The East African Naval Force (EANF) was constituted on 1 July 1950, becoming the Royal East African Navy (REAN) on the Queen's birthday of June 1952. The REAN regularly provided Aid to the Civil Power. In emphasising its success in teaching East Africans skills of economic management and good governance, the Navy was demonstrating that it too played an important role in preparing East Africans for eventual self-rule. E.A.Nicholson's welfare programme for African ratings went beyond naval training and was again tied to colonial development. The programme improved the social and economic condition of the men, their families, and the community, and illustrated their 'progress' under Britain's paternalistic instruction. The collaborative relationship with the Sultanate continued to be vital to Britain's imperial power in the region, but was challenged by Arab nationalism.
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.
cultural, political and legal obstacles to naval amalgamation; and the
effects of manpower shortages and compulsory service upon the
Navy’s racial management.
Chapter Five examines the influence of colonial
development discourse on naval and imperial strategy in post-warEastAfrica; issues regarding ethnic recruitment and management, ethnic
preferences, racial prejudice, indigenous customs, and pay; how