It has been said before that the Commonwealth soldiers were what saved Britain in WWII. To what extent is this true?
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Political Interest wrote:It has been said before that the Commonwealth soldiers were what saved Britain in WWII. To what extent is this true?
fuser wrote:1. Germany (and Japan) did recruited from occupied territories. By 1943, 20% of German forces fighting in eastern front were non Germans.
fuser wrote:2. "Saved" is a strong word. May be British Empire (which collapsed soon after anyway) but not Britain itself (although they did contributed).
fuser wrote:3. If we are wondering what if there are no Indian, African, Australian troops fighting for Britain, then that also means that Britain doesn't need to protect vast tracts of land in Asia, Africa etc meaning less requirement of manpower to wage war against Germany.
Thompson_NCL wrote:Said by who exactly?
Thompson_NCL wrote:Canada, Australia and New Zealand were independent nations in WWII and should not be viewed as mere colonial puppets. Their contribution was significant, and relative to their population size, absolutely heroic. But at a strategic level, their contribution was not decisive. Britain had enough spare manpower to cover up any shortfall in had the dominions not came along for the ride.
Thompson_NCL wrote:India contributed a great deal of manpower to the war in Asia, but as was pointed out by Fuser, the war only existed because the Empire existed. Had we not been masters of India, we'd have no need to fight a war there. The rest of the Empire didn't contribute a great deal to the war effort, certainly nothing significant.
Thompson_NCL wrote:So although I don't deny the contributions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand as being both heroic and significant, I don't think they were critical. The rest of the Empire did not contribute as much as you imply.
Still the vast majority of German soldiers were German. Similarly most Japanese soldiers were Japanese. The UK used a force of 2.5,million Indians which outnumbered the number of British soldiers.
Many Indian, NZ and Australian soldiers fought in Europe. In WWI Indian soldiers were responsible for holding the line in October 1914.
I suppose without the colonies the UK would be left only with its own soldiers.
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