The crash of Rolls-Royce (RR) was one of the most sensational in the history of British industry. It provided a rare occasion when a business story hit the front page of newspapers and stayed there for days if not weeks. Certainly the discovery in September 1970 that RR was on the verge of bankruptcy came as a bombshell to the newly elected Conservative Government, despite the fact that the City had been taking a very jaundiced view of the company for some time, and that its share price had fallen steadily over the previous year.