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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This was because supplies of major imports , including Burmese rice ,
Madagascan meat and edible oils from the Agalega Islands , had been severed
by enemy occupation in South - East Asia , Royal Navy blockade of Vichy
Madagascar and ...
This meant one million aliens to feed , a complex task for the quartermasters and
the bureaucrats who ensured that supplies of rice or bully beef actually reached
the mouths of soldiers . Further to queer the pitch , the enforced use of the Cape ...
The peninsula ' s rice production fell ( Freddie Spencer Chapman noted that in
October 1944 rice prices were one hundred times the pre - war figure ) , and ,
where food was short , disease followed . The disruption of Malaya ' s society and