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 a successful union of African troops from opposite sides of the continent, the
23rd (Nigerian) Brigade joined 21st (East African) Brigade to form the 11th (
African) Division, and the 24th (Gold Coast) Brigade joined the 22nd (East
its return to Kenya the battalion joined the 21st (East African) Brigade for the
forthcoming offensives against Italian Somaliland and Abyssinia. The brigade
was deployed in the area of Lake Rudolf in Northern Kenya (Lake Turkana today)
Units in Ceylon included the 16th and 17th Australian Brigades of the 6th
Division, encamped near Colombo whilst ... The 11th East African Division's
headquarters moved to Ceylon in 1942, where the 21st East African Brigade
arrived on 21 ...