The Neglected Flank? NATO in the Mediterranean 1949–56

  • Elena Calandri
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


Those scholars who have studied the genesis and early years of the Atlantic Alliance have focused their interest mainly on the relationship between the United States and Western Europe. The Mediterranean has aroused comparatively little interest among historians.1 This may partly be explained by the lesser threat facing this area in the East-West conflict, as opposed to Central Europe. Nor was there a clear concept of where the ‘front’ was in the Mediterranean, while the ‘Iron Curtain’ dividing Europe was clearly the line along which the Red Army and the Western forces faced each other. Thus the Communist threat in the Mediterranean area was political rather than military, at least until the beginning of the 1960s. Moreover, the integration of Italy, and later also of Greece and Turkey, into NATO, was less the result of coherent strategic planning than of political imperatives.


Middle East Southern Flank General Staff Scandinavian Peninsula Ally Strategy 
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© Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd 1992

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  • Elena Calandri

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