‘Time to Say Goodbye’

It was a blast.  Something to occupy me, hoping to promote sales of my book.

Outcome – one book sold after 31 blogs!   Several thousand people have seen them but the seed seems to have fallen on stony ground so I might as well find myself something more rewarding to do with my time.

My thanks to all who have followed and liked the postings.  If you felt even tempted to buy a copy they are currently being sold off cheap as chips by Amazon and at a reduced price by outlets through Ebay.  It is the only thing of its kind published and with the apparent lack of enthusiasm for books other than crime and romance fiction, I doubt whether its like will appear any time soon.

The end of World War 2 also marked the end of Britain’s pre-eminence in the world. Just as stated in There was a Time, status and military power were more or less synonymous and by the end of Queen Anne’s reign there was no challenge to where that power lay.  By 1945 Britain had not much more than pride to sustain it.  It had been the only power to deny Germany’s two attempts at European hegemony from the beginning of both world wars and in the end had no more to give.  The world held its breath while the USA and the USSR, so recently allies, postured with their polarised ideologies supported by mutual spying and other intrigues, all the time against the backdrop of the massive Soviet army in the East and American technology in the West.  Even then, with its coffers almost empty, Britain remained America’s only effective ally, although it had little choice in the matter.  Airfields all over England had become, in effect, US sovereign territory for the duration.  This prompted the Russian leadership to cynically apply the label of  “America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier” to Britain.

In 1950 Soviet-backed North Korea invaded South Korea which had the backing of the USA which, with UN blessing, intervened to repel the invaders.  Britain, despite its privations, joined the US in a conflict sometimes called “the forgotten war” which drew in China and lasted four years.  It ended with a cease-fire but without a formal peace declaration.  Two years later Britain, in alliance with France and Israel, began a combined operation against Egypt, where Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser had staged a coup and nationalised the Suez Canal and was threatening to close it in the event of any outside interference.  For Britain, which held controlling shares in the canal with its position on its prime trade routes, this action could not be allowed to happen.  Unhappily for Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, not only did the USSR protest but the President of the USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced financial strictures against Britain if it did not abandon the invasion.  The operation was curtailed.

The remainder of There was a Time covers the withdrawal of Britain from first its jewel, India, then its dominions, colonies and protectorates, some in orderly fashion a few others less so.  In their different ways Malaya, Kenya, South Rhodesia and Cyprus presented difficulties, in the latter case the murder of off-duty servicemen prolonged rather than hastened the final terms of granting sovereignty to the island.

The book concludes with the last imperial engagement following the invasion of The Falkland islands by Argentina and nine years later the coming down of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the Soviet regime and with it, finally, an end to the Cold War.  I sign off with mention of Brexit.

Farewell, and enjoy whatever keeps you occupied in your leisure hours.

Barry Egerton

 

 

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