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 , however , the threat of Italian retaliation to any such move , a
particular nightmare being an air attack damaging or sinking capital ships in
Malta or Alexandria . If RAF reinforcements were sent in anticipation of any such
move , it ...
In 1943 he was chosen to fill the new post of Supreme Allied Commander South
East Asia , and it was he who insisted on the Command ' s headquarters being
moved from Delhi to Kandy . Ceylon was 500 miles further away than Delhi from
Churchill was all for it , though the Chief of the Imperial General Staff , Sir Alan
Brooke , was of the opinion that the Japanese would not make a move to occupy
the island . In fact , Brooke feared that an attack on the island might persuade the