Richard Hammond, "Strangling the Axis: The Fight for Control of the Mediterranean during the Second World War" (Cambridge UP, 2020)


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In his new book, Strangling the Axis: The Fight for Control of the Mediterranean during the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2020) , Dr. Richard Hammond, Lecturer in War Studies at the University of Brunel, offers a major reassessment of the causes of Allied victory in the Second World War in the Mediterranean region. Drawing on a unique range of multinational source material, Dr. Hammond demonstrates how the Allies' ability to gain control of the key routes across the sea and sink large quantities of enemy shipping denied the Axis forces in North Africa crucial supplies and proved vital to securing ultimate victory there. Furthermore, the sheer scale of attrition to Axis shipping outstripped their industrial capacity to compensate, leading to the collapse of the Axis position across key territories maintained by seaborne supply, such as Sardinia, Corsica and the Aegean islands. As such, Dr. Hammond demonstrates how the anti-shipping campaign in the Mediterranean was the fulcrum about which strategy in the theatre pivoted, and the vital enabling factor ultimately leading to Allied victory in the region.In short, Strangling the Axis is a major new treatment of this always interesting subject.

Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.

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