Noord-Afrika 1940-1943.

Alles over Wereldoorlog 2.

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Noord-Afrika 1940-1943.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 17 okt 2011, 20:27

Setting the Scene
From the 18th century onwards, control of the Mediterranean had been vital to Britain. Through it ran the British Empire’s life-line to India and her territories in the Far East and Pacific. Napoleon had recognised this when he wrote in 1798, “The time is not far off when to destroy England we shall be forced to occupy Egypt.” Napoleon’s plans were thwarted by Nelson, but his campaign in Egypt opened British eyes to that country’s vital importance.

In 1869, seventy years after Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition, his nephew’s wife, the Empress Eugenie, opened the Suez Canal. Its enormous benefit to Britain became rapidly apparent, although the British Government of the day had refused to play any active part in either its funding or construction. This situation was remedied in 1879 by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who, with money borrowed from Lord Rothschild, purchased the Canal shares held by the Khedive of Egypt.

From then on Egypt became, to all and intents and purposes, a British possession, a state which in reality still existed in 1936 when the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was signed, prompted to a great extent by fears of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s loudly proclaimed ambitions to build a new Roman Empire in Africa and the Middle East.

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NEC JACTANTIA NEC METU ("zonder woorden, zonder vrees")

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