Get Malta and British Strategic Policy, 1925-1943 (Cass Series: PDF

History 1

By Douglas Austin

ISBN-10: 0203328299

ISBN-13: 9780203328293

ISBN-10: 0714655457

ISBN-13: 9780714655451

A major reassessment of a key point of British method and defence coverage within the first half the 20th century. The main contribution of this new study is an research of the position of Malta in British army process, as deliberate and because it truly built, within the interval among the mid Nineteen Twenties and the tip of the struggle in North Africa in may possibly 1943. It demonstrates that the now generally authorised trust that Malta was once 'written off as indefensible' prior to the conflict used to be wrong, and makes a speciality of Malta's genuine wartime function within the Mediterranean struggle, assessing the various merits, many frequently neglected, that the British derived from retention of the island. The conclusions made problem fresh assertions that Malta's contribution was once of constrained price and should be of significant curiosity to either scholars and execs within the box.

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It now fell to Group Captain Arthur Harris, who had succeeded Portal as the RAF member of the JDC, to argue the case for the composite squadron and the additional aerodrome. The Treasury representative was not convinced that proposed expenditure of more than £½ million could be squared with the CID’s directive prohibiting expenditure against Italy, while Hankey urged that the Air Staff’s proposals be framed to meet the training requirement that the Cabinet had accepted. For this purpose the army member requested a flight of spotter aircraft.

48 The Foreign Office advice, therefore, was no more than a re-affirmation of existing policy, since at that time, and indeed as late as the Stresa Conference of April 1935, Italy was allied with Britain and France in opposing German expansion and any attempt to gain control of Austria. The Chiefs, with their military responsibilities, were not bound to accept the Foreign Office’s advice. As we have seen, Malta defence planning had long assumed attack by Italy and the validity of this planning hypothesis was strengthened by the rapid growth of the Italian armed forces.

49 Into this domestic antagonism there was then introduced an external element which seemed to carry rather more worrying implications for the security of the island. This was the willingness of the Italian government to be used by certain elements in the Nationalist Party to further their political objectives. Although the great majority of the people spoke only Maltese, Italian was the language of the law courts, of the Church, and of the more politically conscious professional middle class. Within this relatively small, but active, group some chose to stress Italian cultural and political links as a counterpoise to British influences.

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Malta and British Strategic Policy, 1925-1943 (Cass Series: Military History and Policy) by Douglas Austin

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