World War II shaped Uganda's postwar politics through local understandings of global war.1 Individually and collectively Ugandans saw the war as an opportunity rather than simply a crisis. During the War, the acquired wealth and demonstrated loyalty to a stressed British empire, inverting paternalistic imperial relations and investing loyalty and money in ways they expected would be reciprocated with political and economic rewards. For the 77,000 Ugandan enlisted soldiers and for the civilians who grew coffee and cotton, contributed money and organizational skills, and followed the war news, the war was not a desperate struggle for survival. Ideological aspects of the war, such as Fascism and Nazism, did not produce any widespread revulsion: Even at the height of the war, boys at the country's top school blithely organized a Nazi club.2 Instead, soldiers, fundraisers, and cotton growers sought personal opportunities as they demonstrated their loyalty and competence.
Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press. This chapter first appeared in Africa and World War II.
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Summers, Carol, and Ahmad Alawad Sikainga. "Ugandan Politics World War II (1939-1949)." In Africa and World War II, edited by Judith A. Byfield, Carolyn A. Brown, and Timothy Parsons, 480-98. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.