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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A particular U-boat favourite were tankers carrying oil from the Caribbean and
Venezuelan oilfields, easily visible at night against the bright lights of the
undarkened American coastline. The sea battle began in earnest on 13 January
... By February 1944 Ceylon could boast three Hurricane night fighter squadrons,
two Beaufort torpedo bomber squadrons, one Beaufort night fighter squadron, a
Liberator long-range reconnaissance squadron and three Catalina squadrons.
Dyaks, Malays and Chinese paraded in ceremonial costume, and Kuching was a
blaze of lights at night, and by day the river was crammed with flagged and
garlanded boats. But this special moment in the country's history was very soon
to be ...
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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