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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Of the total , 80 , 000 served in the Middle East and South Asia . Official casualty
figures were 7301 dead , including 900 soldiers drowned when the troopship SS
Khedive Ismail was sunk in 1943 . The Kabaw Valley campaign in Burma cost ...
New Zealand mariners served across the world during the war , 7000 alone
serving aboard Royal Navy vessels . New Zealand ' s two cruisers , HMNZS
Achilles and Leander , formed the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy ,
though in ...
By the end of the war 11 , 000 out of the total population of 220 , 000 Fijians had
served in the armed forces , including about ... The peak strength was reached in
August 1943 , when there were 8513 serving , including 1070 Europeans , 808 ...