This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores the influence of a 'seafaring race' theory upon colonial naval officials, in developing the cultural interaction between imperial and naval identities. It considers the key colonial concerns of oil and labour in Trinidad, and issues raised by naval recruitment and expansion. The book provides a point of ethnic comparison by examining the experience of the Cayman Islanders who volunteered to serve in the Trinidad Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (TRNVR). It analyses Hong Kong's naval development in relation to Japanese expansionism and the local impact of the European war. The book draws out common and contrasting themes to demonstrate the wider cultural, social and political significance of colonial naval forces to British imperialism during the endgame of empire.