Britain was not the only country to suffer from bombing raids and
the threat of invasion during the Second World War. Many countries
of the Colonial Empire (now the Commonwealth) and other nations
associated with the Allies also came under attack.
One of the first countries to experience heavy bombing was Malta,
a British colony. The Italians and Germans wanted to stop the island
from being used as a military base by the Allied powers and started
a bombing campaign in 1940. By the end of the war more than 14,000
bombs had been dropped on Malta, killing 1,500 people and destroying
over 30,000 buildings but the island did not surrender. As a tribute
to its bravery, the King awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942.
Australia also came under attack from Japan. In February 1942 a
force led by Vice-Admiral Kondo attacked the port of Darwin. Four
aircraft carriers with supporting battleships, cruisers and destroyers
approached the Australian coast and, early in the morning, over
one hundred aircraft were launched. In the raid, many Australian
ships and aeroplanes were destroyed and an attack was also made
on the town.
As a result of attacks like these, many countries thought they
could be invaded. To protect themselves they set up local defence
forces and other organisations such as Air Raid Precautions units.