The Bitter Sea: The Struggle for Mastery in the Mediterranean 1935-1949

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9780007203048: The Bitter Sea: The Struggle for Mastery in the Mediterranean 1935-1949

A lucid and masterly biography of the Mediterranean during a time of war, from Mussolini’s audacious bid for conquest to the creation of Israel and the start of the Cold War. The Bitter Sea is a fascinating interpretation of world affairs and a significant contribution to twentieth century history.

With incisive strategic and political analysis, Simon Ball demonstrates in this dramatic narrative how the Mediterranean Sea lay at the heart of recent world history.
The British conceived the Mediterranean as the world's great thoroughfare, from Gibraltar in the west to the Suez Canal in the east. For Mussolini, the Mediterranean was 'Mare Nostrum', the stage for his violent vision of conquest. The French commanded an impressive navy and key ports. The Nazis found willing allies in the lands that encircled the sea. The Americans imagined a new kind of empire in the Mediterranean.
The blue waters of the Mediterranean, and its 'golden pavement' of surrounding nations, witnessed a brutal conflict of unlikely foes and opportunistic alliances. Spaniard fought Spaniard, German fought Italian, American confronted Arab and Briton killed Frenchman. The Mediterranean struggle was a modern, high intensity war - fought on land, sea and air. Its titanic battles stretched from Malaga to Beirut, from El Alamein to Anzio. It was also a war of propaganda, deception, insurgency and terrorism, where the lines of battle were not clearly defined. As the author demonstrates in sparkling prose, the Mediterranean was indeed the 'bitter sea'.
Based on the most up-to-date research, including newly-released intelligence dossiers, Simon Ball's compelling account untangles the plans and actions of the war's most powerful decision makers, famous and forgotten. The result is exceptionally readable and original.

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Review:

Praise for ‘The Guardsmen’:

‘Excellent … a historical classic brilliantly executed and an irresistible read.’ Guardian

‘Through skilful stitching of threads from personal and official papers, Ball has woven a superb panoramic tapestry of 20th-century Conservative politics…Compelling.’ Sunday Times

‘A magnificent achievement … Superb scholarship, profound insight and written in a style both incisive and flowing, this is a book for every taste. I cannot recommend it too highly.’
Spectator

From the Back Cover:

With incisive strategic and political analysis, Simon Ball demonstrates in this dramatic narrative how the Mediterranean Sea lay at the heart of recent world history.
The British conceived the Mediterranean as the world's great thoroughfare, from Gibraltar in the west to the Suez Canal in the east. For Mussolini, the Mediterranean was 'Mare Nostrum', the stage for his violent vision of conquest. The French commanded an impressive navy and key ports. The Nazis found willing allies in the lands that encircled the sea. The Americans imagined a new kind of empire in the Mediterranean.
The blue waters of the Mediterranean, and its 'golden pavement' of surrounding nations, witnessed a brutal conflict of unlikely foes and opportunistic alliances. Spaniard fought Spaniard, German fought Italian, American confronted Arab and Briton killed Frenchman. The Mediterranean struggle was a modern, high intensity war - fought on land, sea and air. Its titanic battles stretched from Malaga to Beirut, from El Alamein to Anzio. It was also a war of propaganda, deception, insurgency and terrorism, where the lines of battle were not clearly defined. As the author demonstrates in sparkling prose, the Mediterranean was indeed the 'bitter sea'.
Based on the most up-to-date research, including newly-released intelligence dossiers, Simon Ball's compelling account untangles the plans and actions of the war's most powerful decision makers, famous and forgotten. The result is exceptionally readable and original.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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