Clicca qui per scaricare

1968: la fine di una Grande Potenza? Alcune considerazioni sul ritiro britannico da Est di Suez
Titolo Rivista: SOCIETÀ E STORIA  
Autori/Curatori: Lucio Valent 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2020 Fascicolo: 167 Lingua: Italiano 
Numero pagine:  32 P. 63-94 Dimensione file:  119 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SS2020-167003
Il DOI è il codice a barre della proprietà intellettuale: per saperne di più:  clicca qui   qui 


Il presente articolo intende analizzare le vicende che portarono al ritiro delle Forze Armate inglesi dalle basi e dagli impegni strategici a Est di Suez, inserendo la riflessione entro il più ampio arco temporale che va dalla fine della Seconda Guerra mondiale alla metà degli anni settanta. Siccome l’evento marcò una rottura netta rispetto al passato imperiale britannico, è quanto mai necessario vederne la genesi entro il più esteso panorama rappresentato dalla strategia e dal pensiero geopolitico britannico del tempo. Ciò che mi propongo di offrire è una analisi della decisione adottata dal governo di Wilson, inserendola entro il quadro dei rapporti interni al partito laburista, di quelli tra mondo politico e le Forze Armate, nonché entro la strategia e la geopolitica che i politici laburisti ritenevano il paese dovesse adottare in un contesto internazionale cambiato rispetto al recente e al lontano passato. A questo proposito mi avvarrò della documentazione conservata negli Archivi di Stato britannici, dalla quale emerge che, oltre alle oggettive difficoltà economiche nelle quali versava il Regno Unito, un ruolo centrale nella decisione adottata dal governo laburista l’ebbero gli errori commessi dal Segretario alla Difesa Denis Healey. Tali errori resero il ritiro irreversibile, quando gli intendimenti del governo erano di segno parzialmente diverso, volendo l’esecutivo laburista, agli inizi della sua esperienza di governo, confermare il ruolo internazionale che la presenza delle forze armate britanniche a Est di Suez assicurava.


Keywords: Governo Wilson, Est di Suez, portaerei, forze armate britanniche, geopolitica britannica, 1968.

  1. Bartlett C.J. (1972), The Long Retreat, London, Macmillan.
  2. Baylis J. (1995), Ambiguity and Deterrence: British Nuclear Strategy, 1945-1964, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  3. Baylis J. (1981), Anglo-American Defence Relations 1939-1980: The Special Relationship, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  4. Bayly, C.A. (2007), La nascita del mondo moderno, 1780-1914, Torino, G. Einaudi.
  5. Beaufre A. (1965), The Sharing of Nuclear Responsibilities; A Problem in Need of a Solution, in «International Affairs», vol. 31, n. 3 (July), pp. 411-419.
  6. Bell M.C. (1987), The Unquiet Pacific, London, Centre for Security and Conflict.
  7. Bell D. (2007), The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  8. Benvenuti A. (2009), The Heath Government and British Defence Policy in Southeast Asia at the End of Empire (1970-71), in «Twentieth Century British History», vol. 20, n. 1, 2009, pp. 53-73.
  9. Benvenuti A. (2006), A Parting of the Ways: The British Military Withdrawal from Southeast Asia and its Critical Impact on Anglo-Australian Relations, 1965-68, in «Contemporary British History», vol. 20, n. 4, pp. 575-605.
  10. Blake R. (1978), A History of Rhodesia, New York, Knopf.
  11. Bolt C. (1971), Victorian Attitudes to Race, London, Routledge.
  12. Boyle K. (2003), The Price of Peace: Vietnam, the Pound and the Crisis of the American Empire, in «Diplomatic History», vol. 27, n. 1, pp. 37-72. Bond B. (1980), British Military Policy Between the World Wars, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  13. Brawley S., Radcliffe M. (2017), Losing the Blanket, Building a Fence: Australian Anxiety and the End of Military Colonialism in Malaysia, in «The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History», vol. 45, n. 6, pp. 1026-1048.
  14. Bullock A. (1983), Ernest Bevin: Foreign Secretary, London, Heinemann.
  15. Cain P.J., Hopkins A.G. (2016), British Imperialism, 1688-2015, London, Routledge.
  16. Cairncross A. (1996), Managing the British Economy in the 1960s: A Treasury Perspective, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  17. Clark I. (1994), Nuclear Diplomacy and the Special Relationship: Britain’s Deterrent and America, 1957–1962, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  18. Clark I., Wheeler N.J. (1989), The British Origins of Nuclear Strategy, 1945-1955, Oxford, Clarendon Press
  19. Clarke P. (2007), The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire: Churchill, Roosevelt and the Birth of the Pax Americana, London, Allen Lane- Penguin.
  20. Crossman R.H.S. (1976), The Diaries of a Cabinet Minister,1966-1968, vol. II, Hamilton-Cape, London.
  21. Daddow O.J. (a cura di) (2003), Harold Wilson and European Integration: Britain’s Second Application to Join the EEC, London – Portland (Or.), Frank Cass.
  22. Darby P. (1973), British Defence Policy East of Suez, 1945-1968, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  23. Darwin J. (1991), Britain’s Withdrawal from East of Suez, in Bridge C. (a cura di), Munich to Vietnam: Australia’s Relations with Britain and the Unites States Since the 1930s, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.
  24. Darwin J. (2009), The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World System, 1830-1970, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  25. Davis S. (2010), Book Reviews, in «Diplomatic History», vol. 34, n. 1 (January).
  26. Kunz D.B. (1991), The Economic Diplomacy in the Suez Crisis, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
  27. De Leonardis M. (1988), I “tre cerchi”, il Regno Unito e la ricerca della sicurezza tra Commonwealth, Europa e relazione speciale con gli Stati Uniti (1948/1949), in Bariè O. (a cura di), L’Alleanza Occidentale: nascita e sviluppi di un sistema di sicurezza collettivo, Bologna, Il Mulino, pp. 9-114.
  28. Del Pero M. (2008), Libertà e impero. Gli Stati Uniti e il mondo, 1776-2006, Roma, Laterza, 2008.
  29. Devereux D.R. (1989), Britain, the Commonwealth and the Defence of the Middle East 1948-56, in «Journal of Contemporary History», vol. 24, n. 2, Studies on War (April), pp. 327-345.
  30. Dobson A.P. (1995), Anglo-American Relations in the Twentieth Century: Of Friendship, Conflict and the Rise and Decline of Superpowers, London, Routledge.
  31. Dockrill M. (1988), British Defence Since 1945, Oxford, Blackwell.
  32. Dockrill S. (2002), Britain’s Retreat From East of Suez: The Choice Between Europe and the World?, Basingstoke, Palgrave.
  33. Droz B. (2007), Storia della decolonizzazione nel XX secolo, Milano, Bruno Mondadori.
  34. Dumbrell J. (1996), The Johnson Administration and the British Labour Government: Vietnam, the Pound and East of Suez, in «Journal of American Studies», vol. 30, n. 2, pp. 211-231.
  35. Fain W.T. (2008), American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  36. Ferguson N. (2003), Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, New York, Basic Books. Fieldhouse D.K. (1984), The Labour Governments and the Empire-Commonwealth, 1945-1951, in Ovendale R. (a cura di), The Foreign Policy of the British Labour Governments, 1945-1951, Leicester, Leicester University Press.
  37. Freedman L. (1981), Britain: The First Ex-Nuclear Power?, in «International Security », vol. 6, n. 2 (Fall), pp. 80-104.
  38. French F. (2008), The British Army and the Empire, 1856-1956, in Kennedy G. (a cura di), Imperial Defence: The Old World Order, 1856-1956, London – New York, Routledge.
  39. Gowing M. (1974), Independence and Deterrence: Britain and Atomic Energy, London, Macmillan, 2 voll.
  40. Hampshire E. (2013), From East of Suez to the Eastern Atlantic: British Naval Policy, 1964-70, Farnham, Ashgate.
  41. Healey D. (1990), The Time of My Life, London, Penguin.
  42. Howard M. (1972), The Continental Commitment: The Dilemma of British Defence Policy in the Era of the Two World Wars, London, Temple Smith.
  43. Howe S. (1993), Anticolonialism in British Politics: The Left and the End of Empire, 1918-1964, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  44. Howe S. (2000), Labour and International Affairs, in Tanner D., Thane P., Tiratsoo N. (a cura di), Labour’s First Century, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 119-150 James L. (2004), The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, New York, St. Martin’s Press, p. 406.
  45. Jefferys K. (1993), The Labour Party Since 1945, Basingstoke – London, Macmillan.
  46. Jones M. (2002), A Decision Delayed: Britain’s Withdrawal from South East Asia Reconsidered, 1961-1968, in «English Historical Review», vol. 117, n. 472, June, pp. 569-595.
  47. Jones M., Young J.W. (2010), Polaris, East of Suez: British Plans for a Nuclear Force in the Indo-Pacific, 1964-1968, in «The Journal of Strategic Studies», vol. 33, n. 6, pp. 847-870.
  48. Kennedy P.M. (1976), The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery, London, Allen Lane.
  49. Kort M.G. (2018), The Vietnam War Reexamined, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  50. Law D.A. (1966), The Government of India and the First Non-Cooperation Movement, 1920-1922, in «The Journal of Asia Studies», vol. 25, n. 2, pp. 241-259.
  51. Lee D. (1980), Flight From the Middle East: A History of the Royal Air Force in the Arabian Peninsula and Adjacent Territories, 1945-1972, London, HMSO.
  52. Louis Wm.R. (2003), The British Withdrawal from the Gulf, 1967-71, in «The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History», vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 83-108.
  53. Lowe P. (2004), Change and Stability in Eastern Asia: Nationalism, Communism, and British Policy, 1948-1955, in «Diplomacy and Statecraft», vol. 15, n. 1, pp. 137–147.
  54. McCourt D.M. (2014), Britain and World Power Since 1945: Constructing a Nation’s Role in International Politics, Ann Arbour (MI); The University of Michigan Press.
  55. McIntyre W.D. (1991), The Significance of the Commonwealth 1965-90, Basingstoke Macmillan McIntyre W.D. (1998), British Decolonization, 1946-1997: When, Why and How Did the British Empire Fall?, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  56. Milward A.S. (2002), The Rise and Fall of a National Strategy: 1945-1963, London, Frank Cass.
  57. Monroe E. (1966), British Bases in the Middle East: Assets or Liabilities?, in «International Affairs», vol. 42, n. 1 (January), pp. 24-34.
  58. Moore R.J. (1983), Escape from Empire: The Attlee Government and the Indian Problem, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  59. Morgan K. (1984), Labour in Power 1945-1951, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  60. Neilson K. (2005), Britain, Soviet Russia and the Collapse of the Versailles Settlement, 1919-1939, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  61. Neilson K. (2010), The British Way in Warfare and Russia, in Neilson K., Kennedy G.(a cura di), The British Way in Warfare: Power and the International System, 1856-1956, Farnham – Burlington (VT) Ashgate, pp. 7-28.
  62. Nish I.H. (1966), The Anglo-Japamese Alliance: The Diplomacy to Two Island Empire, 1894-1907, London, Athlone.
  63. Nolan V. (2012), Military Leadership and Counterinsurgency: The British Army and Small War Strategy Since World War II, London – New York, I. B. Tauris.
  64. O’Hara G. (2006), ‘Dynamic, Exicting, Thrilling Change’: The Wilson Government’s Economic Policies, 1964-70, in O’Hara G., Parr H. (a cura di), The Wilson Governments 1964-1970 Reconsidered, Routledge, London, pp. 348-402.
  65. Anderson D. (2005), Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  66. Balfour-Paul G. (1994), The End of Empire in the Middle East, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  67. Ovendale R. (1998), Anglo-American Relations in the Twentieth Century, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  68. Otte T.G. (2008), The Foreign Office and Defence of Empire, 1856-1914, in Kennedy G. (a cura di), Imperial Defence: The Old World Order 1856-1956, London, Routledge, pp. 9-29.
  69. Parr H. (2006), Britain’s Policy Towards the European Community: Harold Wilson and Britain’s World Role: 1964-1967, London – New York, Routledge.
  70. Peden G.P. (2007), Arms, Economics and British Strategy: From Dreadnoughts to Hydrogen Bombs, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  71. Pemberton H. (2004), Relative Decline and British Economic Policy in the 1960s, in «Historical Journal», vol. 47, n. 4, pp. 989-1013.
  72. Petersen T.T. (2006), The Decline of the Anglo-American Middle East 1961–1969: A Willing Retreat, Brighton, Sussex Academic Press.
  73. Peterson J.E. (1986), Defending Arabia, London, Croom Helm.
  74. Pickering J. (1998), Britain’s Withdrawal from East of Suez: The Politics of Retrenchment, London, Palgrave.
  75. Pierre A.J. (1968), Britain’s Defense Dilemmas, in «Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science», Vol. 29, n° 2, The “Atlantic Community” Reappraised (November), pp. 64-79.
  76. Pimlott B. (1992), Harold Wilson, London, Harper & Collins.
  77. Ponting C. (1989), Breach of Promise: Labour in Power, 1964-1970, London, Hamish Hamilton.
  78. Rabi U. (2006), Britain’s ‘Special Position’ in the Gulf: Its Origins, Dynamics and Legacy,
  79. in «Middle Eastern Studies», vol. 42, n. 3 (May), pp. 351-364.
  80. Ramamurthy A. (2003), Imperial Persuaders: Images of Africa and Asia in British Advertising, Manchester, Manchester University Press.
  81. Roucek J.S. (1968), Britain’s Retreat from Aden and East of Suez, in «Il Politico», vol. 33, n. 2 (June), pp. 413-426. Schenk C. (2002), Sterling International Monetary Reform and Britain’s Applications to Join the European Economic Community in the 1960s, in «Contemporary European History», vol. 11, n. 3, pp. 345-369.
  82. Speller I. (2005), The Royal Navy, Expeditionary Operations and the End of Empire, 1956-1975, in Kennedy G. (a cura di), British Naval Strategy East of Suez, 1900-2000: Influences and Actions, London Frank Cass, pp. 178-198.
  83. Stoddart K. (2012), Losing An Empire and Finding a Role: Britain, the USA, NATO and Nuclear Weapons, 1964-70, Basingstoke, Palgrave – Macmillan.
  84. Terraine J. (1989), Business in Great Waters: The U-Boat Wars 1916-1945, London, Cooper.
  85. Thompson A. (2005), The Empire Strikes Back? The Impact of Imperialism on Britain from the Mid-Nineteenth Century, Harlow, Longman.
  86. Thorpe A. (2008), A History of the British Labour Party, Houndmills, Palgrave – Macmillan.
  87. Till G. (2005), The Return to Globalism: Royal Navy East of Suez, 1975-2003, in Kennedy G. (a cura di), British Naval Strategy East of Suez, 1900-2000: Influences and Actions, London Frank Cass, pp. 244-268.
  88. Tomlinson B.R. (1979), The Political Economy of the Raj, 1914-1947: The Economics of Decolonization in India, London, Macmillan.
  89. Twigge S. (1993), The Early Development of Guided Weapons in the United Kingdom, 1940-1960, Chur, Harwood Academic.
  90. Valent L. (2000), La Gran Bretagna e la difesa nucleare dell’Europa, in «Nuova Rivista Storica», anno LXXXIV, Fascicolo III, pp. 574-620.
  91. Valent L. (2008), L’Europa non è Europa senza Londra. Il Regno Unito tra CEE e Mondo, 1964-1967, Milano, Unicopli.
  92. Vickers R. (2011), The Labour Party and the World, Manchester, Manchester University Press, Vol. II, Labour’s foreign policy since 1951,
  93. Walker P.C.G. (1964), The Labor Party’s Defense and Foreign Policy, in “Foreign Affairs”, vol. 42, n. 3, April, pp. 391-398.
  94. Ward S. (2001), Australia and the British Embrace: The Demise of the Imperial Ideal, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.
  95. Watt C.A. (2011), The Relevance and Complexity of Civilizing Missions C. 1800–2010, in Watt C.A., Mann M., (edited by), Civilizing Missions in Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia: From Improvement to Development, London, Anthem Press.
  96. Westad O.A. (2015), La guerra fredda globale. Gli Stati Uniti, l’Unione Sovietica e il mondo: le relazioni internazionali del XX secolo, Milano, Il Saggiatore.
  97. White N.J. (1999), Decolonisation: The British Experience Since 1945, London, Longman.
  98. Whiting R.C. (1998), Ideology and Reform in Labour’s Tax Strategy, 1964-1970, in «The Historical Journal», vol. 41, n. 4, December, pp. 1121-1140.
  99. Wiener M.J. (1985), Il progresso senza ali. La cultura inglese e il declino dello spirito industriale, 1850-1980, Bologna, il Mulino.
  100. Wilson H. (1971), The Labour Government, 1964-1970. A Personal Record, London, Penguin Books.

Lucio Valent, in "SOCIETÀ E STORIA " 167/2020, pp. 63-94, DOI:10.3280/SS2020-167003

   

FrancoAngeli è membro della Publishers International Linking Association associazione indipendente e no profit per facilitare l'accesso degli studiosi ai contenuti digitali nelle pubblicazioni professionali e scientifiche