1939-1945 1949-1960






Cyprus 1945-1949



Throughout World War II, Britain had been able to hold on to its Mediterranean strongholds, Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus, which formed a vital link to Egypt and the strategically so important Suez Canal. From here, the British could target the Axis supply lines to North Africa, support partisans operating on the Balkans etc.
Since 1931, the island's Legislative Council had been suspended; an Advisory Council functioned in its place. Irrigation schemes were undertaken in order to develop the island. Attempts to reestablish the Legislative Council failed, because the Greek Cypriot rightists rejected any solution other than Enosis (unification with Greece).
Cyprus was of eminent importance to the British Empire, as her hold on both Palestine (released into independence in 1948) and on Egypt (released into independence in 1936/1952) was of temporary nature. When, in 1947, the British administration faced the problem of having to deal with a rising number of Jewish prospective immigrants into Palestine, in numbers far exceeding the quotas set by the British administration, shiploads of such Jews were interned in camps on Cyprus; when Israel declared independence (May 14th 1948), the internees were permitted to depart.
The island's trade balance showed imports clearly exceeding imports.






EXTERNAL
FILES
Recent Cyprus History, From a Perspective Within the United Kingdom, from the Bow Group
Cyprus, Brief Historical Survey, from kypros.org
German P.O.W.s held on Cyprus, from Kriegsgefangen.de, text in English
Nicosia's Murder Mile, from Britain's Small Wars 1945-2001
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE Article : Mediterranean, British Possessions in the, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1946 pp.469-470, 1947 pp.489-490 [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1948 p.233, 1949 pp.195-196, 1950 p.213 [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : Americana Annual 1947 p.198 (on events of 1946) [G]
Article : Cyprus, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1946 p.127 [G]


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 12th 2002, last revised on March 30th 2007

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