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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Less visible than the civilian war work and the presence of the regular armed
forces were the secret organizations born of the war, such as SOE and the
intelligence-gathering installations associated with Bletchley Park. Fund-raising
This force expanded significantly as the war progressed, and in 1944 the
Governor introduced conscription for eighteen to twenty-two year olds for heavy
antiaircraft gun training. The war had a marked affect on the civilian population.
Supply problems leading to civilian unrest were part of the reason. In 1940 the
reduction of Egyptian imports and purchases of local supplies by the British Army
created acute shortages, particularly of coal, iron, steel and paper. The British ...
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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