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This book is the first comprehensive study of the British Commonwealth in the Second World War. Britain and its Dominions, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, formed the most durable, cooperative and interchangeable alliance of the war. Iain E. Johnston-White looks in depth at how the Commonwealth war effort was financed, the training of airmen for the air war, the problems of seaborne supply and the battles fought in North Africa. Fully one third of the 'British' effort originated in the Dominions, a contribution that was only possible through the symbiotic relationship that Britain maintained with its former settler-colonies. This cooperation was based upon a mutual self-interest that was largely maintained throughout the war. In this book, Johnston-White offers a fundamental reorientation in our understanding of British grand strategy in the Second World War.
Introduction.- PART I. 'GIVE US THE STUFF JUST THE SAME': THE DOMINIONS AND BRITISH WAR FINANCE.- 1. Britain Financing the War.- 2. The Dominions and British Financial Relations.- 3. Canadian Dollars.- 4. South African Gold.- 5. The Pacific Dominions and Sterling.- PART II. 'ONLY THE AIR FORCE CAN WIN IT': THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING SCHEMES.- 6. British Air Strategy and the Dominions.- 7. The Dominions Incorporated.- 8. National Identity and the RAF.- 9. On the Fringes: South Africa and Air Training.- PART III. 'WE ARE A MARITIME COMMONWEALTH': THE DOMINIONS AND BRITISH MARITIME POWER, 1939-1945.- 10. British Naval Strategy and the War at Sea.- 11. North Atlantic Convoys: Canada's Special Role.- 12. Shipping on the Cape Route: South Africa's Unexpected Triumph.- PART IV. 'MARCHED AND FOUGHT WITH THE DESERT ARMY': THE DOMINIONS IN NORTH AFRICA, 1940-1942.- 13. The War in the Desert.- 14. The Dominions in the Desert.- 15. The Alliance in the Desert.- 16. A Curious Absence? Canada and the Desert War.- Conclusion.
"His book is based on extensive archival research in five different countries across four different continents, which is an incredible feat. I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers, both expert and general." (Jatinder Mann, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 33 (1), 2021)
"Reading The British Commonwealth and Victory in the Second World War would be more beneficial to those who are studying the decline of the British Empire than to those who want to learn about the Second World War. The strengths of the work lay in its insights into the relationships between the UK and the Dominions." (Brad, Canadian Military History, Vol. 28 (1), 2019)
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