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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If war broke out, America would wish to establish a patrol in the Western Atlantic,
and would like bases to aid this deployment in places such as ... In August 1940
President Roosevelt offered fifty destroyers for base rights in the West Indies.
Other shore bases in the region included HMS Euphrates (Persian Gulf ), HMS
Ironclad (Madagascar), HMS Jufair ... of its longstanding connection with the
region the Royal Navy had a well-prepared base infrastructure in the Indian
As is often the case with military bases rapidly expanded to meet a certain
eventuality, when that eventuality did not arise, ... From mid-1943 it was very
unlikely that Port T would be needed as a major fleet hideout or a main servicing