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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There was a call for more tankers in the Indian Ocean as imperial losses
mounted , large oil stocks being lost , for ... much of India ' s needs , and these
now had to be replaced from Iran in ocean tankers sailing to Karachi and
The British Army maintained garrisons in the Indian Ocean region and there were
numerous locally - recruited colonial military formations . There were , for
example , the Aden Protectorate Levies , recruited to support RAF establishments
Notes to Chapter 10 : The Indian Ocean 1 . A . Danchev and D . Todman ( eds ) ,
War Diaries , 1939 – 1945 : Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke , diary entry 14 April
1942 . 2 . Alfred North - Coombes , The Island of Rodrigueş ( Port Louis , 1971 ) .