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The First VictoryThe Second World War and the East Africa Campaign$
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Andrew Stewart

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300208559

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300208559.001.0001

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Strategic Miscalculation

Strategic Miscalculation

(p.1) Chapter 1 Strategic Miscalculation
The First Victory

Andrew Stewart

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses how there was a good deal of confusion about what strategy to follow in defending East Africa. The thinking of the few politicians interested in the subject, and within the regional governments, was flawed, with the dangers misunderstood or overlooked. Successive British governments showed no real sense of recognizing that this could be an important wartime hub for raw materials and training. These significant failings were compounded by the failure of senior military officers to make a compelling argument about Italian intentions and the potential challenge these presented. While the Chiefs of Staff in London were right to assume that Mussolini would focus on Egypt, due to the vital importance attached to controlling the Suez Canal, they were wrong to conclude that he would enter the war at the first opportunity.

Keywords:   East Africa, British government, Chiefs of Staff, Italian empire, Benito Mussolini, Egypt, Suez Canal, wartime hub

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