WORLD WAR II IN THE CARIBBEAN: A Study of Anglo-American Partner



WORLD WAR II IN THE CARIBBEAN: A Study of Anglo-American Partner
By Dr. Annette Palmer

A Study of Anglo-American Partnership and Rivalry

The United States of America have had a generation-long strategic interest in the British islands of the Caribbean This interest was sharpened by the German victories in Europe and led to the Destroyers-Bases deal with Great Britain in 1940. Once the agreement was signed, the United States feared that social, economic, and political instability in the islands was an invitation to enemy subversion.

A three-man mission, whose ostensible duty was to investigate social and economic matters made a quick tour of the islands and gathered information which seemed to portend an American takeover of the islands of the British Caribbean in the event of a British collapse. Hemispheric defense was always of primary importance and military planners, resolved to guarantee the national security of the United States, embarked on a program to build large naval and air bases in the area and to fill them with American servicemen. The bases did not become vital factors in the war as it was fought, but they provided security against the presumed threat of Axis attack as well as a variety of support systems for the war. They also generated an Anglo-American cooperative spirit in the Caribbean.

On the other hand, the bases served as a stepping stone for American activity in the social, economic, and political sphere of the British Caribbean islands and many of these activities created tension and mutual hostility among the Allies. During World War 11, relations between the United States and the British in the Caribbean were characterized by the simultaneous existence of antagonism and cooperation

Annette Palmer was born in Trinidad, West Indies where she received her early education. After receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Second Class Honors from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, she obtained the M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of International Relations from Fordham University, New York.

Dr. Annette Palmer has taught at Howard University, Washington, D.C., and was a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is currently the Chairperson of the Department of History and Geography at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. Her research interests include colonial and military history