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 were two main Maltese military units at the outbreak of war, the Royal
Malta Artillery and the King's Own Malta Regiment, with a combined strength of
2300 men, a sizeable colonial contingent for a territory of Malta's size. The latter ...
In 1940 it was decided to recruit three separate Arab and Jewish infantry
companies to be attached to the East Kent Regiment ('The Buffs'). This group of
about 500 men then became the Palestine Regiment, intended for guard duty,
On Christmas Eve 1940 'B' Company of 2/15 Punjab Regiment was sent to
Kuching to assist 'C Company in covering the withdrawal from Miri, should it be
ordered. In the meantime, they were to organize and train a local defence force.
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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