By J. Gearson

Drawing on newly published govt papers, John Gearson assesses the advance of Harold Macmillan's overseas coverage through the Berlin Wall difficulty. Tracing the sour alliance disputes of the concern, Dr Gearson exhibits how Macmillan's makes an attempt to chart an autonomous path, crucially undermined his status along with his ecu companions and printed his stressed method of ecu defense. Berlin is positioned on the centre of attention of British international coverage, making this booklet an immense contribution to the historiography of the interval.

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Extra resources for Harold Macmillan and the Berlin Wall Crisis, 1958-62: The Limits of Interest and Force

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Britain supported the plan so long as it did not have to join, worried that if the EDC went ahead, it might presage the withdrawal of the US from Europe. At a deeper level the British concern was that the plan implied European federalism in its proposal for an European Army. The WEU compromise proposed by Eden in September 1954 was agreed. The following year the FRG joined NATO and Britain was fully committed to West Germany's integration within the Western 22 Harold Macmillan and the Berlin Wall Crisis alliance, both as a baulk against German neutralism and 'another Rapallo'.

51 Britain's influence and power none the less remained considerable and the structural weakness of the British economy revealed by Suez had yet to be fully appreciated by the public. With the Christmas Island test of May 1957, the country had become the world's third thermonuclear power and thus apparently still sat at the 'high table' of international affairs. In his first broadcast as prime minister, Macmillan had set the tone for his administration by rejecting the idea that Britain had become a second-class power, 'What nonsense.

The Western powers determined to press upon the FRG its responsibilities regarding Berlin and in 1950, the Bundestag accepted the FRG's role in the city. Berlin posed a dilemma. It symbolised the Cold War division, but at the same time was a beacon of hope for German reunification. As long as the occupation status for the city remained a fact, the principle of not dividing Germany permanently was kept intact. Not only did many in the West regard such an outcome as a mixed blessing (and one which they could live without), they also perceived the tensions which arose over Berlin as artificial and avoidable.

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