Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52


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Kelly, Saul 1957-

Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945-52

November British newspaper proprietor who, with his brother Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, built the most successful journalistic empire in British history and created popular journalism in that country. A shy individual, he let his brother handle the public and journalistic side of the business, while he handled financial matters. Upon the completion of the job, Harmsworth went to Bermuda to take a rest. He died of dropsy in Bermuda at the age of He is buried in grave , a prominent one by itself at St.

Paul's Churchyard, immediately behind on the north side of the church in Paget Parish. Other accounts paint a different story, that he had been a pre-war admirer of Hitler been photographed with him several times, had also given his full support to Oswald Mosley and the National Union of Fascists. He wrote an article, Hurrah for the Blackshirts , on 22nd January, , in which he praised Mosley for his "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine".

Another title owned by Rothermere, The Sunday Dispatch , even sponsored a Blackshirt beauty competition. The Daily Mail continued to give its support to the fascists. It was alleged the Daily Mail 's Jewish advertisers had threatened to place their ads in a different paper if Rothermere continued the pro-fascist campaign. People not so much concerned with territorial readjustment as with dread of another war with its accompanying bloodbath.

Frederick the Great was a great popular figure. I salute your excellency's star which rises higher and higher. But Bermuda was a British colony, he was not arrested here.. Lord Rothermere, as a young man and later, during one of his pre-war in this photo, meetings with Hitler. Construction was approved to occur in Bermuda from scratch of two new military bases for the USA, one on St. They were on a no-rent year lease basis. They involved over acres of both Crown-held and privately owned lands. They took two years to build and cost US taxpayers over US 45 million.

In Castle Harbour, entire islands were bull-dozed and destroyed, including the largest, Long Bird Island. All buildings then on it were destroyed, with the exception of the easternmost house, which became the home of the commandant of Fort Bell, later Kindley Field, and later US Naval Station Bermuda. To the east of Long Bird, the following islands were reduced to ground level and buried under the Station and airfield: Pudding, Cave, Little Round, Sandy, Jones, Round, Long, Graces, and Westcott, the last having two dwellings upon it.

A goodly portion of St David's Island disappeared by bulldozing and the eastern end of the Fort Bell airfield appeared in place of Easter Lily fields and ancestral homes of a number of Bermudian families, irrevocably gone. Bermudian Douglas William Howard Hutchings was lost at sea. He was an oiler, whose first job was in the engine room of the Queen of Bermuda, but had transferred to another vessel.

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At the time of his death, Queen of Bermuda was on duty in the Falkland Islands far to the south. There were two British vessels sunk that day, the Zealandic and the Oropesa. Both were attacked off Rockall, some miles from Iceland and Ireland on the route from the North Sea to the Atlantic. The cargo ship Zealandic was lost with all hands and Oropesa, a passenger liner, lost crew and passengers, with being rescued.

Given that he was originally on a passenger liner, it is possible that Hutchings was lost on the Oropesa. It was sunk by U, a boat familiar to most through its incarnation as the lead actor in the film, Das Boot.

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February Adjacent water, ideal for seaplane operation, and proximity to existing ship channels resulted in the choice of Morgan and Tucker Islands, situated in Great Sound, within the hook of the western end of Hamilton Island, together with an adjacent area on Hamilton Island at Kings Point, as sites for the air station and the operating base.

Darrell's Island, also in Great Sound and about a mile and a half to the east, then in use as an air station by commercial airlines, was developed as an auxiliary seaplane base. Submarine facilities were planned for construction on Ordnance Island, at the eastern end of the Bermuda group, in St. Georges Harbor, adjacent to the town of St. This location, while remote from the operating base, was chosen because of the availability of the site, the existing facilities, and its proximity to the sea lanes serving the islands.

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The general topography of the leased areas was gently rolling, varying in elevation from sea level to a maximum of 40 feet. The base development plan issued by the Chief of Naval Operations to support the 15,plane program, indicated Bermuda as a major naval air station, with facilities for the operation of two patrol squadrons of seaplanes on a permanent basis and one additional squadron with tender support. In addition, facilities were to be provided to support the emergency operation of one carrier group from an airfield to be developed by the Army.

Bermuda-based operatives began to piece together intelligence gathered by both British and US radio monitors on German U-boat fleets in the Atlantic and elsewhere and how they were being instructed by radio by the German high command. British and American eavesdroppers were able to gain information on their movements.

U boat captains were so convinced about the impregnability of their Enigma coding system each submarine had and the way the coding machine system changed that they became careless in using radio. The British in particular were also locating submarine positions by taking bearings on their radio transmissions. They were successful and what became the two base were located at St. David's and Southampton parishes. March 1. While Anglo-American staff conferences were going on in Washington on how to best combat the Germans, the Battle of the Atlantic had taken an extremely critical turn.

In Admiral Stork's opinion it had become, in fact, "hopeless except as we take strong measures to save it. Admiral Stark had not at all exaggerated the seriousness of the situation.

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By March it seemed to him only a matter of at most two months before the United States would be at war, "possibly undeclared," with Germany and Italy; although the Army at this time was counting on at least five months' grace. The destructive forays of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had given President Roosevelt an understandable concern for the safety of the American bases, particularly those which were most exposed or of most value to the Navy--Bermuda, Trinidad and Newfoundland.

In the Town of St. George, the Bank of N. The initial construction effort of the US Naval Operating Base as an air station for flying boats and other aircraft in Southampton Parish began. Dredge-filling the narrow funnel-shaped channel between Morgan and Tucker islands more than doubled their original combined area of 40 acres. The one island thus formed was then connected by causeway to King's Point, on Hamilton Island.

The principal structures built at the air station comprised a tender pier, three seaplane ramps and parking area, a large seaplane hangar, barracks for 1, men, quarters for officers, a bombproof power plant, and the usual industrial, administration, and storage buildings. At the Hamilton Island site, underground storage was provided for fuel oil, diesel oil, and gasoline, as well as barracks for fuel depot and air station personnel, a bed dispensary, a large magazine area, a radio station, and a acre water-catchment area with storage for 5,, gallons of rain water.

All these installations were of a semi-permanent character. Soon after construction began, it became essential that naval air patrols be placed in operation as quickly as possible. This was accomplished by using the established facilities owned by British Imperial Airways on Darrell Island. By an informal agreement with the British and local governments, permission to use this island on a temporary basis was granted.

Here, existing facilities were augmented by barracks, water supply, paved parking areas, landing floats, and other temporary essentials. This work was undertaken in May and the island put to immediate use, continuing so until March , at which time the permanent naval air station was usably complete and in operation. April 7. April 6. Margaret V.


  1. The Histories of Tacitus.
  2. Bermuda's History from World War 2 to ?
  3. WWII 1939, Pre-war build up?

Wooley-Hart on Tuckers Island. This building later became the Religious Center. The US base on St. David's Island, just completed, was about to be first occupied by the U. Army and named Fort Bell.


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  • The maintenance and operation of the entire base was handled by U. The U. Army Air Force operated the air traffic section of the base. The Bermuda base became a vital link in air and sea traffic between the United States and Europe both during and after the war as a 'stop off place. USA sent garrison troops to Bermuda. Newfoundland on the northern flank, Trinidad on the southern, and Bermuda in the center were the first of the new Atlantic bases to be garrisoned.

    The first contingent had arrived in Newfoundland in January , ahead of the construction forces, and in April the first garrison troops arrived in Trinidad and Bermuda, only a few weeks after the advance party of construction people. The timing was not exactly what the War Department had at first envisaged. In spite of the pessimism over the chances of Britain's winning the war which in September still colored the War Department's estimate of the situation, General Marshall laid down the dictum that garrisons would not be sent to the Atlantic bases until construction was well advanced.

    Some definite threat to the base sites might require the dispatch of a garrison prematurely, but this was a possibility that could apparently be waited for.

    Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52
    Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52
    Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52
    Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52
    Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52 Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945–52

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