"Proccedings" the official magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute

September 20, 2008 — Print this Page

James J. Heaphey. Palisades, NY: History Publishing Company, 2008. 297 pp. Illus. Index. $24.95.

James Heaphey calls his tale “a story of deceit” involving once-major powers fading from the international scene and new powers that emerged from World War II. It’s set in Morocco and features him in secret operations aimed at extending U.S.influence in the Mediterranean at the expense of France.

In the early years of the Cold War, Morocco became a key location. Young Heaphey was stationed at Nouasseur Air Base, a U.S.-run fa cility flying the NATO flag. While the United States had vowed to respond dramatically if the Soviets used nuclear weapons, Mother Rus sia was well outside the range of its air craft. Thus the Truman administration decided to store atomic weaponry at Nouasseur unbeknownst to France, the Moroccans, or NATO.

Obviously, establishing the storage site in 1952 required the highest security classification. Another key concern was Morocco’s uneasy political climate, where nationalists struggled to rid themselves of French colonial rule. As editor of the base newspaper at the time, the author was as signed to work with various sects and even Israeli intelligence agents.
According to Heaphey, in addition to stockpiling atomic weapons two years earlier than claimed by most historical accounts, U.S. authorities surreptitiously supported the rebels to ensure control of Moroccan bases and prevent eviction if France departed. In 1956, France formally relinquished control of the colony and re stored Moroccan independence.

Legerdemain adds yet another intricate episode to the history of the Cold War and deterrence of Soviet expansionist goals.

As a young Air Force officer, James Heaphey was a leading character in that strategic drama. He deserves our thanks for his service-and for providing us a most engaging tale of it

Printed from the History Publishing Company website, visit http://historypublishingco.com .

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