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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Trinidad also ranked in the war - time Colonial Empire because it was one of the
Empire ' s few significant producers of oil ( the largest imperial producer in 1938 )
, and it also produced cocoa and sugar . The oil was extracted by the British ...
where the war brought significant alterations in food demand and food production
, achieved through a restructuring of the island ' s agricultural system that had
until the war been based on sugar , accounting in 1937 for 97 per cent of all ...
Significantly , however , the British were able to reinforce their formations – not to
the same numeric strength as ... ( Air supply from Libya was possible , but could
never deliver significant numbers of troops and items of equipment . ) With the ...