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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.

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Daniel Owen Spence

one of the Admiralty’s primary motivations, it stood firm and ceded operational control to the governors. This created a problem in wartime by restricting the deployment of colonial naval forces to territorial waters, with its personnel liable to revert to civil duties until the Governor offered to place them at ‘His Majesty’s disposal’; while this was an option for colonies

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
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Daniel Owen Spence

British attitudes towards colonial subjects and their ‘racial’ suitability for naval service. Through a transnational and comparative analysis of ‘official’ and ‘subaltern’ sources in the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, East Africa, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, this book examines for the first time the political, social and cultural impact of colonial naval forces. It explores their emergence in a

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Daniel Owen Spence

preceding the First World War, this book will show that naval theatre continued to be deployed in support of colonial naval forces and imperial prestige until decolonisation. Conclusion Though the time and nature of imperial overstretch has been heavily debated, the interwar period was certainly one of relative decline for the Royal Navy. The First World War galvanised aspiring

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
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Daniel Owen Spence

propaganda The Ministry of Information (MOI) and Colonial Office wanted to raise awareness in Britain of colonial naval forces, which had done ‘a most useful job of work and we feel that far more should be published about them in the Press’. 68 It was not simply a case of giving colonial sailors the recognition they deserved; strategic, economic and

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Daniel Owen Spence

operational. 137 While the Royal Navy appreciated the bigger picture, East Africa’s other colonial naval forces prioritised their own local defence ahead of the region’s. As the largest, most senior unit operating out of the major port, the KRNVR provided more for prospective recruits, and it was not above poaching personnel from the ZNVF to fill its own requirements. One case was Sub

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Daniel Owen Spence

the core principle of each was preserved through the KRNVR and its successor organisation, the Royal East African Navy (REAN). As discussed in the Caribbean, the value of such units became increasingly political and symbolic, as well as strategic, with the Admiralty stressing ‘the importance of encouraging the Colonial Naval Forces so that they may be a

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Daniel Owen Spence

colonial naval forces were necessary to ‘place our defences on sound foundations’, and ‘draw into active sympathy with them the very considerable number of our citizens who have inherited the ardent sea-love of our native country’. 14 The concern in Singapore came from Japan’s emergence as a naval superpower with imperial ambitions of its own and a deteriorating relationship with

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Abstract only
Daniel Owen Spence

returned to China. 171 Conclusion As with other colonial naval forces, the HKRNVR was born out of and developed according to a mixture of local and metropole influences, themselves shaped by a range of strategic, political, social, economic and cultural concerns. Though the Admiralty and Colonial Office encouraged the colonies to play their part in

in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
Race, indigenous naval recruitment and British colonialism, 1934–41
Daniel Owen Spence

preserving imperial prestige and colonial order, fortifying the empire physically and psychologically. Imperial discourses of power proliferated from the late nineteenth century, influenced by anthropological studies of indigenous peoples, to provide a moral and ideological justification for a British colonialism built upon systems of racial hierarchy and control. Colonial naval forces were indoctrinated in these discourses, with ideas of ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ and ‘Orientalism’ delineating a chain of command where paternalistic British officers instructed ‘native’ ratings as

in A new naval history