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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Despite its considerable mineral wealth and its industrialized fringes , the main
produce of the Colonial Empire was ... The overriding need , even ahead of a
surplus for export , was to increase production for domestic consumption and aim
During the war settler farmers found tobacco an increasingly profitable crop , and
the production of base metals and secondary industry ... Factories in Bulawayo
and Salisbury produced practice bombs for the use of the local RAF trainees .
37 Southern Rhodesia ' s developed industrial sector also produced items for
soldiers overseas . ... Southern Rhodesia was not food self - sufficient and so
needed to increase production , especially of maize , of which there was a