By R. Davis

Regardless of their shared pursuits, Britain and France, the single powers able to successfully meet the 1st overt demanding situations to the eu order tested after 1918, failed within the administration of the crises dealing with them in Ethiopia and the Rhineland. during this ebook, Richard Davis makes an attempt to appreciate the (mal)functioning of the Anglo-French dating at this key juncture at the route to the second one international warfare.

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Extra resources for Anglo-French Relations Before the Second World War: Appeasement and Crisis (Studies in Military and Strategic History)

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1 That the Wal Wal incident would have serious implications was quickly appreciated. Nor were Italian preparations for war in any way secret, with reports of the military build-up flooding in from Rome and East Africa. If these were not enough to convince British and French leaders of Italian intentions, the Italians themselves openly raised the issue. In January 1935 Laval travelled to Rome to conclude the Rome Accords and whatever passed between him and Mussolini he could not have been blind to the fact that Italy was entertaining ambitions at odds with Ethiopian sovereignty.

Would be an evil result . . 11 As for the interests of Britain and France in Ethiopia itself these were not greatly of concern to most policy-makers. Those that did exist, for the British in Lake Tana and the sources of the Nile and for France in the Djibouti railway, were not extensive and had been guaranteed by the Italians. The arguments put forward that Britain was mobilizing the League to defend her interests inside Ethiopia or her strategic route to India greatly exaggerated the importance of these considerations.

The pressure this brought to bear on the Government was considerable particularly in the months leading up to the general election. The result was to push the British Cabinet away from an out-and-out pro-Italian policy. The aim was to win the election, which called for a pro-League policy, without breaking the Stresa Front. How far this radically affected policy itself as opposed to merely its presentation remains debatable. Nevertheless the limits imposed by the pro-League lobby cannot be ignored.

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