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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Therefore a Royal Navy shore base was established at Reykjavik , HMS Baldur III
, and tin - helmeted Tommies swarmed over the island , manning anti - aircraft
and coastal defence gun emplacements and a Bren gun carrier reaction force .
Bases were established on Deception Island and on the Graham Land coast .
Stamps were even issued by the Post Office , bearing an icy scene and the head
of King George VI , as an important forward move in Britain ' s claims to
An Australian contingent had been attached to the Bletchley Park outstation at
Hong Kong since 1937 , and early in 1940 the Australian General Staff
established its own signals intelligence section , recruiting four academics who
later joined a ...