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British Island Bases Strategy

Border Reiver

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Aug 15, 2008
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Has any research been carried on the subject of the British Island Bases Strategy of the late 1960s ? My understanding is that the idea was use Indian Ocean islands as bases for RAF F-111s when the Navy's aircraft carriers were withdrawn. One island which was seriously considered was Aldabra but this met with opposition from environmentalists and the whole idea was abandoned when Britain withdrew from East of Suez. Of course the idea was revived in the late 1970s by the Americans using Diego Garcia.


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Jan 20, 2007
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UK Prime Minister H Wilson: “nuclear policy must help to provide some reassurance to (out-of-NATO-area) non-nuclear powers” Defence,Cmd.2592, 23/2/65,P.7. "Our frontiers are in the Himalayas".1965.

His Labour Party had won UK General Election, 16/10/64 on a platform including Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament, but on that very day China made its first A-Test. India was agitated. Wilson was supportive of India (he had been a protege of Stafford Cripps, who had negotiated with Jinnah and Gandhi). UK had signed, 5/8/63 the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and was working in UN to produce (5/3/70) a Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Bomb was the political equivalent of today's eco-Agenda.

On 22/2/66 Wilson: chopped CVA-01 and reduced East of Suez presence;
- ordered 10 F-111K T.1 (followed 1/2/67 by 40 S.2). They would be cross-operated from Darwin with RAAF F-111C, deployed forward to Butterworth, Gan and other dotlets: US was wholly supportive of all this and contributed to the cost of Diego Garcia, which first must be ethnically cleansed. The unspoken presumption was that Forward Operating Bases would be provided in India.

Vulcans deployed as Operation Matterhorn started this Aid-to-India from Tengah, 26/4/65. UK's hope was to deter India from squandering and proliferating on its own Bomb. We failed. So we quit the Indian Ocean completely 16/1/68.


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Jul 15, 2007
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This is the Alternative History and Future Speculation section, not a History section.

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