Operation Immense

'Immense' was a British plan for the defence of Cyprus (?).

It was a constant British concern in Worlds War II that Germany might have longer-term ambitions for the seizure of Syria, Iraq, Iran and, possibly India. Within this British concern, the most threatening in the shorter-term was that represented by the German and Italian forces in North Africa, which might break through to tale Alexandria, Cairo and northern Egypt to reach the Suez Canal. Here these forces, once refitted and reinforced, would be poised to advance into Palestine and the northern part of the Arabian peninsula, where they might be able to link with other German forces advancing from Bulgaria via Turkey or from the captured southern USSR via the Caucasus.

Another possibility considered by the British for the northern arm of the supposed German pincer movement was through the eastern Mediterranean and the Levant after they had taken the Italian-occupied island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese islands group or the British island colony of Cyprus to its south by means of airborne assaults comparable with the 'Merkur' descent on Crete. In German hands either of these would be an ideal springboard for a farther advance into the Near East and Middle East.