Monday, April 30, 2007

The Mideast in 1941

History and Old Stuff...

I am not sure which year to assign to my old geography book Our World Today. It was copyrighted in 1941 but published in 1942.

A War Supplement was added to the back of the book just before publishing. The authors state at the beginning of the War Supplement that it is impossible to keep up with the changes in geography, and that the information in the rest of the book describes the world as it was before the war began to change everything so quickly.

At the time the supplement was written, apparently late in 1941 or early in 1942, Germany had occupied Denmark, Norway,France, Belgium, the Netherlands, part of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece and Austria.

Russia had occupied the remainder of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland. Japan was creating a "new order" in Asia to match Hitler's "new order" in Europe.

Here's what was happening in the Mideast at the time the War Supplement was written:

Turkey made an alliance with England before the war, but agreed that nothing in the treaty should force her to come to blows with Russia. When Hitler entered Bulgaria, Turkey massed troops on her Greek and Bulgarian borders, but after the fall of Greece, she made a treaty with Germany, closing the Dardanelles to any foe of the Nazis. This blocks the only way by which Russia and England can help each other against Hitler. Turkey is in the strange position of having treaties with Russia, England and Germany.

Persia (Iran) has had no reason to enter the war, as she wants to develop her resources and modernize the country.

Arabia consists of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by Ibn Saud, and several border kingdoms. While these border kingdoms are under an informal British protectorate, they have not sent any help to Britain in this war. Arabia was part of Turkey in the war of 1914-1918, and it was the scene of the brilliant acts of the Englishman Lawrence during that war.

Iraq put in a pro-Nazi government by a coup d' état, but Britain marched in and after a brief campaign restored the former pro-British rulers.

Palestine is under a British mandate, but instead of helping Britain she is a source of annoyance, because of the conflicts there between the Jews and the Arabs.

Syria, under French mandate, was attacked by Britain when she showed herself pro-Nazi by allowing German planes to refuel there on their way to help the pro-German Iraqi revolt. This was the first conflict of British and French armies.

Source: Our World Today by De Forest Stull and Roy W. Hatch. Copyrighted in 1941 by Allyn & Bacon, Boston, and published in 1942. The above information is quoted from the War Supplement in the back of the book.

More posts about Our World Today :

Just a few hours after this post was made, it was visited by a computer in the government of Saudi Arabia's system and another computer in the government of Turkey's system. Apparently they watch the Technorati tags. Interesting.

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the.chronicler said...

Most fascinating!

Genevieve said...

Hi, Chronicler. I love my 1941 geography book. It is very interesting to read as background to what I know about in the world today. It's a snapshot of the world at the beginning of World War II, a decade before my birth.

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