In the aftermath of the Second World War, the British Commonwealth faced the twin ‘threats’ of decolonisation and communism, with many across the Commonwealth seeing decolonisation as the first step towards communist dictatorship. Recent scholarship has shown that the British attempted to ‘manage’ the decolonisation process to prevent socialist movements or national liberation movements sympathetic to the Soviet Bloc from coming to power. Therefore Britain, along with the Dominions, co-ordinated their intelligence services to combat the communist threat across the Commonwealth. This paper explores how this co-ordination of anti-communist efforts was implemented in Britain, Australia and South Africa in the early Cold War era, which involved the breaking of strikes using the armed forces, the close monitoring of ‘persons of interest’ and the (attempted) banning of the Communist Party. It also seeks to demonstrate that the history of anti-communism, similar to communism, has an international dimension that is only starting to be investigated by historians.
- International communism
- South Africa