Though the British Empire also won World War II, results of this war for it were terrifying. Europe lay in ruins and was actually occupied by armies of the USA and the USSR to which the balance of forces was displaced. Great Britain appeared on the verge of bankruptcy which was succeeded to avoid only thanks to the American loan in 3,5 billion dollars. The last payment on this loan was registered only in 2006.
In colonies anti-colonial movement sharply amplified. Despite the begun cold war between the USA and the USSR, both parties resisted to the European colonialism. Ordinary during this era expression "wind of change" meant that days of the British Empire are considered. Great Britain preferred to leave peacefully the colonies, having delegated the power to the stable noncommunistic governments whereas France and Portugal began expensive and unsuccessful wars, trying to keep the empires. During 1945 — 1965 the number of imperial citizens outside the mother country fell from 700 million to 5 million, from them 3 million lived in Hong Kong.