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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Britain's determination to remain the supreme power in the region led to the
invasion of Egypt in 1882 and the beginning of Britain's lengthy 'temporary
occupation' (offering, in terms of the justifications for intervention and the
It developed and administered a programme of centralized overseas trade
control and economic mobilization in a vast area, in order to reduce the use of
shipping, to overcome the difficulties of regional distribution and to minimize
As elsewhere in the Empire, war gave a f1llip to plans for greater regional
cooperation and centralization of authority, and ... The West African Supply
Centre ( WASC) was formed in 1941 after a meeting of representatives from the
region's four ...