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

By Douglas Austin

A major reassessment of a key element of British technique 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 top of the battle in North Africa in might 1943. It demonstrates that the now generally accredited trust that Malta used to be 'written off as indefensible' sooner than the warfare used to be fallacious, and specializes in Malta's real wartime function within the Mediterranean battle, assessing the varied merits, many usually overlooked, that the British derived from retention of the island. The conclusions made problem contemporary assertions that Malta's contribution used to be of restricted worth and should be of serious curiosity to either scholars and pros within the box.

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Additional info for Malta and British Strategic Policy, 1925-1943 (Cass Series: Military History and Policy)

Example text

When this review came before the CID on 9 November 1933,52 it was the Chancellor, Neville Chamberlain, who, seizing on the references to Italy in both the Foreign Office memorandum and in the review itself, made the suggestion that the Chiefs’ difficulties might be eased by leaving certain powers out of their calculations altogether. He then proposed that France and Italy might be eliminated in this manner, and the United States was later added to this group. No objection was raised to this approach to the problem, nor to the inclusion of Italy in this group, and the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, accordingly proposed the recommendation quoted at the beginning of this section.

42 This began with the assumption that the Italian navy could land as many as 12,000 troops in one night with more to follow. To contain this force in the assumed ten-day period before relief arrived, a garrison of four regular battalions was proposed, in addition to the KOMR, and these troops would have substantial field artillery and machine gun support, plus a company of armoured cars. However, before any further meetings could be held, or a report prepared, discussions about Malta, and indeed all other coast defence enquiries, were suspended while bombardment trials were carried out at Malta and Portsmouth.

2-inch were to be converted from Mark V 15° to Mark VII 14 THE BASE AT MALTA IN THE 1920S 35° mountings, which would more than double their range from 14,000 to 29,000 yards and also increase their arc of fire. The War Office paper also proposed the installation of 16 3-inch anti-aircraft guns to protect the dockyard, but the navy member objected that this was inadequate given the limited range and ceiling of this weapon. 7-inch gun, although this was still in the experimental stage. The threats to Malta from air attack and invasion were considered at the DOP’s second meeting on 19 July 1928.

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