee government reformed the British defense system with the Ministry of Defense Act of 1946. The defense minister was now attending cabinet meetings, while the ministers in the armed forces ministries, who continued to maintain their direct authority, no longer attended.

From 1946 to 1964, the work of today's Ministry of Defense was divided between five ministries; the Admiralty for the Royal Navy , the War Office responsible for the British Army and the civil and military versions of the Aviation Department of the Royal Air Force . In 1964 these were combined to form today's Ministry of Defense, and in 1971 the Defense Department of the Ministry of Air Supply was added.

The current Secretary of Defense in the Boris Johnson cabinet has been Ben Wallace since July 24, 2019 .

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