Within the past two decades Great Britain, Western Europe, and the United States have given scholars greater access to records from the Second World War, as a result of which of several new books on the history of that period have been published. This book adds to the list. It centers on the Caribbean, examining the place of the Caribbean possessions of Britain, France, and the Netherlands within the complex strategy and diplomacy of the opposing coalitions during the war.
It has taken several years of work to produce this book, and in the process, individuals and organizations too numerous to mention have provided considerable assistance. Nevertheless, I wish to record my immense gratitude to at least some of the library and archive staffs which I consulted on both sides of the Atlantic, especially Dr. Dean Allard and the Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., and the directors and staff of the Old Archives Department of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, and of the Rijksinstitutie voor Oorslogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam. Professor Henri Michel of the International Committee for the History of the Second World War in Paris not only opened the library of his committee to me, but also offered encouragement over the years.
Financially, the Institute of Social and Economic Research of my university, the University of the West Indies, helped me secure a generous Ford Foundation Fellowship for visits to archives in London, Paris, The Hague, and Fort-de-France. In addition, the university's Research and Publications Grant Committee provided me with grants to acquire records for the study and to defray the expenses of preparing this manuscript for publication. This university body and the Faculty of Social Sciences also helped me to meet the expenses for preparing the final camera-ready manuscript for publication.
The planning and execution of this study owed much to the assistance of Professor Leslie Manigat and Dr. Vaughan Lewis when they served, respectively, as director of the Institute of International Relations and of the Institute of Social and