During the Second World War, over 9,000 men from several colonies, protectorates and mandate territories fought for the British Empire. These forces represented a significant shift in naval policy towards the recruitment of colonial manpower at a time of distinct pressures on British imperialism. This book examines the impact of colonial naval forces, by analyzing the 'official' and 'subaltern' sources in the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, East Africa, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. The Trinidad Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (TRNVR) was formed to defend the island's oil supply to British oil-fired ships. The book also looks at the experience of the Cayman Islanders who volunteered to serve in the TRNVR. An East African case study focuses on Kenya and Zanzibar before and after the Second World War. The Kenya Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (KRNVR) was the first colonial naval force in the British Empire; local naval forces were also formed in Zanzibar and Tanganyika. In the analysis of Southeast Asia and the Malacca Straits, the book discusses, inter alia, origins of Malaya's naval forces, and analyses the issues of force expansion and 'Malaysianisation' during the Malayan Emergency and decolonisation. There was an initial reluctance on the Navy to recruit the Chinese, but with their overwhelming majority in Hong Kong, their enlistment in the Hong Kong Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (HKRNVR) was unavoidable. The post-war evolution of Hong Kong's naval force as it adjusted to the roles of Communist China's emergence and Britain's declining world are also examined.

“Acting” East with an eye on China

work with India in ensuring safety of the SLOC and tackle non-traditional security challenges in the Indian Ocean. Both have a vested interest in ensuring that China’s hegemony in the region does not go uncontested. Their location makes them crucial in the emerging maritime calculus in the region as they together control the entry point from the Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal in the north and Malacca Straits to the east. Viewing Indian maritime presence as largely benign, Indonesia has openly invited India to help the littoral states in the region in maintaining

in Indian foreign policy
An emerging partnership

Malacca Straits, and India’s rapid reaction to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 won accolades from the Pentagon. It is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that the United States would like a strong US–India alliance to act as a “bulwark against the arc of Islamic instability running from the Middle East to Asia and to create much greater balance in Asia.”12 The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) of the United States strongly emphasizes India’s importance for the United States in the emerging global security architecture.13 While a concern with China’s rising

in Indian foreign policy
Colliding ambitions with China

India might face seaborne attacks by terrorist groups against the nation’s oil rigs, involving both production and support platforms, along both the coasts of India.10 Piracy in various parts of the Indian Ocean such as the Malacca Straits and Horn of Africa is rampant, requiring a strong Indian maritime presence. In line with this perception, the Indian maritime doctrine states: “The Indian maritime vision for the twenty-first century must look at the arc from the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca, as a legitimate area of interest.”11 India has a pivotal

in Indian foreign policy

merchants and pirate mercenaries in shaping the fortunes of the Malacca Straits and the region’s sultanates; amongst the most noted were the Orang Laut , or People of the Sea, 5 boat dwellers who lived a rootless and nomadic existence from coast to coast, being hired to serve as the sultan’s personal navies, fishermen, traders, and tax collectors. 6 Young’s proposal was

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67