The British Empire and the Second World War
In 1939 Hitler went to war not just with Great Britain; he also went to war with the whole of the British Empire, the greatest empire that there had ever been. In the years since 1945 that empire has disappeared, and the crucial fact that the British Empire fought together as a whole during the war has been forgotten. All the parts of the empire joined the struggle and were involved in it from the beginning, undergoing huge changes and sometimes suffering great losses as a result. The war in the desert, the defence of Malta and the Malayan campaign, and the contribution of the empire as a whole in terms of supplies, communications and troops, all reflect the strategic importance of Britain's imperial status. Men and women not only from Australia, New Zealand and India but from many parts of Africa and the Middle East all played their part. Winston Churchill saw the war throughout in imperial terms. The British Empire and the Second World War emphasises a central fact about the Second World War that is often forgotten.
In Burma and India the British Empire and Commonwealth made a remarkable
contribution to the defeat of Iapan by killing over 200,000 enemy soldiers.
Britain's historic dependence upon its Empire for imports and exports inevitably
... Colonial Office — in other words, the entire British Empire minus the four
Dominions, India and Burma (which was administered by India until 1937, and
thereafter by a separate Burma Office). Aden was also separated from India in
The fall of Singapore remains perhaps the most widely remembered imperial
feature of the Second World War, and the Fourteenth Army in Burma is
paradoxically remembered as the 'Forgotten Army'. These imperial features,
however, tend to ...
... unprepared for there to be any enemy bombing in the first place, the results of
enemy action could be devastating. Burma's second city, Mandalay, was similarly
attacked by Japanese bombers as the colony was about to fall to the enemy.
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11 The Islands of the Indian Ocean
12 India and Burma
13 SouthEast Asia and the Far East
14 Australia and New Zealand
15 The Pacific
9 SubSaharan Africa
10 The Indian Ocean