Of Islands, Ports and Sea Lanes

Africa and the Indian Ocean in the Second World War

Ashley Jackson

Of Islands, Ports, and Sea Lanes provides a unique insight into the significance of African and Indian Ocean ports and sea lanes during the Second World War.
Date Published :
November 2018
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
War and Military Culture in South Asia, 1757-1949
Illustration :
2 Black & White maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781912390748
Pages : 324
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks


Of Islands, Ports, and Sea Lanes 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 theater 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.

About The Author

Ashley Jackson is Professor of Imperial and Military History at King’s College London and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College Oxford. He has written extensively on aspects of Britain’s imperial history, with a special interest in the Second World War.


Introduction The British Indian Ocean world
Chapter 1 - Ports, islands, and sea lanes in Africa and the Indian Ocean
Chapter 2 - The role of Africa’s ports and sea lanes
Chapter 3 - The role of Indian Ocean islands
Chapter 4 - German and Italian raiders and sea lane protection
Chapter 5 - The consequences of Japanese aggression
Chapter 6- Admiral Somerville and the reinforcement of the Indian Ocean
Chapter 7 - Holding the ring
Chapter 8 - The turn towards the offensive
Chapter 9 - Victory Japan

More from this publisher