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The Us And The Destruction Of The British Empire


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#261 Inhapi

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 1124 AM

Argh, I read a really great military history of the smaller European Powers attempts to hang on to their scraps of empire in Asia after Ww2 and cant find it now. But I remember being amazed at how much useless effort Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands etc actually put into it.

 

A bit late and a bit of a nitpick, but Belgium had no colonies outside Africa. (not for want of trying from Leopold II: at one point he tried to get hold of New Guinea as a colony) 


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#262 Inhapi

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 1133 AM

There were a number of Roman Emperors born in the Empire, outside Italy, not Roman. I do not remember many English kings born in India.

 

After the 1st century, very few emperors were born in Italy; The second century saw the rise of a Spanish born clan (From Trajan to Commodus), The Third century was at first dominated by a Lybian-Syrian family (Severans: From Septimuis Severus to Alexander Severus, heavily dominited by descendants of the royal family of Emesa (today's Homs)). From the mid third to mid 4th century the emperors were almost exclusively Dalmatian (or further north in the Balkans) army officers (including Diocletian and Constantine) 


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#263 Murph

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 0929 AM

Did the First World War kill the Empire, or did the fatal event happen earlier, say the Boer War of 1899?  


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#264 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 0943 AM

No, I think the Boer war caused a problem for our reputation (though as we were mainly being slagged off by the Kaiser, its somewhat relative...), but economically it seems it was something of a speedbump.

 

There were problems after that, such as irish nationalism, but I think that was unrelated to the Boer war, and rather more problems of the Irish Famine coming home to roost, and the Ulstermen being somewhat intractable when it came to being part of the Union. There is a case that German interference played a role. For example Erskine Childers (author of Riddle of the Sands) was apparently gunrunning for the Irish Volunteers before WW1, but the weapons were coming from German stocks.

 

Strange man Childers, he fought for the Empire in the Boer war in the City Imperial Volunteers, which he wrote about (I still keep meaning to read that one) Yet here he was siding with Irish nationalists. It just goes to show you can have more than one loyalty.

https://en.wikipedia...wth_gun-running


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 27 November 2019 - 0944 AM.

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#265 KV7

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 0538 AM

I believe so. It could and should have been recognized far earlier that they were useful partners in the struggle against Communist insurgents.  Astonishingly the American's seem to have understood this as far as Europe, they just didn't recognize the problem the fall of these Empires meant for Africa and states in the Pacific. I still dont understand that thinking. Particularly with the ongoing evidence of the Malaya and Borneo confrontations in mind. Personally, im not sure Britain has ever got the credit it deserved for the fall of Sukarno, then all now.

With maybe one million dead and the installation of a shitty dictator, there is not so much to be proud of here.


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#266 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 1012 AM

I think you will find we didnt install anyone in Indonesia. That was American foreign policy, and we were withdrew when we had restabilised the area.


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#267 Nobu

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 1244 PM

The British tactic of labeling the communist threat to Indonesia and Indonesians as a Chinese one was both interesting and effective, particularly in its harnessing of the equivalent of anti-semitic sentiment in Southeast Asia for its own purposes.

 

Had Japanese administration of southeast asian territories continued, I suspect a less-skillful application of the same would have been policy.


Edited by Nobu, 01 December 2019 - 1302 PM.

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#268 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 0327 AM

I must read up on the Borneo campaign, my chief source for its is Who Dares Wins by Tony Geraghty. Britain conducted a LOT of cross border raids with SAS patrols that the Indonesians seem to have been powerless to prevent. I noticed reading the Haynes book that HMS Alliance, Gosport Naval museums surviving A class boat, was also undertaking a role patrolling off the coast of Borneo. That may have been the last time a submarine ever used a deck gun.

 

Dennis Healey said something like it being the most successful war Britain fought that nobody knew about. He was right, though Sierra Leone perhaps comes a close second.


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