The Importance Of Invasion Literature

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The invasion literature that developed at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century has been the object of numerous studies as it is acknowledged to have added to the increasing tensions between Britain, Germany and France leading up to the First World War in 1914. For example, in 1969, the French historian Marc Ferro wrote: "Over twenty works in England foresaw the British surprised, invaded and defeat Overall this literature reflected the nagging worries besetting the country." (The Great War.P. 29-30). It would seem that the British did have some legitimate reasons for concern. So, not only literary fantasy was at the origin of the founding of the Secret Service Bureau but also real facts. The Irish had one major contribution to the invasion novels; The Riddle of the Sands written by Erskine Childers in 1903. Childers came from an Anglo-Irish background and before he became the well-known Irish republican, he was a strong enthusiast of the British Empire. At the turn of the century, Childers became worried of a possible surprise invasion by Germany. Being a keen yachtsman, he set out to explore the Frisian Isles along the Dutch, German and Danish coastline.…show more content…
Germany had a rather short coastline facing Britain and the North Sea which would force the Imperial Navy to sail through the narrow strait of Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway. As to the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal, nowadays called Kiel Canal (since 1948) connecting the North Sea to the Baltic Sea, it was not yet deep and wide enough to allow battleships to sail through. In other words, the German Imperial Navy would be like a predictable sitting duck for the Royal

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