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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remained subordinate to Britain , demonstrated in 1937 when the Privy Council in
London ruled that Canada ' s equivalent of the American ' New Deal ' was
unconstitutional . Britain still remained Canada ' s major overseas economic
time of the Second World War , and the utilities of burgeoning cities like Buenos
Aires ( Britain ' s links with Argentina were so strong that historians have termed it
the ' sixth Dominion ' ) . Though Britain ' s position in South America had been ...
the first half of 1942 the Germans and the Japanese looked as if they could do
almost anything they wanted , and Britain found itself struggling to keep its
imperial head above water in the Indian Ocean , to defend the critically valuable