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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Imperial forces, in turn, contributed significantly to the Allied defeat of Italy and
Germany in Europe, as well as to the fighting in theatres such as East Africa and
the Levant. In Burma and India the British Empire and Commonwealth made a ...
... primarily remembered as a European struggle, an understandable perspective
born of geography and the close proximity of would-be invaders. This is not to
say that some of the war's imperial landmarks are not recognized. The fighting
... Flashman and the Mountain of Light (1990). As a summary of the motive forces
of British imperial expansion, MacDonald Fraser's list is hard to better. apparently
limitless resources, and able to deploy large-scale fighting forces 3 Imperial ...
4 The Home Front On 23 December 1941 eighty Japanese bombers and thirty
fighters dropped the first bombs on ... 1942 was particularly devastating, as the
city was defenceless and its fire-fighting apparatus had been lost in earlier
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11 The Islands of the Indian Ocean
12 India and Burma
13 SouthEast Asia and the Far East
14 Australia and New Zealand
15 The Pacific
9 SubSaharan Africa
10 The Indian Ocean