Description - The British Defence of Egypt, 1935-40 by Steve Morewood
This book offers a comprehensive and challenging analysis of the British defence of Egypt, primarily against fascist Italy, in the critical lead-up period to the Second World War, culminating in the decisive defeat of the Italian military threat at Sidi Barrani in December 1940. The security of Egypt, a constant of British imperial strategy, is a curiously neglected dimension of the still burning appeasement debate. Steven Morewood adds to the originality of his interpretation by suggesting the old view should be reinstated: that Mussolini should and could have been stopped in his empire-building at the Abyssinian hurdle. Thereafter, as Nazi Germany tore the Versailles peace settlement to shreds, the drift to war accelerated as British resolve and credibility were brought into question. The fascist dictators in Rome and Berlin held no respect for weakness and Mussolini became the conduit through which Hitler could apply pressure to a sensitive British interest through reinforcing Libya at critical moments. Britain remained determined to retain axiomatic parts of its empire, not least Egypt.
Once Nazi Germany knocked out Britain's key ally the first and only Anglo-Italian war became inevitable. The author considers these developments and the Anglo-Egyptian relationship, wherein Britain was always the dominant partner. Symbolising that dominance was its ambassador, Sir Miles Lampson, who was also an incessant campaigner to improve Egypt's defences, provoking ire from the Chiefs of Staff.
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(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Author Biography - Steve Morewood
Steven Morewood is a lecturer in international history in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Birmingham.