Relying on extensive oral interviews with WWII veterans in Botswana, Schmitt argues that British military policy during the Second World War directly impacted Bechuanaland's entry into the war, the nature of the soldier's service, and the lives of the individual soldiers. Because Bechuanaland was considered a small, rather unimportant backwater of colonial possessions, policy decisions were often influenced by the political situation in South Africa and by its attitudes towards arming Africans. Unwilling to cause friction with South Africa, Great Britain mirrored that policy with the recruitment, training, and deployment of soldiers from Bechuanaland during the Second World War. Once Great Britain realized that army recruitment strengths were below operational levels, recruiting began in Bechuanaland for many different types of support roles including anti-aircraft gunners, medical transport drivers, and pioneer duties. Over 10,000 soldiers from this small British protectorate served under British command and contributed significantly to operational readiness and effectiveness during the war.