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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And of course, had Britain been defeated, every territory of the Empire would
have changed hands and fallen under the sway of new imperial masters, as the
largest imperial estate in history went under the auctioneer's hammer. Different ...
3 Imperial War From an ivory tower in Cambridge, Sir John Seeley, one of the
founding fathers of British imperial scholarship, set down a Palmerstonian phrase
now hackneyed as a description of the piecemeal, unplanned manner in which ...
'The nature of British imperialism, with its peace-time free press, civil rights,
habeas corpus, the cultivation of elites, and promises - however vague - of
ultimate self-government, paid enormous dividends during the war.'29 In June
1944 the ...
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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