The Surrender of British Somaliland
This chapter narrates how the loss of British Somaliland marked the first redrawing of the British Empire's map since 1931 when a strip of land in Sudan had been ceded to Italy. Major-General Reade Godwin-Austen admitted that what had happened drove him on during the subsequent campaign to show the Italians “what being overwhelmed by numbers and superior armament felt like.” Hitler apparently referred to it as a hard blow to British prestige, but it was actually more an emotional setback than a military one. All the British had lost was the privilege of maintaining an expensive garrison in their least valuable colony. However, the chapter shows how the Italians had failed to exploit the opportunities presented to them, and within a matter of months, this high point of victory would seem futile.
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