The role of Muslims in WW II

It is said that 5.5 million Muslims participated on the allied side of the war during WWII. Nearly 1.5 million Muslims were killed in action.

By World War II, the British Indian Army had grown significantly to 2.5 million. Of this approximately 1 million were Muslims.

Muslims mainly from India and African countries fought on three continents and played a decisive role in Britain’s first major land victory against Nazi Germany in North Africa.

They also fought valiantly in Somalia, Abyssinia and Madagascar.

The greatest Muslim contribution, as part of the British Indian Army, was fighting the Japanese in the Far East Campaign.

9,000 – 12,000 Palestinians fought for Britain in WW2 in Egypt and Mesopotamia as did 1,500 soldiers from the Arab Legion (Jordan).

The exact number of Muslim casualties are not known, but 87, 000 Indian servicemen died, 34, 354 were wounded and 67,340 became prisoners of war.

Asset 5

“We must not on any account break with the Moslems, who represent a hundred million people, and the main army elements on which we must rely for the immediate fighting”

Asset 6

Winston Churchill, 4th March, 1942, in his letter to Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States.

Reinforcements sent to Singapore and Malaya in November 1941.

Stay updated

Stay up to date with the latest news and events from the National Muslim War Memorial Trust.

By clicking “SIGN UP”  I agree to the National Muslim War Memorial Trust, and its representatives using the information I provide to contact me about their campaigns and opportunities to get involved. For more information see our Privacy Policy