I recently reviewed Professor Simon J. Ball’s revealing book about the battle of Alamein (The Folio Society). He generously accepted to answer few questions for this blog, and I take immense pleasure in sharing the content of our exchange with you today. I trust you will enjoy reading it.
Professor Ball, I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Mediterranean theater during World War II has been overlooked. Why is it important to pay more attention to it? How crucial was it in the big picture of the conflict?
SJB: The war in the Mediterranean was of central importance. It blew apart the idea of the Mediterranean as a unified zone, although all the major powers tried to engineer integration at some points. Oddly the idea of the Mediterranean as an integrated politico-economic-cultural area, “breathing with the same rhythms”, was popularized by Fernand Braudel in the late 1940s.Continue reading “Churchill was better at strategy than politics”