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.
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In recruiting for the army there was competition from the traditional mass
employer of the Southern African region , the mineral mines . In order to recruit
successfully , whilst catering for the labour needs of domestic agriculture and the
lost in the Malayan Campaign were Indian . The 4th and 5th Indian Divisions
were sent to the Middle East , where they became a mainstay of the Eighth Army
following participation , via the Sudan , in the defeat of Italian forces in East Africa
Blamey reorganized the Australian Army for better home defence . The First Army
defended Queensland and New South Wales , the Second Army Victoria , South
Australia and Tasmania . Western Command became 3rd Corps , the 6th ...