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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For obvious reasons submarines were particularly valuable in this role. The 1st
Submarine Flotilla was sent to the island to harass the Axis supply lines, and
revived the Jolly Roger tradition, returning to port flying the skull-and-cross-
bones if a ...
sustained activity for Japanese and German (and to a lesser extent, Italian)
submarines, potentially a far greater threat than that posed by the surface raiders.
Enemy submarine packs patrolled the Indian Ocean from the Malacca Strait to
On the outbreak of war the submarines Galileo Galilei and Toricelli were
patrolling off Djibouti in French Somaliland, where the Galilei sank the
Norwegian tanker James Stove. British naval and air activity forced the
submarines to leave their ...
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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