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Thread: Churchill's major blunders.

  1. #1
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    Default Churchill's major blunders.

    Churchill once said "I expect history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it", which has become a self-fullfilling profecy. Churchill received the Nobel prize for his WW II books and has become an iconic figure in history. However, we seldom see critical dscriptions of his performance during the war.

    1) Churchill conceived and directed the Norwegian campaign. He had informed Chamberlain's cabinet that the German's could not realistically occupy Norway with their very limited naval resources facing the formidable British and French fleets. After Germany had occupied Norway and most of the German navy had been sunk or severely damaged, the British and French navies withdrew, rendering moot the lost ships, planes and men and allowing Germany use of a very long coast to sink the allied ships with submarines and planes, to attack the USSR from northern Finland and to bomb Scotland.
    Ironically, it would be Chamberlain's head that would role because of the Norwegian blunder, and Churchill would rise to prime minister.

    2) After 30,000 Britons had defeated 100,000 Italians in Libya, but just before they had expelled the axis from the continent, Churchill decided to send them to Greece and to the Sudan. The British would lose thousands of lives and many planes and ships in Greece without achieving absolutely anything, other than to lose face and moral. Meantime, Italy and Germany would consolidate their positions in Africa, so that Britain would lose thousands of lives and a great many ships, tanks, airplanes, etc, fighting the axis in Malta and Africa.

    3) Although Stalin had enabled Hitler's invasion of Poland and become his accomplice, sharing Poland and then attacked Finland and enabled Hitler's conquest of France and fighting the battle of Britain by selling oil, chromium, manganese and other minerals to Germany and although Chamberlain in 1939 and then Churchill in 1941 had turned down Stalin's offer to form an alliance, and although Churchill had spoken vehemently against Stalin for many years, As soon as Hitler invaded the USSR, Churchill not only said words of praise for Stalin, but rushed to become his ally and sent him hundreds of Hurricanes and 350 tanks stationed in Malaya-Singapore in 1941. Ironically when the Japanese attacked with 30,000 men, 200 tanks and hundreds of modern planes from the aircrafts and from Indochina, the 90,000 British troops had not a single tank and only a few obsolete Brewster Buffaloes to defend themselves. During the battle, 35,000 more men would be sent in and a few dozen Hurricanes would be launched from carriers at a time on a couple of missions but would be destroyed peacemeal. The Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk off the Malayan coast by japanese bombers from Indochina, for lack of air cover (the few Buffaloes were defending Singapore) and could have otherwise privided deadly naval artillery support. Churchill was furious when Singapore fell, forgetting completely that he had been the one who deprived them of hundreds of tanks and Hurricanes. The same fate would befall Burma, Indonesia, etc, Ceylon, the British Pearl Harbor, would be bombed and the British fleet would flee to Kenya, leaving the Pacific and the Indian Ocean at the mercy of the Japanese. On the other hand, Stalin would grow so powerful that had the atomic bomb not worked, all of Europe would have fallen under his yoke.

    4) Churchill wasted an enormous amount of resources and lives bombing German cities without fighter escort to no avail. These bombings included many strategically irrelevant cities like Nuremberg (170 planes lost in one raid), Dresden, Cologne, Munich, etc, affected German production very little and cost a fortune. 600,000 German civialians were murdered this way. Hitler benefitted in that he had to feed fewer children, unproductive women and old people and the soldiers preferred to stay at the front than to go on leave to their depressing, destroyed cities. The German industry moved underground and increased production considerably during 1943 and 44. Churchill received three times more lend-lease money than Stalin and used it quite inefficiently. Had the Americans not provided the UK and the USSR with incredible amounts of fuel, planes, ships, tanks, trucks, food, etc, and destroyed thousands of German planes, Germany, with rather limited resources would have defeated them.

    5) Roosevelt provided a lot of help to Churchill and the only thing he asked Churchill to do was to recover Burma ASAP, the only land route to supply China. However, Churchill preferred to play in Africa and gave Monty lots of tanks, airplanes and men and used the navy and RAF in Malta to prevent Rommel from receiving any supplies (Monty could only defeat Rommel if he had many more men, tanks, etc,). Accordingly, Churchill did extremely little in Burma,allowing the Japanese to use its oil and rice and forcing the Americans to spend a fortune supplying the Chinese by air over the Himalayas. Ironically, Monty had tens of thousands of Indian soldiers in El Alamein, while millions of Indians would starve to death for lack of the rice from Burma (the largest rice exporter in the world before the Japanese occupied it). The powerful British navy lost an incredible amount of ships and men defending and supplying Malta, but no ships recovering Rangoon, so close to its base in Ceylon.
    Last edited by samjok; 03-09-2011 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    A few quick points, Churchill had his faults and at the time of the events (even later) he could justify his decisions whether they were right afterwards or not (hindsight is a wonderful thing)

    Note 1
    Technically Britain and France invaded Norway before the Germans, the operation was to prevent iron ore from Sweden reaching Germany (German ships could travel safely through Norweigan territorial waters with the ore almost the whole way). The Naval force could only do so much to counter land and air forces, as as it turned out Germany attacked almost the same time as Britain and France were landing Troops (In some literature it has been claimed that the well known allied intentions were the casus belli for Germany).

    Note 2
    Churchill thought the Italian Forces were destroyed North Africa and that he could help save Greece so having another country in the Allied camp. With hindsight it was the wrong decision and at the time many were opposed to it, I know the German forces did make initial plans in early 1940 to help the Italians if needed but have no idea whether Churchill knew or considered the possibility that they would get involved.

    Note 3
    sent him (Stalin) hundreds of Hurricanes and 350 tanks stationed in Malaya-Singapore in 1941
    The tanks and aircraft were sent from the UK not Singapore where the British considered the terrain un-suitable, there were a lot of bigger failures in the supply and command chain for the disasters there.

    Note 4
    The bombing of the German cities may or may not have contributed to the demoralisation of the German people but it did have an effect on the war effort.
    Germany diverted more and more resources to defence against the Allied bombers. All the AA guns, their munitions, crews took manpower and resources from the front line. The diversion of aircraft production to fighters for defence of Germany meant they were not available to the troops on the ground. Construction of shelters and Flak Towers drew further resources as did the increase in AA protection on Dams after the Dambuster raids.
    The relocation of factorys slowed production up as did dispersal to smaller workshops, it was a testament to Albert Speer who in 1942 geared up German war production properly that German production increased despite lessening resources.
    With the German love of technical inventions the diversion of scientists and engineers along with the attendant resources to develop more types of weapons to use against the bombers (many of the inventions were dead ends as well) had an effect.

    Note 5
    The US sold (or at least Lend Lease) aid to the UK not quite gave to Churchill,
    The UK Armed Forces was in 1941 (when Japan entered the war) quite stretched due to many years of neglect prior to WW2 (they had to pick and choose where to equip and where not to). FDR and Churchill did come to one agreement that I know of regarding Japan and that was Germany First.
    I will admit I have never heard of a promise to clear the Burma trail asap but Slims army has always been considered the Forgotten Army. It took along time to train the Army to how to fight and live effectively in the Jungles, the Japanese forces were a lot better suited to the type of fighting.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    The UK Armed Forces was in 1941 (when Japan entered the war) quite stretched due to many years of neglect prior to WW2
    A process initiated by a Chancellor of the Exchequer 1924-29 who took the view that it was more important to reduce taxes than to maintain the armed forces, and who accordingly ran down the armed forces, notably the RN. The Chancellor was Churchill.

    Ironically, in the 1930s he became an advocate of rearmament to meet Hitler's threat.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Hi Leccy,
    1) Chamberlain authorized the Norwegian campaign, based on Churchill's assertion that the German's could not possibly occupy Norway (kicking out the allies, as they actually did). Like I said, ironically, Chamberlain lost his job, not Churchill, the instigator.
    The Kriegsmarine had lost 10 destroyers sunk and 6 damaged (out of 20), as well as cruisers, submarines, tankers, most of its planes etc, and was in a lousy position to supply its troops, which were still fighting the Norwegians when the French and British fleets withdrew. Allowing Hitler to send to France most of the 1,000 planes he had in Norway.

    2) Churchill knew the Italians were not finished and was told so by his generals, who opposed the completely hopeless Greek campaign.

    3) The 350 tanks to which I refer were transported from Malaya-Singapore, leaving the troops defenseless against the 200 Japanese tanks, which were inferior to the old British tanks removed from Malaya-Singapore. The hundred of Hurricanes were sent from Britain and if they had been sent to Singapore, Burma, etc, instead of to the USSR would have dissuaded the Japanese from attacking or inflicted enormous losses on them.
    The British pilots were so good, that even with the obsolete Buffaloes they shot down a few Zeroes. Had they had 150 hurriicanes, besides the few Buffaloes, they would have trounced the japs and saved the repulse and Prince of Wales, Saving Malaya.

    4) The bombing cost 100,000 aviators and billions of dollar in fuel, bombs, planes, etc, boosted German hatred for the Brits and helped Stalin considerably by distracting many fighters from the eastern front, but certainly did not produce any return on investement for Britain. Like I said, had the atomic bomb not worked, Stalin would have taken Britain more easily in 1945 than Germany in 1940 adn been an even worse dictator. Why not let the two tyrants that started the war bleed each other to death before attacking them.

    5) The prices for lend-lease were below cost. Moreover, Britain was at war and would have certainly lost, had the Japs not attacked Pearl Harbor and forced the US into the war. Had Britain lost or reneged on its debt, the US would not have recovered even the small fraction that they recovered at low interest in 50 years.
    After Churchill lost 18 destroyers (sunk or damaged) in Dunkirk, Roosevelt gave him 50 WW I destroyers that would have been invaluable in the Philippines. The worse he performed, the more he received.

    Regarding Burma, the Japanese entered through the jungle and through Rangoon (where the British left them 800,000 tons of supplies in the docks). The British were much better equipped to invade Rangoon (on the coast, very close to India), thus isolating the japanese troops in the rest of Burma. However, Churchill did not care at all about the east, prefering to concentrate exclusively on bombing Germany and fighting in Africa and Italy.
    5 million Indians served in WW II and 3 million civilians starved to death

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Raf Bomber crew losses were around 45% which equalled somewhere in the region of 55,000 crew. (To all operations not just city bombing). At the time it was the only way that Britain could strike back, this was vital for home morale and also to keep Stalin convinced that Britain was doing something with his continual request for a second front. (The bomber force was not even equipped to operate effectively until late 1942 to mid 1943). The Luftwaffe Flak units by 1944 had a manpower of 1,300,000 personnel to protect the cities and essential industries, the Heer and Kreigsmarine also had their own Flak units. No matter what you say the resources and manpower that were used were very significant and prevented them from being used elsewhere. You said yourself less fighters on the Eastern Front which helped the Soviet Forces in turn they ground down the Heer.

    The losses the Kreigsmarine suffered in 1940 in Norway was a blow that would make them less capable for the planned Op Sealion when it came about. Britain and France wished to forestall a German attempt to invade but like each attempt in the early part of the war they were out fought. Britain kept most of its airpower at home for home defence (In 1940 Britian was not equipped to fight a war in Europe and was still rapidly trying to re-equip) so troops abroad were disadvantaged by a lack of air cover (It did not help that HMS Glorious was lost there).

    Churchill may have known they were not finished but he did know they were incapable of offensive operations (when Rommel landed with his forces even the OKW did not consider them capable of launching a major offensive). He did however think that Greece could be saved (The Italians had already been beaten by the Greeks and he was hoping to intervene before the Germans could) rightly or wrongly. Hindsight is a great thing.

    Britain paid the going cost in Gold for equipment provided by the US prior to lend lease which actually started in 1941 and there was also a part not much known called reverse Lend Lease where equipment and resources were provided to the US (Britain paid the debt off for 70 years not 50 the last payment was in Dec 2006 of approx 42 million pounds).
    The old Flush Deck Destroyers were started to be delivered in Sept 1940 and were in a separate deal (destroyers for bases), the ships had been in the US reserve fleet and were in a poor condition most requiring extensive work to get them fit for combat after being transferred to the RN, it was 1941 before they were ready generally around March time (have only looked at the service records of about half though). This left 120 for the US Fleet (many of which required extensive work or were modified to make ready for combat as maintenance was minimal while they were laid up due to costs, some were deemed to be too far gone)

    Interested to find out about these 350 tanks that Britain had in Malaya/Singapore in 1941 as I only knew of a couple of squadrons of tanks and armoured cars including the KNIL units (Britain sent Matildas and Valentines to the USSR in 1941 I did not think any of them served outside of Europe and the Med till much later). The RAF provided Hurricanes to the Soviets but only a couple of Squadrons in 1941.
    Some of the troops sent there were woefully equipped and trained to fight in the terrain, many units were understrength while the enemy were under estimated. Although there were tensions with Japan in 1941 Britian was not expecting to be at war with it whereas it was at war with Germany and so helped a nation that was believed by many would collapse under the German Blitzkreig like the rest of the occupied countries had.

    The two tyrants who started the war. Interesting concept, most seem to accept that the real cause of WW2 was the harsh settlement at the end of WW1 which fostered resentment and fueled Hitlers retoric and rise. Stalins rise was likewise reliant on actions in the Revolution. So both Dictators could be said to have risen to power due to events in WW1.

    I cant comment on events in India as I have no knowledge of events there.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Quote Originally Posted by samjok View Post
    However, Churchill did not care at all about the east, prefering to concentrate exclusively on bombing Germany and fighting in Africa and Italy.
    Not at all.

    As I posted at #11 in the Empire Star thread:

    Churchill told his Chiefs of Staff on 21 January 1942, several weeks before the surrender of Singapore, that he regarded keeping the Burma Road open as more important than holding Singapore and asked them to consider evacuating Singapore rather than surrendering it. (Churchill, Hinge of Fate, pp 49-50, (The Second World War, Vol IV) Cassell, London, 1951)
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/show...ht=#post175783

    After the fall of Singapore, the Australian 7th Division was returning to Australia from North Africa for home defence when Churchill diverted it to Burma without consulting the Australian government. The Australian Prime Minister stood up to him and ensured that the 7th Division returned to Australia, where it was crucial in defeating the Japanese in Papua New Guinea.

    Churchill clearly recognised the strategic importance of Burma and was prepared to reinforce Burma with a division which he thought was at his disposal.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Quote Originally Posted by samjok View Post
    The 350 tanks to which I refer were transported from Malaya-Singapore, leaving the troops defenseless against the 200 Japanese tanks, which were inferior to the old British tanks removed from Malaya-Singapore.
    I don't recall there being any British true tanks, as distinct from a few light tanks which were pretty much armoured cars, in Malaya in the second half of 1941, let alone 350.

    I also don't recall there being in Malaya in 1941 an armoured unit of the size which would be attached to 350 tanks which, as I'm not familiar with British armoured units' TO&E in 1941, I'm guessing would be about a division or more. What happened to the armoured unit(s) attached to the tanks?

    Do you have any sources for this information?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Quote Originally Posted by samjok View Post
    ...
    After Churchill lost 18 destroyers (sunk or damaged) in Dunkirk, Roosevelt gave him 50 WW I destroyers that would have been invaluable in the Philippines. The worse he performed, the more he received.
    ....h
    I'm not sure how 50 antiquated destroyers needing extensive refurbishing would have made any difference to the isolated garrisons in the Philippines. One can argue that those destroyers in RN hands were certainly directly beneficial to the U.S. as some were used in antisubmarine operations IIRC...

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I'm not sure how 50 antiquated destroyers needing extensive refurbishing would have made any difference to the isolated garrisons in the Philippines. One can argue that those destroyers in RN hands were certainly directly beneficial to the U.S. as some were used in antisubmarine operations IIRC...
    Would there have been enough fuel for them in the Philippines?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    I tried to post the link For the 350 tanks, but was not allowed. please look up Arthur Pecival at historylearningsite.co.uk


    Churchill's comments about evacuating Singapore in late January 42 show his almost unlimited military incompetence. Besides beating the Italians in Africa, the British had only excellent at evacuating troops in Norway, operations Dynamo, Ariel, Greece, etc, Always at a great cost in planes, ships, men, moral, etc. However, with Japanese planes, carriers, cruisers and submarines around Singapore-Malaya, only Churchill would be nave enough to think about evacuating with a very limited navy and without air cover. If the Repulse and Prince of Wales could not defend themselves, how could the ships docked and evacuating 100,000 troops all the way to Kenya survive? On the other hand, after having lost Poland, Norway, France, Singapore, etc, in record time for lack of airplanes, you would think that Churchill would have realized that he could not hold Burma without the hundreds of Hurricanes he had sent in 1941 and continued sending in 1942 to Stalin.

    The 50 destroyers were not junk at all, they had an excellent speed and used coal. The Texas and many excellent British ships dated back to WW I and served very well. The destroyer's artillery would have been extremely useful in the Philippines, even if a few of them had been beached and partly covered with sand bags to protect from air attack.
    Last edited by samjok; 03-10-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    I take it you mean this passage

    But it was Churchill who had ordered all the 350 tanks in Malaya to be moved to the Russian front as a show of faith between the USSR and Britain. Japan had 200 light tanks in the Battle for Malaya while the British had none. Likewise, the request for 566 aircraft to give aerial cover to ground troops was ignored by the War Cabinet who considered that 336 would be sufficient.
    from
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...r_percival.htm

    Any other links to maybe units etc because I have not seen anything except a few light tanks and armoured cars in any OOB or TOE for the theatre.


    Churchill's comments about evacuating Singapore in late January 42 show his almost unlimited military incompetence. Besides beating the Italians in Africa, the British had only excellent at evacuating troops in Norway, operations Dynamo, Ariel, Greece, etc, Always at a great cost in planes, ships, men, moral, etc. However, with Japanese planes, carriers, cruisers and submarines around Singapore-Malaya, only Churchill would be nave enough to think about evacuating with a very limited navy and without air cover. If the Repulse and Prince of Wales could not defend themselves, how could the ships docked and evacuating 100,000 troops all the way to Kenya survive? On the other hand, after having lost Poland, Norway, France, Singapore, etc, in record time for lack of airplanes, you would think that Churchill would have realized that he could not hold Burma without the hundreds of Hurricanes he had sent in 1941 and continued sending in 1942 to Stalin.
    Churchill was not claiming to be a great military leader he was a great orator though, able to galvinise people and lead them. He made blunders the same as any other leader of the period when he made some of his decisions. He had to balance many difficult decisions and choose the least bad option (1940 with the invasion threat he sends 50 Matilda 2 to N Africa along with reinforcements despite them being desperately needed in the UK) as he saw it, with advice from others (which he did not always take).
    Force Z had no air cover due to HMS Indomitable being damaged so unable to join the other two ships. Whether the aircraft from the carrier would have made any difference is not something we will be able to say. By the way ships stationary and evacuating hundreds of thousands of troops while under air attack was done (Dunkirk being the most famous)
    Britain did not lose Poland, it never had any troops near there, France was lost for many reasons not least the French. Norway was ill planned and equipped especially with air cover but Britain kept most of its fighters in the UK for home defence rather than throw them and their crews away overseas. Right or wrong that decision was wise when the BoB came about.
    Lend lease aircraft to the Soviet Union in 1941 was not very great the mass of supplies and equipment did not start getting sent until 1943.
    The Hurricane by late 1941 and early 1942 was pretty much superceeded as a fighter being relegated to fighter bomber/ground attack with the Spitfire taking the main fighter role.

    The 50 destroyers were not junk at all, they had an excellent speed and used coal. The Texas and many excellent British ships dated back to WW I and served very well. The destroyer's artillery would have been extremely useful in the Philippines, even if a few of them had been beached and partly covered with sand bags to protect from air attack.
    The 'Town Class' destroyers were unfit for service when delivered, many were corroded, some so badly they were scrapped (US ones) instead of being re-activated. They were top heavy, rolled in swells, had poor turning circles, no radar or AS gear. The RN removed some of the 4" guns and Torpedo tubes to make them more stable by removing top weight. They were generally equipped with a single 3" AA gun for air defence. Most had one or two boilers removed to give them extra range (necessary for the Atlantic and Pacific). Around half were converted to other uses as they were not good destroyers, they were just a handy hull in times of need.

    I like the idea of beaching a ship and covering it with sandbags to provide some sort of artillery (with limited range, no maneuverability, limited arcs of fire and being a sitting duck for ships with longer range guns). Would it not be better to send towed artillery?
    Many British ships from WW 1 did serve very well in WW 2 as a better comparison you could have chosen the old V and W Destroyers rather than a battleship. The British destroyers were in continual service with many finally being re-fitted in 1938 to 1940, unlike the Clemenson, Wickes and Caldwell class ships which were put in reserve with minimal maintenance due to costs from the 1920's.
    Last edited by leccy; 03-10-2011 at 12:26 PM. Reason: spelling
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    For a person who was not claiming to be a military genius, only a good orator and politician, Churchill did routinely ignore his military advisors and champion many useless campaigns and some completely outlandish ideas (including attacking the Baltic with skirted battleships without guns, the invasion of Austria through Yugoslavia, Lord Mountbatten's ice aircraft carriers, etc,).

    Churchill and Stalin were good at getting the Americans to provide for them, but lousy at delivering. The suposedly experienced Churchill had assured Roosevelt that Singapore would never fall, just based on the shear number of troops and a suposedly impregnable fortress, exactly the same things that had failed in France (where at least there were excellent French and British tanks). He had agreed to recover Burma in the short term and did not.

    The Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk 50 miles off the Malayan coast, where they would have been much safer under cover by Malayan Hurricanes than under cover by the biplanes of the Indomitable (which would have certainly also been sunk, just as many British carriers with biplanes were sunk in the Atlantic or Mediterranean by German and Italian pilots).

    The help to Britain and the USSR in 1940 and 41 was crucial for them and for the American relations with Germany, Italy and Japan. Had all that materiel (including P-40s, Buffaloes, etc,) been in Hawaii and the Philippines the Japanese may have thought twice about attacking. Siding with Britain caused Roosevelt to embargo oil and steel scrap to Japan when the latter occupied Indochina. The embargo forced the Japanese to cancel the army's plan to attack the USSR and to adopt the navy's plan to attack the US. Had the US continued selling oil and scrap to Japan, Stalin would have had a very difficult time surviving in two distant fronts.
    Last edited by samjok; 03-10-2011 at 01:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    @ samjok

    The Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk 50 miles off the Malayan coast, where they would have been much safer under cover by Malayan Hurricanes than under cover by the biplanes of the Indomitable (which would have certainly also been sunk, just as many British carriers with biplanes were sunk in the Atlantic or Mediterranean by German and Italian pilots).
    Squadrons on HMS Indomitable
    November 1941: 45 aircraft - 9 Sea Hurricanes, 12 Fulmars, 24 Albacores
    August 1942: 55 aircraft - 31 Sea Hurricanes, 24 Albacores
    Only Bi-Planes are the Albacore Torpedo Bombers

    Aircraft carrying ship losses RN

    Fleet Carriers

    HMS Eagle, 11th May 1942, Torpedo U73, Mediteranean
    HMS Hermes, 9th April 1942, Japanese Dive Bombers, Indian Ocean
    HMS Corageous, 17th Feb 1939, Torpedo U29, North Atlantic
    HMS Glorious, 8th June 1940, Gunfire Sharnhorst and Gneisenau, Norway
    HMS Ark Royal, 14th Nov 1941, Foundered in Tow after Torpedo hit U81, Mediteranean

    Escort Carriers (Converted Merchant Hulls)

    HMS Audacity, 21st Dec 1941, Torpedo U751, North Atlantic
    HMS Avenger, 15th Nov 1942, Torpedo U155, North Atlantic
    HMS Dasher, 27th Mar 1943, Accident, SW Scotland
    HMS Nabob (RCN Manned), 22nd Aug 1944, Torpedo U354 laid up not sunk
    HMS Thane, 15th Jan 1945, Torpedo U1172 laid up not sunk

    CAM (First vessals sailed under white ensign later Merchant Fleet)

    HMS Patia, 27th April 1941, German Bombers, Western Europe
    HMS Springbank, 27th Sept 1941, Torpedo U201, North Atlantic

    Where did you get your claims from
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    Illustrious received 6 Italian bombs while escorting ships to Malta on Jan 10 1941 and a few more docked in Malta, it didn't sink thanks to God and the quality of the Italian bombs, but in Malaya this would have been fatal. (obviously not a very useful escort. It was repaired in the US)

    Formidable received two 1,000 lb bombs on 28 March, 1941 that put it out of comission for 6 months, but isolated in Malaya this would have been fatal. (it was repaired in the US), etc,

    Do you really think that a carrier with 9 Sea Hurricanes (hopefully all operational) would have survived in Malaya and saved Repulse and Prince of Wales? It was lucky to run aground in Jamaica. The British carriers could not defend themselves, much less escort anybody, that's why they ran away from Ceylon (their Pearl Harbor) to Kenya, leaving the hole Indian Ocean to the Japs. However if the hundreds of Hurricanes given to Stalin in 1941 were sent to Malaya, Burma, Ceylon and Indonesia and had the tanks that were in the region remained there, the Japs would have taken a hell of a beating.

    Over 20 million people would die at the hands of the Japs in Indonesia, Malaya, Burma, China, because Churchill preferred to help Stalin and fight in Africa and Italy and couldn't care less about the east.
    Last edited by samjok; 03-10-2011 at 03:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Churchill's major blunders.

    samjok

    A couple of questions

    1. Do you really know why the USA sanctioned Japan
    2. Do you know when Lend Lease started and to whom
    3. Who were Britain and France going to assist in 1940 and against whom
    4. Have you heard of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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