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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The Eastern Fleet and the British Pacific Fleet that it gave birth to in August 1944
are overlooked features of the global dispersal of British forces during the
Second World War. These naval forces have been dubbed the 'Forgotten Fleet', ...
Australian troops had their own experiences of the horrors of Pacific island
warfare, Fijians, Maoris and Aborigines joined the armed forces, and carriers of
the formidable British Pacific Fleet had their flight decks dented by kamikaze
Late in the war Australian naval forces served with the British Pacific Fleet during
the closing stages of the assault on Japan. Finally, the surrender of the 3235-
strong Japanese garrison of Dutch Timor took place aboard the sloop HMAS ...