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Customer Discussions > History forum

Why British people did not resist their decolonisation?

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Showing 1-25 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 18, 2012, 9:00:31 AM PDT
Books says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 18, 2012, 9:02:57 AM PDT

Posted on Jul 18, 2012, 9:14:50 AM PDT
DarthRad says:
Great Britain lost its colonies post WWII because it was nearly bankrupt as a result of the war. It didn't have the money or the soldiers or the willpower to keep its many colonies from trying to break away. Remember, Britain was so poor post WWII that it continued rationing of various stuff until 1954 - NINE years after the war. Meat was the last item to go off rationing.

Hardly a great colonial power by that point. WWII really did Britain in. Britain suffered more total casualties in WWII (including civilians) than the U.S. did, despite being a third of the size in population of the US at the time.

Plus, FDR had forced Churchill to sign the Atlantic Charter, with its clause about supporting the right of people to self-determination. This act also encouraged the colonies to demand that Britain let go of control.

Posted on Jul 22, 2012, 10:07:44 AM PDT
L. Boyles says:
I have another question: When, and why, did England grant almost unlimited entry and/ or citizenship to members of their former colonies?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012, 2:25:32 PM PDT
Ku says:
You'll have to read the wiki entry on the British Nationality Act of 1948.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 1:13:07 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
Cost is the issue, blood and treasure-and the bipolar world of the 40s,50s and 60s.

Britain did resist the disolution of empire in many different places before succumbing to better analyses. Many of the nationalist movements of empire, though pink or even red in flavour, tended to be genuine nationalisms. Resisting independance movements was a poor strategy which invited soviet or chinese sponsored insurgencies.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012, 4:54:35 PM PDT
DarthRad says:
The de-colonization period coincided with the Cold War. It thus fell neatly into the bipolar nature of the conflict, since Britain, France, and the Dutch (and a few Portuguese colonies) were the only remaining colonialists, and were part of the capitalist West.

I would point out that Spain had become internally unstable (helped along by the Napoleanic wars) and thus lost its colonies much earlier, during the 1800s mostly, and all of that was accomplished without any of the rhetoric about Communism vs. Capitalism

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012, 9:43:11 PM PDT
patrick says:
Cost and ideology.

Colonialism was also no longer necessarily a profitable, take out more than you put back in, enterprise, ok when the taxpayers paid for the soldiers and the Bourgeoisie kept the spoils and profits, but now that arrangement was being questioned.
To America's astonishment and probable dismay, the UK voters also dumped Churchill -and Churchill may have been in favor of holding on to places like India-- as soon as the war was over, and installed Atleigh's Labour Socialists..
the very people who also gave the Soviets the plans for the engine that powered the MiG 15..

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 2:03:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 2:51:24 AM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
Never heard of "Atleigh."

"In 1911 he took up a government job as an "official explainer", touring the country to explain David Lloyd George's National Insurance Act. He spent the summer of that year touring Essex and Somerset on a bicycle, explaining the Act at public meetings."



"It was said that when Attlee visited King George VI at Buckingham Palace to kiss hands, the notoriously laconic Attlee and the notoriously tongue-tied George VI stood for some minutes in silence before Attlee finally volunteered the remark "I've won the election." The King replied "I know. I heard it on the Six O'Clock News.""

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 10:44:39 AM PDT
DarthRad says:
The triumph of wishful thinking over reality: Stafford Cripps

And also the answer to Stalin's supposed statement: "What fool will sell us his secrets?"

From the wikipedia entry on Stafford Cripps:
In 1946 Soviet jet engine designers approached Stalin with a request to buy jet designs from Western sources to overcome design difficulties. Stalin is said to have replied: "What fool will sell us his secrets?" However, he gave his assent to the proposal, and Soviet scientists and designers travelled to the United Kingdom to meet Cripps and request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, Cripps and the Labour government were perfectly willing to provide technical information on the Rolls-Royce Nene centrifugal-flow jet engine designed by RAF officer Frank Whittle, along with discussions of a licence to manufacture Nene engines. The Nene engine was promptly reverse-engineered and produced in modified form as the Soviet Klimov VK-1 jet engine, later incorporated into the MiG-15 which flew in time to deploy in combat against UN forces in North Korea in 1950, causing the loss of several B-29 bombers and cancellation of their daylight bombing missions over North Korea.[8]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 11:16:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 11:24:45 AM PDT
Suet says:
"the very people who also gave the Soviets the plans for the engine that powered the MiG 15."

I didn't know that, although I did hear that we handed over jet engine technology to the Yanks.

"The British shared Whittle's technology with the U.S., allowing General Electric (GE) to build jet engines for America's first jet fighter, the Bell XP-59."

I guess we were equal opportunity dumbos.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:01:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 3:20:06 PM PDT
patrick says:
yeah, youre right I misspelled his name, although if Id thought about it a little longer I would have recalled the correct spelling..

happy with that explanation, and your wise 'point"?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:06:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 3:19:25 PM PDT
patrick says:
yes....but one is a commercial error, giving away something with which you could have stolen the march on making a product that you could sell finished units , make money and employ Brits in good tech/skilled trades jobs..
imagine that...a Britain with leading edge finished saleable quality products of its own original boffin technology , and taking them to market and selling them profitably to eager buyers-viable manufacturing industries.!

meanwhile, as we had it, the Americans took your idea, made the units, then sold them, to themselves first, then back to you, and your mutual allies, at great value-added..and you were probably very grateful to buy them, too.

the other is a military/strategic/security error where you hand your enemy the plans to make the same where he may then use it to kill or conquer you with.
Actually, killed some of the Americans with them at least as it turned out.

you tell me which kind of blunder is the more reprehensible .
then , as even today, the Brits also sometimes have some trouble recognizing the enemy when they see one.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 3:20:35 PM PDT
Suet says:
With the possible exception of Cripps, the postwar Labour government didn't like communists any more than you do. But in 1946 they were not supposed to be the "enemy". Failure of foresight, perhaps?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:26:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 3:28:46 PM PDT
patrick says:
oh, yes, and as any keen viewer of Foyles War was reminded, there were the other distinguished chapters of that same government, sort of in a like-minded vein.

they gathered up all the Poles and Czechs, the ones who had come over and fought beside the Brits, with great distinction, in the RAF, in the Battle of Britain, then at Tobruq, Cassino, Arnhem..we've all heard of them, people like Stanislaw Skalski , the 303 squadron people,the ones who finally over-ran Kesselrings green devils at Cassino when everyone else had gotten beaten up by them... the Paras they dropped on top of Models tiger tanks at Arnhem.. and what not..
and forcibly shipped them back to Stalin...who promptly arrested them.

this Mr Cripps couldnt possibly have managed all of this by himself.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:31:22 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 3:40:02 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:36:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012, 3:45:29 PM PDT
patrick says:
no, im not thinking of any such people as they, I know the difference between the two groups.

oh, cmon, its well documented that Atlee handed unwilling Poles pro-West , not the captured German-uniformed Russian /East european and Deutches-volk collaborators ( which is a separate chapter and debate) to Stalin.

they did not want them, because they tended to be anti-Socialist,( or would be suspected of being by the Labor Party, they were militarists after all) sort of , compare, Slavic Miami Cubans...and because of the wonderful new relationship co-operation era Atlee wanted with his Soviet friends.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 3:39:27 PM PDT
Suet says:
They did no such thing, Patrick. I personally have known Poles and Czechs who settled in Britain after WWII.

You are thinking of Cossacks and such who fought for Hitler.

"Some 250,000 [Poles] chose to remain in Britain and were joined by their families and dependants ..."

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 3:54:50 PM PDT
DarthRad says:
It should be pointed out that the British gave the jet engine secrets to the US in 1941, before the US had even entered the war, with GE getting the contract to produce the jet in September 1941.

Things were looking really bad for England in 1941, and they were doing everything possible to offshore their technology and get the US to enter the war. The British also gave away their secrets to radar, as they were well ahead of the US in that area as well.

There was none of that imperative when the British gave away the Nene jet engine to the Soviets.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 4:11:36 PM PDT
Suet says:
Be that as it may, Darthrad: patrick is saying that Poles and Czechs who fought on the Allied side were forcibly repatriated after the war, apparently because the Labour government was crypto-communist.

All I can say is, this is not "well known". If he thinks it happened, let him cite his sources.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012, 5:47:02 PM PDT
Bubba says:
The British also transferred research and development of penicillin to the USA. The US had the money, infrastructure, and skilled manpower to manufacture British developed cavity magnetrons, jet engines, and penicillin without the Nazis bombing our factories.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 4:46:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012, 4:49:58 AM PDT
Suet says:
"this Mr Cripps"

Ironically he was Sir Stafford Cripps - almost but not quite a lord - and the most leftwing member of the postwar Labour government.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 11:33:02 PM PDT
patrick says:
there is a book with 'the few" in the title which is about Polish/czech RAF, fighter and bomber command, in WW2...its closing chapters describe this.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012, 11:37:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012, 11:38:19 PM PDT
patrick says:
the reader reviews of this book...the 4th of the four reviews, alludes to what Im talking about..

its hardly that surprising, is it? all adds up, even in the latter day, another group..loom at the struggle which had to be fought to get a little decency towards the Ghurkas, after Hong Kong for example...

Posted on Oct 29, 2012, 12:28:52 AM PDT
DarthRad says:
Doesn't say anything about forcible repatriation, however. Without reading the book, it is not clear what happened to these pilots.

Operation Keelhaul was the biggest of the forced repatriations of Soviet POWs freed by the Western Allies from German camps.
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Discussion in:  History forum
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Initial post:  Jul 18, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 11, 2012

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