Of Islands, Ports, and Sea Lanes: Africa and the Indian Ocean in the Second World War

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Explains the operational and strategic importance of the ports and sea lanes of Africa and the Indian Ocean during the Second World War. In addition, it offers a novel account of the war in the Indian Ocean, a busy and vital theatre of military operations throughout the conflict, though one that is overlooked in most historical studies. An understanding of the significance of the Indian Ocean region, from imperial and strategic perspectives, helps bring unity to the Allied war effort in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and demonstrates how the highest levels of strategy depended on places, people, and infrastructure in faraway places of seemingly little consequence. The movement of goods and people by sea was central to the prosecution of the imperial and Allied war effort, and this was dependent upon ports and their facilities, together with troopships and merchantmen and the air and naval assets that protected them. The book offers a ‘how it worked’ guide to the Empire’s logistical system, and explains the interconnectivity of actions and events on land, sea, and air, detailing the indispensable role played by the ports and sea lanes of the African continent and the Indian Ocean, the British Empire’s great connector.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWarwick
PublisherHelion and Company
Number of pages324
ISBN (Electronic)9781913118426
ISBN (Print)9781912390748
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Publication series

NameWar and military culture in South Asia, 1757-1947


  • Second World War
  • Indian Ocean
  • Africa
  • Sea Lanes
  • Ports
  • Islands
  • Supply chains
  • Strategy
  • Logistics
  • British Empire


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