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Showing posts from February, 2018

Exit of an acccidental opponent of appeasement

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Anyone who might have doubted that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was fully in charge of British foreign policy was presented with unambiguous evidence that they were wrong. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned suddenly and, despite a gentlemanly reluctance to go into the gory details on Eden’s part, this was obviously because they disagreed on policy. Eden was not opposed to appeasance as such - in fact it was he who came up with the word to describe British policy he was just  deeply suspicious of Mussolini’s trustworthiness, but such doubts counted for little with Chamberlain. Chamberlain imagined he could play Italy and Germany off against each other by pursuing constructive diplomacy towards both powers. He imagined he held a trump card in the form of British recognition of Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia. Mussolini, naturally, wanted this but never intended to play any real price. More insidious than disagreement on policy was Chamberlain’s habit of going behind Eden’

Eighty years ago: the Sun Drops Below the Hills of the Raj and Rises over the Alps of the Third Reich

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 Unconsciously King George VI sounded the death-knell of the British Empire in India with the announcement that he would not be travelling there for a Coronation Durbar the following winter. The formal proclamation of the British monarch as Emperor or Empress of India had been the cornerstone of Britain’s constitutional position in the sub-continent. It was a prime example of a great tradition that only happened once. There had been Durbars for Victoria and Edward VII but they had not been present in person. The only King/Emperor to attend his own Durbar was George V in 1911 at apogee of the Empire's might. The ceremony was a byword for magnificent lavishness and was held in a huge, specially built amphitheatre. Edward VIII had dragged his heals over any thought of participating in a similar ceremony, as he did in all things concerned with India. As Prince of Wales he had resisted his father’s wish for him to visit India. His brother naturally took a more dutiful approac

Copies of the paperback have arrived!

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Interview on Talk Radio Europe

If you missed the live interview, here's the link to the podcast for the programme. The interview came halfway through the hour https://tinyurl.com/ycdr8thd

Paperback out on Thursday and radio interview

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The paperback of The King Who Had To Go is out on Thursday 15th February, currently priced at £9.99. Listen to me talk about it on Talk Radio Europe tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4.30pm UK time https://tunein.com/radio/Talk-Radio-Europe-919-s132639/

Eclipse of the Old Elite in Nazi Germany

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Hitler followed up his easy success in displacing von Blomberg as the head of the armed forces on the genuine grounds of his having married a former prostitute by displacing J ΓΌ rgen von Fritsch as army commander-in-chief on the entirely spurious grounds that he was a homosexual (he was merely unmarried). Fritsch was no great supporter of the Nazis and had been indiscreet in saying so. The enfeebled state of the traditional officer class can be judged from the pitifully weak attempts made by his brother officers to shield von Fritsch from this slander. The men who replaced Blomberg and Fritsch – Keitel and Brauchitsch – were notoriously subservient. The promotion of Herman Goering to the rank of Field Marshal further underlined that power in the military had shifted to Hitler’s immediate entourage. Hitler completed his coup against the old elites by appointing Joachim von Ribbentrop as Foreign Minister, displacing Baron von Neurath, an old-style aristocratic diplomat who, li