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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America had long harboured ambitions to secure new military bases in the
Caribbean , and had eyed numerous British possessions as suitable sites for air
strips and naval anchorages . At the time of the First World War the American
navy had ...
The inter - war years had seen the French pour money into the naval base at
Diego Suarez in Madagascar , although , as the British were themselves to
discover at Singapore , a great base without its own great fleet presented a
As has been seen , the Indian Ocean and its Eastern Fleet became an assembly
area for the naval force that in 1944 began to deploy to the Pacific . The arrival of
the BPF at its Australian bases was confirmation of the naval facts of the war as ...