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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At Singapore they could be converted into minesweepers or antisubmarine
vessels. They were also to prove valuable in the Persian Gulf area of the East
Indies Station's responsibilities. Thus HMS Aphis, Cockchafer, Cricket, Gnat,
purposes as their ocean-going vessels were destroyed and not replaced. The
liabilities of far-flung conquest could not be met by a decimated Japanese
merchant marine after the Imperial Japanese Navy's loss of control of the seas.
Some of ...
Two RAN corvette flotillas, each consisting of nine vessels, served with the
Eastern Fleet based at Ceylon before joining the British Pacific Fleet based at
Manus.10 Australia's naval effort included the construction of sixty 'Bathurst' class
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The Approach of War
The Home Front
The Caribbean 177
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