The Royal Navy and the Mediterranean, 1919-1929

Vol 158 (2011), Professor P. Halpern

Following the end of the First World War the Mediterranean Fleet found itself heavily involved in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Sea of Marmora, the Black Sea and to a lesser extent, the Adriatic. Naval commanders were faced with complex problems in a situation of neither war nor peace. The collapse of the Ottoman, Russian and Habsburg empires created a vacuum of power in which different factions struggled for control or influence. In the Black Sea this involved the Royal Navy in intervention in 1919 and 1920 on the side of those Russians fighting the Bolsheviks. By 1920 the Allies were also faced with the challenge of the Turkish nationalists, culminating in the Chanak crisis of 1922. The 1923 Treaty of Lausanne enabled the Mediterranean Fleet finally to return to a peacetime routine, although there was renewed threat of war over Mosul in 1925-1926. These events are the subject of the majority of the documents contained in this volume. Those that comprise the final section of the book show the Mediterranean Fleet back to preparation for a major war, applying the lessons of World War One and studying how to make use of new weapons, aircraft carriers and aircraft.

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About Paul Halpern

Paul Halpern was born in New York 27 January 1937, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1958 with honours in History. He served in the US Army 1958-60, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. He entered Harvard University in 1960, where he gained an MA in History in 1961 and in 1966 his PhD, with a two volume thesis on The Mediterranean Naval Situation. He spent his entire academic career at Florida State University at Tallahassee, starting as an instructor in 1965, rising to assistant professor in 1966, associate professor in 1970, and professor in 1974. On retiring in 2005 he became emeritus professor. In 1986-87 he served as visiting professor of strategy at the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island.

He served on the Council of the Navy Records Society 1968-72, 1982-86 and 2010-14. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the American Historical Foundation, the US Naval Institute, the Naval Historical Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma

His publications include
• The Mediterranean Naval Situation, 1908-1914 (Harvard University Press, 1971).
• The Naval War in the Mediterranean (Allen and Unwin, 1987).
• The Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, 1915-18 (Navy Records Society, 1987)
• The Keyes Papers, Volume I (Navy Records Society, 1972).
• The Keyes Papers, Volume II (Navy Records Society, 1980).
• The Keyes Papers, Volume III (Navy Records Society, 1981).
• A Naval History of World War I (Naval Institute Press, 1994).
• Anton Haus: Osterreich-Ungarns Grossadmiral (Graz, 1998).
• The Battle of the Otranto Straits: Controlling the gateway to the Adriatic in World War I (Indiana University Press, 2004).
• The Mediterranean Fleet, 1919-29 (Navy Records Society, 2011).
• The Mediterranean Fleet, 1930-39 (Navy Records Society, 2016).

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