Written from a Zambian perspective, this leading study shows how the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia) organized and deployed human, military, and natural resources during and after the Second World War.
The Second World War brought unprecedented pressures to bear on Britain’s empire, which then included colonial Northern Rhodesia. Through new archival materials and oral histories, War and Society in Colonial Zambia tells—from an African perspective—the story of how the colony organized its human and natural resources on behalf of the imperial government.
Alfred Tembo first examines government propaganda and recruitment of personnel for the Northern Rhodesia Regiment, which served in East Africa, Palestine, Ceylon, Burma, and India. Later, Zambia’s economic contribution to the Allied war effort would foreground the central importance of the colony’s mining industry as well as its role as supplier of rubber and beeswax following the fall of the Southeast Asian colonies to the Japanese in early 1942. Finally, Tembo presents archival and oral evidence about life on the home front, including the social impact of wartime commodity shortages, difficulties posed by incoming Polish refugees, and the more interventionist forms of colonial governance that these circumstances engendered.