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Military history of Egypt during World War II

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The Mediterranean Fleet In the mid-1930s, the headquarters of the British Mediterranean Fleet[?] was moved from Malta, to Alexandria, Egypt.

Wartime "Neutrality" Although Egypt was technically neutral, Cairo soon became a major military base for the British forces. This was because of a 1936 treaty by which Britain argued it had the right to station troops on Egyptian soil in order to protect the Suez Canal.

Italian Detentions There had been a large Italian community in Cairo prior to the war. Following the June 10, 1940 declaration of war, nearly all of the Italian men were arrested and nearly all Italian property was seized, leaving the women in poverty. Many of the Italian women would be reduced to prostitution. The royal Italian servants of King Farouk I were not interned and there is an unconfirmed story that Farouk had told Sir Lampson, "I'll get rid of my Italians, when you get rid of yours.", a reference to the diplomat's Italian wife ([1] - p.44).

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