‘The real question at issue’
Mers el-Kébir and the rhetoric of imperial confrontation in July 1940
in Rhetorics of empire
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Rhetoric played a role throughout the planning, action and aftermath of the events that took place at Mers el-Kebir on 3 July 1940, reflecting sentiments of strength and resolve in the future conduct of the war. In order to focus on the rhetorical elements of the event, represented through press releases, speeches and news articles, this chapter provides only a brief overview of the planning and carrying out of the operation. The chapter focuses on the rhetorical construction of the events at Mers el-Kebir through three key sources: a revised press release, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's Commons address, and press interpretations in the Guardian and The Times. The rhetorical analysis demonstrates not only the scope of factors that influence the planning and justification of a policy, but also how national memory and interpretation of events can be shaped and constructed by language and the imagery it creates.

Rhetorics of empire

Languages of colonial conflict after 1900


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 164 55 1
Full Text Views 40 12 0
PDF Downloads 21 7 0