My recollection is that there were two significant aspects (for which I can't find references but which I'm trying to reconstruct) which might have altered the result in Malaya in 1941-42.

1. Churchill diverted forces originally destined for Malaya to North Africa, allowing Auchinleck to launch Operation Crusader in mid-November 1941 but thereby locking Commonwealth troops in to North Africa during the Japanese assault on Malaya.

2. There was a substantial RAF reserve kept in Britain following the Battle of Britain a year earlier which could have been sent to Malaya, thus providing more modern aircraft capable of fighting the Japanese aircraft, and more of them than the second rate aircraft actually used in Malaya by the British.

I'm trying to work out whether I'm suffering from brain fade here or whether Britain could really have sent useful forces which might have altered the result in Malaya.

Anyone have any more detailed info on what could have gone to Malaya?