1. When the Japanese were winning the war in East Asia and were threatening to invade India, it was said that they are Indian soldiers loyal to them would be in Delhi within 10 days. A Punjabi soldier on the border with Burma joked: “Not if they go by train they won’t”.
2. Black American soldiers were stationed in Trinidad in 1941, then a British colony. The money, smart clothes and self confidence they had amazed the more poverty stricken Trinidadians. A calypso singer wrote these sad lyrics:“I was living with a decent and contented wife…Until the soldiers came and broke up my life.”
(the British Colonial Office, afraid that the example of the American black soldiers would cause a revolt among the black people under their rule asked that the soldiers be sent away and insisted that such Black American soldiers in West Africa not take leave in British colonies… all while supposedly fighting Nazi racist ideology).
3. There was considerable doubt as to how much the white Commonwealth countries would support Britain if war came with the Germans and/or the Japanese. Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand had all refused to help, or only helped in a lukewarm way, at various times of trouble in the 20s and 30s (which is understandable after the big loss of life all those places suffered in WW1). But when Chamberlain declared on the 3rd of September that it was war a cable message arrived soon after in London from a tiny Caribbean colony, saying: “Don’t worry; Barbados is with you.”
(I wonder if anyone remembered that rather touching event during the race riots in Britain in the late 50s?)