By N. Tamkin
This booklet attracts at the newest archival releases together with these from the key international of British intelligence to provide the 1st finished research of Anglo-Turkish family members through the moment global struggle, with a specific emphasis on Turkeys position within the altering dating among Britain and the Soviet Union.
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When Turkish politicians attempted to explain the foundations on which these were based – specifically the alleged Soviet demands for bases at the Straits, revealed by Hitler in March – the FO was dismissive. ‘This is really monstrous. There is no documentary proof that Molotoff [sic] did ask for bases on the Dardanelles. ’80 British refusal to accept ‘Hitler’s word’ is understandable, but refusal even to consider the plausibility of the allegations is surprising, given that Nazi–Soviet collaboration in the eastern Mediterranean had been anticipated throughout the previous year, until the very eve of the German invasion.
The Joint Planners nonetheless contemplated revising the regime at the Straits. They initially concluded that ‘(t)he opportunism of Soviet policy and the worthless character of any Russian guarantee do not encourage the grant of any permanent concession . . in return for . . ’ Nonetheless, conceding a Soviet right of entry into the Mediterranean ‘is acceptable in present circumstances . . ’31 The strategic conservatism which would characterise the Chiefs’ reaction to subsequent proposals for Straits revision was clearly stated.
Is that she is not an ally of Germany’s . . 13 During the winter of 1940–41, however, British misapprehensions of the German military build-up in the Balkans led to attempts to secure active Turkish resistance to the immediate threat in the region, despite the potential implications for Turkey’s ability to act as Britain’s bulwark in the Middle East. The Italian invasion of Greece began on 28 October, but the COS were already more concerned with German intentions in the Balkans: specifically the possibility that a German campaign there would be a precursor to an assault on the Middle East.
Britain, Turkey and the Soviet Union, 1940-45: Strategy, Diplomacy and Intelligence in the Eastern Mediterranean (Studies in Military and Strategic History) by N. Tamkin