Role in WW2
Main article: Nyasaland in World War II
Throughout the war, the Nyasaland Protectorate was an economic asset for the Allies and contributed a significant number of soldiers to fight in the British Army. At the outbreak of war, the Acting Governor requested aid, fearful that the German settlers might organize a pro-Nazi uprising. In response, 50 soldiers from Southern Rhodesia arrived in Nyasaland by air. They returned to Salisbury after only a month, having found no risk of a possible rebellion. A number of camps were constructed in Nyasaland intended to house Polish war refugees. Additionally, perceived "enemy aliens" – primarily members of the German community, but also Italian settlers – were brought to Southern Rhodesia for internment during the war.
Many Nyasas fought for the British during the war, primarily as askaris of the King's African Rifles (KAR). Others were recruited into the Artillery, Engineers, Service Corps and Medical Corps, placing the total number of enlisted Nyasas at around 27,000. Nyasas fought in a number of theatres, including the East African Campaign, the Italian invasion of British Somaliland, the Battle of Madagascar, and the Burma Campaign. Nyasaland's economy benefited from the end of the war as returning soldiers came home with useful skills, such as the 3,000 who had been trained as lorry drivers.