By Steven High (auth.)
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Extra resources for Base Colonies in the Western Hemisphere, 1940–1967
The concentration of naval bases in the Pacific was no accident. S. Navy had long focused their attention on the Pacific. The outbreak of full-scale war between Japan and China in 1937 reinforced this one ocean orientation. S. fleet could sail through the 20 BASE COLONIES IN T HE W EST ERN HEMISPHERE Panama Canal to the Caribbean and to the Atlantic beyond. ”17 Should the canal be blocked or captured, that insurance would no longer exist. Given the canal’s unequalled strategic and tactical importance, the United States sought to secure its approaches from surface raiders.
Patrol planes based in the colony would be able to reach as far east as the Azores. The Greenslade Board concluded that a naval base at Bermuda was needed to guard against strategic surprise in the mid-Atlantic. The navy wanted shore facilities to support aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft and submarines. According to Greenslade, “to get an idea of the importance of Bermuda in the defense of America in these times of long-range airplanes and warships, it is only necessary to appraise its geographical position.
107 In Port of Spain itself, the United States requested 1,200 feet of wharfage and two transit sheds. The Gulf of Paria provided ample fleet anchorage with excellent seaplane bases. 108 The North West Peninsula could not be surrendered, he argued, because of its prized bathing beaches—the only ones within easy reach of Port of Spain. 109 Even the British secretary of state for the colonies felt that the Trinidadians had a legitimate grievance. S. government nonetheless refused to consider the Caroni Swamp, arguing that the time and money required to reclaim the area would be prohibitive.
Base Colonies in the Western Hemisphere, 1940–1967 by Steven High (auth.)