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Thread: Could Britain have won Malaya?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Aaah, but could it have been won? - do not despair, Anjin San!
    Yeah, but whether it could have been won or lost, in reality it was buggered by the Japanese, carrying on the samurai tradition that offended Anjin San.

    "Toranaga ... pillows with boys?" If the suspicion had entered his head before this, Blackthorne had not entertained it for long. Now, however, he accepted it without question.

    "So I am told. Our Order is always well informed," Alvito conceded, with a sidelong glance at Blackthorne. "Every effort is being made to discourage such objectionable practices, but the samurai are as tenacious in this as in all other matters. You have been in this country four years, now, pilot; surely you know that some Japanese have a partiality for this vice?"

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    "Toranaga ... pillows with boys?" If the suspicion had entered his head before this, Blackthorne had not entertained it for long. Now, however, he accepted it without question

    "So I am told. Our Order is always well informed," Alvito conceded, with a sidelong glance at Blackthorne. "Every effort is being made to discourage such objectionable practices, but the samurai are as tenacious in this as in all other matters. You have been in this country four years, now, pilot; surely you know that some Japanese have a partiality for this vice?"

    Pillow talk - is this a coded message?...are you suggesting that James CLavell paid for the services of Doris Day?...or, perhaps, those of Rock Hudson?...or was it any port in a storm, Anjin San?

    As with the Samurai, personally, I would sieze the day ...Doris, that is!


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  3. #63
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    "In the jungle it is quality of the man more than the quality and quantity of weapons that counts; his psychological, physical and tactical training; his morale, his toughness, his discipline. When the man beomes the deciding factor it is the infantry that decides the battle. The jungle is certainly impassable for non jungle-trained troops. It offers a universal covered appraoch . It enormously increases difficulties of control at all levels, for it prevents visual means of communication and visual connection with the enemy beyond the rifle section (squad)."

    Source : Montgomery-Campbell(Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) Moon Over Malaya.

    Every Argyll learnt to operate in three to five man 'Tiger Patrols', a concept first devised in training at Mersing. The purpose of the Tiger Patrols was to harass the enemy's communications up to twenty miles behind their lines with the basic tactic of 'fix frontally then encircle' - the tactics also used at platoon, company and battalion strength.

    These are sound jungle tactics. The problem for the Argyll's, was that they were deployed to late to prepare bases from which to operate. Most of their sub-units were rushed forward into 'encounter-battle' situations, partly on account of the speed at which the Japanese advanced. There were also too few of them. Other units ought to have had the same training, and the deployment of units should have been better planned and coordinated.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  4. #64
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    Due to a severe ear infection my grandfather was repatted out of Singapore a few weeks before the invasion and as he told it to me once, he was glad to be out of there.

    He had the opportunity to see the new aircraft reinforcements, which were described as a bloody joke, but also driving troops and supplies up the penninsula and seeing the level of preparations convinced him the whole show was a giant 'balls up.'

    The overall contempt of the Japanese, largely racially motivated was a huge mistake according to him, but I suspect this may have been revisionist thinking on his part.

    Regards digger

  5. #65
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    The more I think about it, the more I think that Churchill deserves to be remembered as the man in the photos surrendering to the Japanese after losing Singapore rather than poor old Gen Percival.

    Percival, Phillips, Pulford etc did the best they could with what they had.

    What they had was what they were given. By Churchill.

    Churchill was obsessed with North Africa and the Balkans, and diverted men and material intended for Malaya to the Mediterranean.

    Churchill's excuse later was that didn't know the truth about how poor the defences and forces were in Malaya and Singapore.

    Well, it was his bloody job to know!

    It's not like his military advisers didn't know the true position, nor advise him on it.

    He just did his usual act of pressing on with his greater confidence in his own strategic ability, which in due course lost Britain the remnants of its empire.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    The more I think about it, the more I think that Churchill deserves to be remembered as the man in the photos surrendering to the Japanese after losing Singapore rather than poor old Gen Percival.

    Percival, Phillips, Pulford etc did the best they could with what they had.

    What they had was what they were given. By Churchill.

    Churchill was obsessed with North Africa and the Balkans, and diverted men and material intended for Malaya to the Mediterranean.

    Churchill's excuse later was that didn't know the truth about how poor the defences and forces were in Malaya and Singapore.

    Well, it was his bloody job to know!

    It's not like his military advisers didn't know the true position, nor advise him on it.

    He just did his usual act of pressing on with his greater confidence in his own strategic ability, which in due course lost Britain the remnants of its empire.
    What a difference eight years of further reading makes.

    I'm now of the view that Percival, despite being dealt an ultimately losing hand, could have done vastly better than he did, and so could just about everyone else in high command positions before Wavell's arrival in the dying days, and that Churchill didn't deserve my previous condemnation.

    I'll give my reasons if anyone is interested in pursuing this topic.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    I am inclined to agree that Percival and co. could have done better. Arguably, the only reasonably coherent part of the "plan" was for the defence of Singapore from the sea. Possible threats "from the rear", where perceived, do not seem to have been matched by commensurate forces devoted to its defence, or a coherent plan for using what was available. But ... let's face it, Percival was dealt a very bad hand indeed. Admittedly, the accessibility of India provided a major resource for reinforcement (or at least supply of replacements) and for resupply. However, Britain's military resources at this time were severely stretched, not least because the North African campaign was still something of an open issue; this campaign was also drawing on the resources of India. Also, even before it started in earnest, the war in South East Asia was to an extent "forgotten" back in Blighty, resulting in lower priority on a number of levels.

    All that having been said - by the time the Japanese invaded Malaya, the British had seen some impressive examples of "lightening war" as practiced by the Germans. Following Japan's intervention in French Indo-China, the threat posed by the Japanese to Malaya and what is now Indonesia was all too obvious, not least because of the valuable natural resources (rubber, oil etc.) that were contained in these territories. The Netherlands East Indies were, I suppose, a sitting target; there was little or nothing that the metropolitan Dutch government could do to support the defence of its colony, given that its Queen and her ministers were stuck in exile in London. As regards Malaya - the very least the British can be accused of is sclerotic thinking. Singapore was defended rather in the manner of a 16th/17th century Portuguese or Dutch "trading colony", defences being focused towards the sea, with the assumption that threats from the land could be managed fairly easily. This approach, in fact, did not work particularly well for the Portuguese of the early modern period; still less could it be relied upon in the context of modern communications and weaponry - especially when the latter was infused with the ésprit de corps of the Japanese forces early in the war. Perhaps a largely "traditional" view, I suppose. This is an aspect of the war of which I intend to read more, should the Gods permit me the time. Best regards, JR.

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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    Well, if Malaya was so vital to British interests, and to the allied war effort as a whole, we ended the war without needing much from it anyway.

    Priorities were firmly based in europe. Lose malaya, and we lose a base.

    Lose anywhere in europe, and we lengthen the war by many years, even lose it.

    Simple enough really. Malaya meant as much as the resources provided. Churchill's culbability was assured, but could the war effort have been the same without him?

    We could afford to cashier Churchill after 1915.

    In 1942, he was more popular than Charlie Chaplin.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkson View Post
    Well, if Malaya was so vital to British interests, and to the allied war effort as a whole, we ended the war without needing much from it anyway.
    Oil?

    Rubber?

    Tin?

    All required for military operations.

    “General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his appraisal of global strategy to Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, went as far as writing off the security of Australia, since now the Japanese controlled the region’s oil and tin “and practically the entire rubber resources of the world.”
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/arch...hp/t-4574.html



    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkson View Post
    Priorities were firmly based in europe.
    Not at the time Malaya fell.

    The only military operations close to Europe were in North Africa, and they were exclusively British Commonwealth on the Allied side. Nothing happened in Europe until mid-1942 with Greece and soon after the USSR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkson View Post
    Lose malaya, and we lose a base.
    And lose the NEI with its vast oil resources, which was the primary aim of Japan's thrust southwards, thus giving Japan the ability to fight well beyond its own oil reserves of perhaps a year.

    Lose the ability to strike across Japan's oil transport routes northwards.

    Lose a forward naval and land base that took several years to overcome by a grinding approach through Papua New Guinea to the Philippines.


    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkson View Post
    Lose anywhere in europe, and we lengthen the war by many years, even lose it.
    Europe had already been lost.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    Obviously, such vital an area as Malaya was so intrinsic to the war effort as a whole, that we defeated the Japanese without its fine resource base anyway.

    not so vital.

    Europe lost? what about Britain then? unsinkable airfield. Europe still going strong in russia as well, with plenty of space, even with "Not one step back"

    Such vital strategic areas, and a war won without their assistance..thanks

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Could Britain have won Malaya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarkson View Post
    Obviously, such vital an area as Malaya was so intrinsic to the war effort as a whole, that we defeated the Japanese without its fine resource base anyway.

    not so vital.

    Europe lost? what about Britain then? unsinkable airfield. Europe still going strong in russia as well, with plenty of space, even with "Not one step back"

    Such vital strategic areas, and a war won without their assistance..thanks
    I thought I was probably wasting my time trying to educate you by my last post to a fuller understanding of WWII beyond your simplistic and ill-informed assertions.

    I was correct, which relieves me of the burden of replying to this or any of your other simplistic and ill-informed posts.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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