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United Kingdom

Full Name 3 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Alliance Allies - Major Member Nation
Entry into WW2 3 Sep 1939
Population in 1939 47,760,000
Military Deaths in WW2 382,600
Civilian Deaths in WW2 67,800


ww2dbaseThe horrors of World War I remained in the minds of the British, thus in the 1930s, the leaders of the United Kingdom did all they could to avoid another war. In 1937, appeaser Neville Chamberlain was appointed Prime Minister, who worked along that philosophy. With the backing of many of his peers, as well as contemporaries in other European nations, Chamberlain gave in to Adolf Hitler's increasingly aggressive demands. Some of them even viewed Nazi Germany as a potential future ally to fight the expansionist communist philosophy. Appeasement was not unopposed, however. Some Members of Parliament, notably Winston Churchill, preached that Hitler must be dealt with before Germany threatened peace, but he was not able to sway public opinion enough to change the United Kingdom's diplomatic philosophy. After the fall of Poland and at the same time of the German invasion of France, Chamberlain realized his appeasement attempts truly had failed, and resigned from his post. Churchill was appointed his successor and led the United Kingdom for the remainder of the war.

ww2dbaseWith the support the Commonwealth allies such as Canada, Australia, India, and others, Churchill aimed to maintain presence in North Africa so that the United Kingdom could search out for an opportunity to strike Italy and the Balkans, the weak underbelly of Europe, into the heart of Axis. Meanwhile, the existence of Britain itself was threatened as the Battle of the Atlantic slowly cut away the imports Britain needed to survive. Franklin Roosevelt, the President of the United States, helped by means of the Lend-Lease program, but that could only go so far.

ww2dbaseThe war situation began to change after the United States entered the war after the Pearl Harbor attack. Although the loss of Malaya and Singapore was disheartening and Australia now became in danger of being attacked by Japan, the United States was now an ally in war. It took the United States some time to begin churning her industrial capability, but when she did, the tides of war began to change in favor of the United Kingdom. The American involvement in North Africa helped expelling German and Italian forces from the region, and from there the invasion of Sicily toppled Benito Mussolini's regime. As the Italian Campaign very slowly pushed the German forces back, the Americans persuaded the British to commence a cross-Channel invasion on France, which Churchill, advocate of going through Southern Europe, at first opposed but eventually had to give in. The campaign in France marked the beginning of the end of Germany.

ww2dbaseIn the east, after losing Malaya and Singapore, the United Kingdom also lost Burma to the Japanese. The Japanese Navy posed a threat, too, after its successful excursion into the Indian Ocean. But the Commonwealth of India supported by the United Kingdom held fast, preventing Japan from entering India.

ww2dbaseWhen WW2 ended, the United Kingdom emerged victorious but she was financially damaged. She began losing influence over her overseas possessions one by one, while the United States seemed to have picked up the role of the world leader that the United Kingdom had once held.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Apr 2007

Alexander, HaroldFrantisek, JosefNewman, Maxwell
Amerasekera, RohanFraser, BruceO'Connor, Richard
Attlee, ClementFreyberg, BernardOulds, D. C.
Auchinleck, ClaudeGeddes, AndrewPark, Keith
Backhouse, RogerGeorge VIParnall, C. H.
Bader, DouglasGiffard, GeorgePercival, Arthur
Beadell, S. J.Guinness de Cuffe, AlecPhillips, Thomas
Beattie, StephenHalifaxPortal, Charles
BeaverbrookHall, VirginiaPound, Dudley
Beekman, YolandeHarris, ArthurPownall, Henry
Bennett, DonaldHenderson, NevileRamsay, Bertram
Bevin, ErnestHobart, PercyRutland, F. J.
Brand, QuintinHollis, StanleySaul, Richard
Brooke, AlanHore-Belisha, LeslieSaundby, Robert
Browning, FrederickInayat Khan, NoorSlim, William
Burnett, CharlesIsmay, HastingsSmith, Dennis
Byck, MurielIwanow-Szajnowicz, JerzySmuts, Jan
Caldwell, CliveJackie MoggridgeSomerville, James
Carr, RoderickJeanStewart, Hugh
Chamberlain, NevilleJohnson, AmySzabo, Violette
Christine GranvilleJohnson, JamesSzenes, Hannah
Churchill, WinstonJones, ReginaldTedder, Arthur
Cochrane, ArchibaldKnox, JeanTomlin, H. W.
Coningham, ArthurLacey, JamesTravers, Susan
Coote, RegLeese, OliverTuker, Francis
Crutchley, VictorLeigh-Mallory, TraffordTuring, Alan
Cunningham, AndrewLen PuttnamVan Lierde, Remy
Cunningham, JohnLonsdale, RupertVereker, John
Dempsey, MilesLothianVian, Philip
Dill, JohnMalindine, EdwardWallis, Barnes
Dilly KnoxMapham, JamesWarren, Allan
Dimoline, HarryMason, HerbertWavell, Archibald
Dimoline, WilliamMontgomery, BernardWingate, Orde
Douglas, SholtoMorrison, HerbertWinton, Nicholas
Dowding, HughMosley, Oswald
Eden, AnthonyMountbatten, Louis

Events Taken Place in United Kingdom
Second London Naval Conference21 Jan 1930 - 22 Apr 1930
Anglo-German Naval Agreement18 Jun 1935
Third London Naval Conference9 Dec 1935 - 25 Mar 1936
Hoare-Laval Pact10 Dec 1935
Polish-British Common Defense Pact25 Aug 1939
Operation Peking29 Aug 1939 - 1 Sep 1939
British Pet Massacre3 Sep 1939 - 11 May 1941
Enigma Code Broken14 Jan 1940
Anti-Italian Riots10 Jun 1940
British Attacks on the French Fleet3 Jul 1940 - 25 Sep 1940
Battle of Britain10 Jul 1940 - 31 Oct 1940
Arctic Convoys21 Aug 1941 - 30 May 1945
Operation Mincemeat30 Apr 1943
Exercise Tiger22 Apr 1944 - 28 Apr 1944
V-Weapons Campaign13 Jun 1944 - 30 Mar 1945
Operation Aphrodite and Operation Anvil4 Aug 1944 - 1 Jan 1945

A.W.38 WhitleyBombayLancasterS.25 SunderlandTyphoon
A.W.41 AlbemarleDH.89 DominieLysanderSea OtterWalrus
AS.10 OxfordFireflyM.14 MagisterSealWelkin
AlbacoreFulmarM.9 MasterSkuaWellesley
AnsonG.A.L. 49 HamilcarManchesterSpitfireWellington
BeaufighterHampdenP.82 DefiantTempest
BlenheimHurricaneRocType 432

ActivityColossusExpressKing George VRepulse
Admiral-classColossus-classFairmile D-classKing George V-class (1911)Resolution
AdulaCornwallFlower-classKing George V-class (1939)Rodney
AlbatrossCossackFormidableLST-412Royal Sovereign
AmeerCourageousFuriousLondonSunfish (S-class)
Ark RoyalDorsetshireHermesOberonVictorious
BarhamDragonHoodPrince of WalesWarspite
BelfastDuke of YorkHoweQueen ElizabethWestcott
BirminghamEagleIllustriousQueen ElizabethWhitehall
Cachalot (Grampus-class)EdinburghIndomitableQueen MaryX-class

16HDaimler Scout Car 'Dingo'
6-TonHobart's Funnies
AECHumber Armored Car
Carden LoydHumber Light Reconnaissance Car
Commercial C8 FATInfantry Mk II Matilda
CoventryInfantry Mk III Valentine
CrossleyInfantry Mk IV Churchill
Cruiser Comet ILight Amphibious Tank
Cruiser Mk ILight Mk VII Tetrarch
Cruiser Mk IIM20
Cruiser Mk IIIMWD
Cruiser Mk IVMedium Mark A Whippet
Cruiser Mk V CovenanterT17 Staghound
Cruiser Mk VI CrusaderValentine Archer
Cruiser Mk VII CavalierValentine Bishop
Cruiser Mk VIII Centaur/CromwellW/NG 350
Daimler Armored CarWelbike

3 in 20 cwt Anti-Aircraft GunLewis Machine Gun
3.45 in RCL Mk 1 Recoilless GunNo. 5 'Mills bomb' Grenade
3.7 in Mk 1 Anti-Aircraft GunNo. 68 Grenade
3.7 in Mk 1 Recoilless GunNo. 69 Grenade
3.7 in Mk 6 Anti-Aircraft GunNo. 70 Grenade
4.5 in Mk 2 Anti-Aircraft GunNo. 74 'Sticky Bomb' Grenade
5.5 in Gun Field GunNo. 75 'Hawkins' Grenade
6 in Mk 24 Coastal Defense GunNo. 76 Grenade
6 pdr Twin Coastal Defense GunNo. 80 Grenade
7.2 in How Mk 6 Anti-Aircraft GunNo. 82 'Gammon Bomb' Grenade
7.2 in How Mk 6 Field GunNorthover Projector Launcher
95 mm Mk 1 Recoilless GunOrdnance ML 3-inch Mortar Launcher
Anderson Shelter Air Raid ShelterOrdnance QF 2 pounder Anti-Tank Gun
BC-41 BladeOrdnance QF 25 pounder Field Gun
BL 15 in Mk I Coastal Defense GunOrdnance QF 3.7 inch Mountain Howitzer Field Gun
BL 4.5 inch Medium Field GunOrdnance QF 4.5 inch Howitzer Field Gun
BL 9.2 inch Mk X Coastal Defense GunOrdnance QF 6-pounder 7 cwt Field Gun
Boys Anti-Tank RifleOrdnance SBML 2-inch Mortar Launcher
Bren Machine GunPIAT Launcher
De Lisle Carbine RifleSten Submachine Gun
Enfield No. 2 HandgunVickers Gun Machine Gun
Fairbairn-Sykes BladeVickers K Machine Gun
Lanchester Submachine GunVickers-Berthier Machine Gun
Lee-Enfield No. 4 RifleWebley Mk IV Handgun
Lee-Enfield No. 5 Rifle

Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of United Kingdom
BahamasCanadaMuscat and Oman
BarbadosChristmas IslandNew Hebrides
BermudaFijiNew Zealand
British CameroonsGibraltarNewfoundland
British GuianaGilbert and Ellice IslandsNorth Borneo
British Leeward IslandsGuernseySarawak
British PalestineHong KongSingapore
British SomalilandIndiaSouth Africa
British West AfricaJamaicaTonga
British Western Pacific TerritoriesJerseyTrinidad
British Windward IslandsKenya

10 Downing StreetGovernment Building
Bletchley ParkOther
Danesfield HouseOther
Debach AirfieldAirfield
Old Buckenham AirfieldAirfield
RAF NewchurchAirfield
RAF Woodhall SpaAirfield
ROF ChorleyFactory
Scapa FlowNaval Port


WW2-Era Weather Data for United Kingdom


UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Downing Street, London, England, United Kingdom, 5 Jun 1943; he had just returned from the US after a meeting with RooseveltConsuelo Vanderbilt and Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, United Kingdom, 1902
See all 492 photographs of United Kingdom in World War II


1919 British Admiralty chart of Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom.

United Kingdom in World War II Interactive Map

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
30 Sep 2007 12:53:25 AM

The number of British Civilian deaths (varies from different sources) were in the region of c.60,500 from enemy bombing plus 30,248 merchant mariners. These figures do not include the large number of fatalities indirectly due to the war (Industrial and Mining accidents, Traffic accidents caused by the Black out etc).
2. stannous Flouride says:
7 Dec 2007 02:22:54 AM

Though members of the Commonwealth, nations such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada were independent countries and to just toss them into the UK basket does disservice to 1,000s of those who served and died for their countries.
3. Matt says:
14 Mar 2008 03:33:39 AM

Like Stannous Flouride, its disappointing to see you not recognising properly the large sacrifice that the commonwealth (Britsh Empire) made to the War Effort both militarily and economically. Militarily the countries of the empire/commonwealth served in Battle of Britain, Greece and then North African Campaign and then later and Northern Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific. The Pacific Theatre had little British involvement after the loss of Singapore. To discount the Military losses of Canada (45,300), Australia (39,400),New Zealand and South Africa (11900 a piece), is disappointing. Why can't this be fixed?
4. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
14 Mar 2008 05:32:00 AM

Hey there Stannous Flouride and Matt, just want to let you guys know that I've read your comments regarding the Commonwealth nations. I've recently added Canada to the countries list, and a fellow contributor, Morgan, is working on the profile for Australia. More will be forth coming! This particular page will always stay UK itself only. Please go to the country listing page for the Commonwealth nations.
5. Vishal Bhatia says:
4 Dec 2008 02:47:57 AM

Sir, No offence but I believe India ought to be included, if not as a seperate entity, then perhaps as British India. But I doubt, if my countrymen would be okay with that.
6. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
25 May 2009 04:18:40 PM

Did you know,that England still had shortages and rationing until 1950.
7. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
15 Jun 2009 10:33:46 AM

In Britian,the Yanks were said to be: "Overpaid, Oversexed, Overfed and Overhere." The Americans countered this, by saying: The Brits were "Undepaid, Undesexed, Underfed and Under Eisenhower."
8. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
15 Jun 2009 03:27:39 PM

For #7 I was in error in spelling. In Britian, the Yanks were said to be: "Overpaid, Oversexed, Overfed and Overhere." The Americans countered this by saying: The Brits were "Underpaid, Undersexed, Underfed and Under Eisenhower".
9. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
20 Jun 2009 08:30:04 PM

Correction #6 May 25,2009 Rationing: Food and fuel shortages continued after the end of World War II, rationing did not end until 1954, by which time even bread was rationed. However, the postwar years saw the start of the Welfare State, with such benefits as free health care and family allowances. Did you know: By the time the wae ended the number of women workers had grown to two million, and they made up 43% of the total work force. Returning back to regular post- war life was difficult and hard, and the divorce rate soared. During the war, about 200,00 men were kept in reserve,such as farming and many women worked war production. At first the Government relied on women to volunteer but by 1941 the Government introduced conscription! they were drafted!! All women age 18 through 60 had to register married or single, for war work and could be assigned to work in factories or in agriculture, or auxillary services Despite their valuable contributions, women were not given equal pay with men. A total of 22,000,000 men and women served in the armed forces, war production and civil defence in 1943. Everyone had to carry an ID card supplies of food, fuel and water were restricted, and food rationing started in January,1940 every household was issued a ration card and by law was regestered with local shops. Most people felt the rationing was fair and some people ate better than they had during the drpression, However shortages were felt everywhere clothes, stockings, cosmetics and other consumer goods disappeared. When I went to England in 1967, World War II had ended twenty two years ago, and at that time you could travel around London and still see damaged and bombed out buildings. It has taken decades for Western Europe to rebuild itself. Berlin is known today, as the city of seven hills. The hills were from the debris of the thousands of buildings destroyed, creating the seven hills.
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Mar 2010 06:43:25 PM

Wartime Life in England July 1939 petrol was rationed to 200 miles per-week. 1940 building of automobiles stopped. 1942 pertol for private use was stopped. Average wage: Men in 1939 was three pounds, nine shillings. Women wages in 1939 one pound, twelve shillings. Enlisted servicemen were paid two shillings a day. Bottle of whiskey 13 shillings and sixpence. Price of Gold, 8 pounds, or(sixteen dollars an ounce in 1940 dollars). Eggs were rationed two eggs per-person per week. All food stuff fresh ,canned, dry foods and just about all consumer goods. But there was always a black market for anything if one had the money.
11. Anonymous says:
30 Sep 2011 02:11:16 AM

I can recall that during the early 50s in Ulster I had to have a coupon to purchase a bar of confectionary.
12. Vikki says:
8 Oct 2011 05:33:22 PM

For thorough stats on civilian deaths, rationing, home front issues, volunteer organization, survivors of the Blitz, and depth of topics similiar to above I refer everyone to the book 'Wartime Britain 1939-1945' by Juliet Gardiner.
13. MacCoinnich says:
14 Mar 2013 03:39:46 AM

No6: Bill, England is not Britain, not sure why people continue to refer to our island as England, it never has been an island called England & as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, it never will!
24 Nov 2017 05:08:27 AM

British has fought over a hundred wars, but has never worn any. She even lost independence wars to smaller and very weak African states like Uganda, Kenya etc. Shame on her.

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United Kingdom in World War II Photo Gallery
UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Downing Street, London, England, United Kingdom, 5 Jun 1943; he had just returned from the US after a meeting with RooseveltConsuelo Vanderbilt and Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, United Kingdom, 1902
See all 492 photographs of United Kingdom in World War II

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943