Middle East

Middle East and its connections with British History

From the birth of Christianity through the Crusades and right up until the current time, the Middle East features and is entangled with British History. Arguably much of the strife in the Middle East today originates from the outcome of historic British policy and involvement when large tracts of the Middle East were either formal or informal parts of the British Empire.

Middle east Interactive Map

In the decline of that Empire the significance and importance of the relationship between Britain and these oil rich nations has continued to be significant together with maintaining  stable counterbalance to the more extreme regimes such as Iran, Iraq and Egypt to name a few in the last 50 years. In fact as we explore the Middle East across our days of imperial influence its the same problems and issues that seem to have come to the fore again almost 100 years later.

Middle East and British History Timeline and Chronology

Key events and connections between British History and the Middle East, search and use as an ongoing reference as we add events dates and notes with links to related pages and articles as they are published.

Regional: British History and the Middle East Events Timeline and Chronology

Date(s)EventPartiesPlace
20th Century Middle EastOttoman Empire major involvement in the Middle EastTurksMiddle East
1917Political: Balfour declaration re homeland for Jewish People in PalestineBALFOUR Foreign Secretary to Rothschilds and ZionistsBritain , Palestine (See Middle East Map)
1922British Mandate Census quantifies the local population cultural ethnic and religious make-up. it was only repeated in 1931Britain Population of Palestine Palestine Middle East
1931British Mandate 2nd Census, see also 1922, the only quantified census of make-up the population ethnic religios and national origin.British MandatePalestine Middle East
1933Political: Hitler comes to Power in 1933Germany, Adolf Hitler, Nazi PartyBerlin Germany
1933Public opinion: King and Country debate in Oxford University Union. Post WW1 interpreted as younger generation are anti-war.Oxford University StudentsOxford England
1935Political and Military Hitler repudiates/rejects the military restrictions of the Treaty of VersaillesHitler, Germany, Nazi partyGermany,Europe
1935Military and Political -Anglo-German Naval Agreement enabling Germans to build their naval strength to 1/3rd of British Naval StrengthGermany, Britain, Naval forcesNavy
1935-1937UK Political BALDWIN wins General Electionon policy of no Big ArmamensStanley BALDWIN ConservativeBritish Prime Minister PMBritain UK Parliament
1937-1949CHAMBERLAIN elected Prime Minister in Britain pursuing line of 'appeasement.'Conservative Party Neville ChamberlainBritain UK
1938Anschluss Austria Capitulates without a fight and absorbed into Third Reich contrary to Treaty of Versailles. Jewish and civilian oppression and persecution commences.Germany, Austria, Nazi PartyAustria
1938Germany threatens Czechoslovakia over province of German Czechs 'Sudetenland' It is a pretense and excuse for invasion. Britain does not act to protect the Czechs but sues for peace with Hitler.Czechs, Germans, Hitler, Britain, FranceCzechoslovakia, Sundentenland (German Speaking Czechs and non-germans, )
1938Chamberlain continues appeasement policy and seeks to negotiate with Hitler, believes victory with MUNICH AGREEMENT surrendering Sudetenland to GermanyBritain, Germany, Hitler, Chamberlain (British PM)Munich Germany
1938-1939Russia is double dealing, negotiates with Britain in Moscow and in parallel with Germans Soviets do not enter as a World War at this stage/Russia/Soviet powers.
1939-1945WW2 2nd World War in the 20th Century, events added during the war as additional lines Germany Italy and Japan largely against the Western AlliesGermany western AlliesToo many to list but starts Czechoslovakia Austria and Poland aggressions by Nazi Germany under Hitler.
1939 03 MARGermany invades and occupies PRAGUE in Czechoslovakia.Germany Hitler, CzechsPrague Czechoslovakia
1939Hitler demands Polish frontier adjusted in German favour.Hitler GermanyPoland Germany
1939 09 SEP 01stNazi Germany stages a Polish act of aggression to justify invasion. It is two full days before Britain responds.Germans posing in Polish uniformsPolish/German territories.
1939 09 SEP 03rdBritain declares War on Germany but despite Anglo-Polish Agreement does nothing to prevent German advance and invasion of Poland. By the end of September Poland is crushed.Britain Germany France and PolandPoland
1939 09 SEP 17thSoviet Russian joined attack against Poland. Britain and France do not respond and decalre war on the Russian Soviets.Russia and GermanyPoland
1940 05 MAY 08thDisasterous attempt to defend DENMARK leads to British Prime Minister CHAMBERLAIN resigning replaced by CHURCHILL and Coalition Government.Denmark and BritainDENMARK
1940 05 MAY 10thGermany invaded the Netherlands. (Holland) powerless to maintain resistance Netherlands surrenders in just 4 days.Germans, DutchNetherlands
1940 05 MAY 28thBelgian resistance finally gives way and surrenders to Germany. Anglo-French forces on route to engage Germans are cut off from north by German attack from the Ardennes Forest north of the Maginot Line which reached the English Channel. Allied forces were forced back to Dunkirk. Belgians, GermansBelgium
1940 06 JUN 04thDUNKIRK 338k troops survived the German onslaught and were evacuated by the British civilian and naval rescue force.British and German forcesDunkirk France
1940 06 JUN 10thItaly declares war on France and BritainFrance Italy and BritainItaly and Europe
1940 06 JUN 22ndFrance surrenders signing armistice with Germany accepting German occupation of Northern France and appointing a puppet regime at Vichy that would become know as the Vichy.France GermanyNorthern and Vichy France
1940 07 JULBritish sink French Navy at Mers-El-Kebir to prevent it falling into Geman handsBritish forcesMers-El-Kebir
1941 06 JUNBritish overan French troops in Syria and Lebanon to prevent German occupation as effective opposition had ceased in Jun 1940 with the exception of the French Resistance and Partisans,British and French forcesMiddle East Syria and Lebanon. see Middle East Map,
1944 06 Jun 06D DAY Allied Forces Normandy LandingsAmericans British Canadians and AlliesNormandy France
1945 05 May 08VE DAY Victory in Europe 8th May 1945Allied Forces and peoples of EuropeEurope London and throughout.
1945-1946Updated report of 67.6% Arab and Jewish population within the palestine MandateBritish American Commission of Inquiry Jewish and Arab PopulationPalestine Middle East
The Middle East and its intriguing connections to British History the roots of so many problems run deep into the past of our history and Britain with its vast Empire has had more than its measure of meddling in his particular region. Sadly part at least of the root of the continuing troubles. This is a historical and factual perspective with discussion of the facts and the intriguing connections to Britain and its place in the world with its allies and enemies over time from the Crusades to the current day, we have more than our share of involvement for an island race no where near the borders of most of its member states and indigenous peoples.
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