Vanishing Act: Britain's abandonment of Arabia and Retreat from the Gulf

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With few exceptions, Britain's abandonment of Arabia and retreat from the Gulf has been presented by contemporary commentators and later historians as a seemingly inevitable result of the retreat of the British Empire in the face of the inexorable march of nationalism. They present a picture of the British having 'done the right thing' by leaving the inhabitants of southern and eastern Arabia to attend to their own affairs. It is intended to still any qualms about the manner of Britain leaving South Arabia and the Gulf. For, far from being an orderly 'transfer of power', or 'transition' from Britain to the successor states, the British fled Arabia in a mood of panic and confusion, as this chapter will show.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAt the End of Military Intervention
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical, Theoretical and Applied Approaches to Transition, Handover and Withdrawal
EditorsRobert Johnson, Timothy Clack
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford Univerity Press; Oxford
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780198725015
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014


  • Persian Gulf Region -- Foreign relations
  • ADEN
  • British Empire


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