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Japanese Military Strength - Page 12
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Thread: Japanese Military Strength

  1. #166
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Which units from CHina do you mean? the reinforsement from Kwantung Army?
    Leaving aside the Imperial Guards and various tank, artillery and support units, the main elements of Yamashita's force were the 5th and 18th Divisions, both of which had substantial experience in China.

    Much as it embarrasses me to use wiki as a source, it gives a relevant summary of both divisions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Div...panese_Army%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Di...panese_Army%29

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Oh , i thought only STalin made to their generals such a 'proposal"
    This would be because Stalin was a democratic benevolent leader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    But it seems the higly professional Commonweal command suffered of brain disaster and competence no less then their "not-executed" soviet collegues.
    I've posted in this forum in past years (but can't readily find now) some quite detailed stuff on why I think that Percival was unfairly blamed for the loss of Malaya.

    Percival was a sound professional soldier who did his best in a bad situation not of his own making. Given a free hand (i.e. not restricted tactically by Churchill for political reasons to do with bringing America into the war, which in the larger picture was an entirely sound strategy by Churchill) he could have done a lot better, and even better if given the air forces Churchill denied him because Churchill was focused elsewhere.

    Several years before the war Percival, as a senior staff officer in Malaya, accurately predicted where the Japanese would land and how they would conduct their subsequent campaign, at least in the early stages. He was not suffering from a brain disaster then or in 1941-42 when he was in command.

    My view is that, although with the benefit of hindsight he could have done better (who couldn't) , Percival has been made the scapegoat for the loss of Malaya / Singapore when Churchill really bears that responsibility. Although Churchill didn't so much blame Percival for it as the Australians who, though a minor part of the force, in Churchill's view were somehow responsible for the greatest defeat of British arms in history.

    Then again, Churchill in his memoirs did say something to the effect that, at the time, he didn't realise how bad the situation was in Singapore. If you read up on it you may come to the view that Churchill was on this, as on some other major things, blinded to the realities of the situation by his ill-informed beliefs and sentiments.
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  2. #167
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Sounds right to me, RS. Thanks. I don't blame Wainwright for the fall of Bataan and Corregidor either. Or Husband Kimmel for Pearl Harbor. On the other hand, I do blame Macarthur for allowing his air force to be destroyed on the ground due to brain-freeze dithering on his part.
    Last edited by royal744; 08-10-2011 at 01:10 PM.

  3. #168
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    Or Husband Kimmel for Pearl Harbor.
    Completely off-topic I know but why on earth would someone call his child "Husband"?
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  4. #169
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post

    I've posted in this forum in past years (but can't readily find now) some quite detailed stuff on why I think that Percival was unfairly blamed for the loss of Malaya.

    Percival was a sound professional soldier who did his best in a bad situation not of his own making. Given a free hand (i.e. not restricted tactically by Churchill for political reasons to do with bringing America into the war, which in the larger picture was an entirely sound strategy by Churchill) he could have done a lot better, and even better if given the air forces Churchill denied him because Churchill was focused elsewhere.

    Several years before the war Percival, as a senior staff officer in Malaya, accurately predicted where the Japanese would land and how they would conduct their subsequent campaign, at least in the early stages. He was not suffering from a brain disaster then or in 1941-42 when he was in command.

    My view is that, although with the benefit of hindsight he could have done better (who couldn't) , Percival has been made the scapegoat for the loss of Malaya / Singapore when Churchill really bears that responsibility. Although Churchill didn't so much blame Percival for it as the Australians who, though a minor part of the force, in Churchill's view were somehow responsible for the greatest defeat of British arms in history.

    Then again, Churchill in his memoirs did say something to the effect that, at the time, he didn't realise how bad the situation was in Singapore. If you read up on it you may come to the view that Churchill was on this, as on some other major things, blinded to the realities of the situation by his ill-informed beliefs and sentiments.
    Yes , i remember that talk and i do agree with you the Parsival can't be ONLY the scapegoat. However the Malaya was lost , i'ts a fact , due to military incompetence of british command. whatever it was Churchil's operative blindness or lacks of locals officers. Japanes took Singapoore haveing almost TWICE lesser troops then defenders.
    But i'm puzzled by the another thing - if the incompetence of Red Army in western historiography is explained purely by "Stalin's purges" or "fear of NKVD" or "fear by anything else" , then how does the historians explain the military impotence of Allied command for the first period of war in asia in general sense? Even in the Europe union western powers by the strange way lost such a giant territories for few month. I mean almost all the continental Europe had fall into GErmans hands for such a short period of war. I still inconceivably for me.

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  5. #170
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    Sounds right to me, RS. Thanks. I don't blame Wainwright for the fall of Bataan and Corregidor either. Or Husband Kimmel for Pearl Harbor. On the other hand, I do blame Macarthur for allowing his air force to be destroyed on the ground due to brain-freeze dithering on his part.
    Agree entirely.

    MacArthur was, in the opening phase of the war with Japan and in his planning leading up to it, the worst commander in the sense of having had almost unlimited flexibility before the war (and vastly more than Percival had tactically and politically) which he squandered. He was by far the worst commander in his immediate response, or more accurately his complete lack of response, to the Japanese attack by going missing in action for most of the first day of his war and in failing to give orders to bomb Formosa in accordance with the war plan. And, despite repeated requests from his air force commander, in failing to give any orders in relation to his air force until after he'd lost half of it on the ground despite the best efforts of his air force commander to keep his planes safe from ground attack. It says a lot about MacArthur, and none of it complimentary, that soon after they were both in Australia he sacked his air force commander and sent him out of the theatre. My impression is that this petty act was because MacArthur didn't want anyone around to contradict his propaganda about his (non-existent) brilliant defence of the Philippines.

    None of this detracts from MacArthur's later successes (the real ones as distinct from his self-promoting press propaganda), but I can't think of any other Allied commander who was guilty of anything even approaching such incompetence and loss who ever commanded any battle formation again. I doubt that anyone on the Axis side did so either.

    The biggest mystery for me is why our Prime Minister was so keen to have MacArthur down here as Allied commander. It's something I've researched at times but there is a gap in a detailed understanding of it which I suspect can be filled only by our Prime Minister, and his government, being desperate to have the Americans involved in our defence; being unaware of what a spectacular failure MacArthur really was in the Philippines; and Roosevelt being delighted to have MacArthur quarantined in the SWPA for the duration. In any other circumstances, MacArthur would and should have been relegated to the command of a training unit or something similar in a remote part of America, if not forced to retire.

    I don't subscribe to the view that MacArthur deserted his Philippine force or left Wainright in the lurch by doing so, because MacArthur clearly resisted the original orders to leave. Nor do I subscribe to the view that MacArthur was cowardly in leaving the Philippines. He left because he was ordered to, and the purpose of those orders was to fulfil various longer term strategic and political aims of importance to America and Australia, which in the long term he did very well and often showed great personal courage in doing so, depsite the unfair epithet 'Dugout Doug'. But the fact remains that Wainright bore the odium of being the surrendering commander when, if MacArthur had been the military genius he presented himself as, Wainright would not have been put in such a parlous tactical and logistical position and, given the faltering Japanese advance in the closing stages, might have done significantly better than he was able to do.

    I think that Wainright and Percival both bear the unfair burden of being responsible for surrendering their forces when they were put in an invidious position by those above them which pretty much guaranteed that they would be defeated by the generally better Japanese forces facing them.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-12-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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  6. #171
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Yes , i remember that talk and i do agree with you the Parsival can't be ONLY the scapegoat. However the Malaya was lost , i'ts a fact , due to military incompetence of british command. whatever it was Churchil's operative blindness or lacks of locals officers. Japanes took Singapoore haveing almost TWICE lesser troops then defenders.
    Agreed, but apart from Japanese troops being perhaps only about a third of British forces, there were many factors which favoured the Japanese and hampered the British apart from the political and tactical constraints preventing Percival from a proper response in the critical early stages of the Japanese landings, notably:

    1. Percival had to defend widely separated airstrips in Malaya to deny them to the Japanese, which forced him into static defence and provisional / reserve defence of positions of no other tactical significance and most of which turned out not to be in the Japanese line of advance.

    2. Unlike Percival, the Japanese had complete freedom of movement, which they cleverly enhanced with low-tech bicycle transport, which also enhanced their speed of advance.

    3. The Japanese had ample air support. Percival had very little.

    4. The Japanese had ample armour. Percival had none.

    5. The Japanese troops were largely battle hardened from China. Percival's troops were not battle hardened.

    Essentially, the Japanese were better trained, better experienced, generally better led at junior and senior levels, and better supported troops than the British and were able to dictate the pace and places of battle, and the Japanese duly won.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    But i'm puzzled by the another thing - if the incompetence of Red Army in western historiography is explained purely by "Stalin's purges" or "fear of NKVD" or "fear by anything else" , then how does the historians explain the military impotence of Allied command for the first period of war in asia in general sense? Even in the Europe union western powers by the strange way lost such a giant territories for few month. I mean almost all the continental Europe had fall into GErmans hands for such a short period of war. I still inconceivably for me.
    There's a lot there that is beyond me as I don't have the necessary depth of knowledge on the issues you've raised as Europe isn't my field of main interest, but as a general comment I suspect that it mightn't be much different to some elements which explain the Japanese successes: the Germans were better troops; better led at senior and junior levels; had greater mobility and flexibility of movement, and certainly in dealing with static defences in France, so the Germans were better able to dictate the pace and place of battles.

    And then there's the big factor, which is luck, which nobody can predict or control. As von Clausewitz said, "No plan survives the first battle."
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-12-2011 at 08:36 AM.
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  7. #172
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    OOOOOH!

    Spooky!

    I just landed on the first page of this thread by accident and found that two and a half years ago I was making the same points I made recently.

    Which indicates that at least I'm consistent.

    It comforts me that my knowledge is still intact, but it disturbs me that the same issues are still coming up in a thread which, as its title suggests, has almost unlimited scope for discussion.

    Anyone want to widen the discussion on other aspects of Japanese military strength?
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  8. #173
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    ...
    2. Unlike Percival, the Japanese had complete freedom of movement, which they cleverly enhanced with low-tech bicycle transport, which also enhanced their speed of advance.
    They also had a certain tactical "can-do!" attitude for over coming obstacles, which I think perhaps the British lacked. For instance, after bridges were blown in retreat, the Japanese still frustrated the British timetables for defense by using human bridges to quickly expedite their advance while Commonwealth forces were often still setting up a defense whilst assuming that it would take the IJA troops far longer to cross rivers. Then of course, the British never had an answer for the "Scorpion Manoeuvre" tactic of envelopment.

    ...
    There's a lot there that is beyond me as I don't have the necessary depth of knowledge on the issues you've raised as Europe isn't my field of main interest, but as a general comment I suspect that it mightn't be much different to some elements which explain the Japanese successes: the Germans were better troops; better led at senior and junior levels; had greater mobility and flexibility of movement, and certainly in dealing with static defences in France, so the Germans were better able to dictate the pace and place of battles.

    And then there's the big factor, which is luck, which nobody can predict or control. As von Clausewitz said, "No plan survives the first battle."
    For the most part correct. I'm not sure overall the Heer was necessarily much better troop-wise--a large percentage of German soldiers were over 40 and the Heer too had large numbers of under-trained, poorly equipped soldiers--but the Germany Army certainly was better led tactically and strategically.

    One of the often overlooked problems in the Fall of France was that French officers were trained to be sort of detached from the battle and to remain in rear bunkers, leading to massive systemic communications failures all the way from the top where Generalissimo Gamelin didn't even have a radio at his isolated HQ. This was based on experiences from WWI that officers often got killed at the front leaving formations of men leaderless and the premise that battles would be slow moving slogging matches, not battles of encirclement. It was also believed that this allowed them to remain more level-headed and logical whereas being in the middle of the carnage of battle would lead to rash, defeatist action. Not to mention that French generals spent a massively inordinate amount of time driving around looking for each other through traffic jams of refugees and fleeing troops. One can contrast this with the general attitude of the German officer corp where battlefield commanders suffered an inordinate number of casualties but whose actions on the spot often changed the course of the fighting and turned near catastrophe to victory.

    Rommel's taking command on the Meuse crossing is one example of this where German troops were initially stunned by heavy French fire and heavy casualties causing some of the men to waffle. But Rommel's physical courage and ability to bring order out of chaos turned a very close-run thing. And yes, the Germans were very lucky as well as good, whereas the French were seemingly cursed..
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 08-13-2011 at 06:52 PM.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    They also had a certain tactical "can-do!" attitude for over coming obstacles, which I think perhaps the British lacked.
    Undoubtedly.

    There was a 'press on' mentality in the Japanese in Malaya which was not countered in all the British forces by the necessary 'hold on and counter-attack' mentality, although elements of all nations in the British forces at times demonstrated the necessary determination (starting with Indians resisting the first landings) in defence but were let down by a lack of resolution elsewhere in their force and or were just overwhelmed by the speed and weight of the Japanese advance and infiltration tactics.

    There was a degree of misconceived racial superiority among some in the British forces which led to over-confidence, which perhaps resulted in a negative over-reaction to defeats by the Japanese and helped to stimulate what at times was close to a rout in the retreat down Malaya.

    It was never an 'equal' fight in the sense of two forces operating on more or less the same basis, as was the case with the British and Germans. For example, the Japanese crammed their troop transports with troops in ways the British would never have begun to imagine and so were able to land vastly larger forces in Malaya than the British could have done with the same ships. Once landed, the Japanese were outstanding in their ability to bring up support weapons, from heavy machine guns to mortars to artillery, to bear upon their defenders, which they did in Malaya and the advance phase in Papua which indicates that it was the result of sound training. The Japanese displayed an ingenuity lacking in the British forces in Malaya in dealing with various aspects of their advance, but perhaps none more striking and simple than using bicycles to speed their advance. A lucky byproduct of that was that the tyres didn't stand up to the conditions so the Japanese, again demonstrating their 'can do' attitude, tore off the tyres and proceeded, uncomfortably, on the rims which on at least one occasion caused noise which led the British troops to believe that Japanese tanks were advancing so they retreated. Much as I loathe the man, and even allowing perhaps for some misty-eyed memories of the devotion and sacrifice of Japanese troops, Tsujii's account of the Malayan campaign shows a devotion to duty and determination to overcome resistance which was not, and for cultural reasons probably could not have been, matched by the defenders.

    There is a useful treatment of the Japanese lower and higher level tactics here http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA421611 albeit framed in academic terms for the author's purposes. The authors seem unaware of some factors which assisted the Japanese such as Churchill's determination to avoid Matador going into Thailand, thus giving the Japanese a free hand there and giving them the initiative, but it is still a good summary of the big picture.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-14-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    Well then, perhaps I can be forgiven if I have mentioned before that MacArthur personally prevented Wainright from receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor after the war. It didn't stick, however, and Congress later presented it to him anyway. Odious character that MacArthur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    Well then, perhaps I can be forgiven if I have mentioned before that MacArthur personally prevented Wainright from receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor after the war. It didn't stick, however, and Congress later presented it to him anyway.
    I didn't know about that. Do you have more information?

    My understanding of MacArthur and Wainwright after the war was that MacArthur tried to be (can't think of an appropriate word - nice; pleasant; respectful - none of them work) to Wainwright by ensuring that he was present (much thinner and worse for wear than MacArthur after Wainwright's time in captivity, thanks to some degree to MacArthur's stuff-ups in the Philippines) at the surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri.


    Caption: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur signs the Instrument of Surrender, as Supreme Allied Commander, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945. Behind him are Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army, and Lieutenant General Sir Arthur E. Percival, British Army, both of whom had just been released from Japanese prison camps. http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/i...00/s211872.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    Odious character that MacArthur.
    True, but like a lot of great men - and women - his bad characteristics were offset by some good ones.

    On balance, I think he was (after presiding over his magnificent fiasco in losing the Philippines) a quite competent but not historically brilliant military commander. He never did well when faced with superior forces on their offensive. In the early stages he either went into a funk where he did nothing when faced with the offensive (Philippines - Day 1 of WWII) or panicked and demanded impossible actions by troops on battelfields he didn't understand but was rescued by junior commanders better than him and the usual luck in all wars (Kokoda and Buna). He didn't launch his offensive until he'd had the luxury of mostly Australian troops carrying the brunt of a long war in Papua New Guinea while he built up his forces and logistics as the Japanese were worn down into often pathetically starving and diseased forces by actions by Australian troops and actions outside his SWPA command as the USN and others cut off the lines of communication to the Japanese forces spread throughout the island chain to MacArthur's north.

    His early grasp of public relations combined with his personal conceit, and Sutherland as his energetic bum boy, allowed him to project himself as one of the historically great commanders while cynically ignoring everyone else who contributed to 'his' successes.

    That lasting public impression is testament to his and Sutherland's careful manipulation of the press etc, but it carefully avoids the many flaws in his conduct and character.

    All that said, I still think he was an inspirational leader at a time when Australia, and to a lesser extent America, badly needed one in the face of Japan's relentless southward advance. In early 1942 that was rather more to do with his oratory than his recent military successes as a commander (there being none of the latter until 1944), but the same can be said of Churchill whose interference in military operations in two world wars contradicts his own view of himself as a great strategist and commander but it remains that Churchill's clear eyed view of what needed to be done in the big picture was correct despite, like MacArthur, his many failings at more detailed levels.
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    Default Re: Japanese Military Strength

    I’m a late comer to this thread and really do not have any new insight into the subject - other than I’ve often wondered how much racism played into the early defeats of the W. Powers.
    To what extent were white Eropeans unable to seriously consider a “colored” Asian race defeating them?

    Maybe American, British, Dutch, and the other W. Sr. Officers should have paid more attention to an incident during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The small Japanese force of one officer and 24 sailors commanded by Colonel Shiba (defending the Foreign Compound in Peking) distinguished itself in several ways. It had the almost unique distinction of suffering greater than 100 percent casualties. This was possible because a great many of the Japanese troops were wounded, entered into the casualty lists, then returned to the line of battle only to be wounded once more and again entered in the casualty lists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muscogeemike View Post
    I’ve often wondered how much racism played into the early defeats of the W. Powers.
    To what extent were white Eropeans unable to seriously consider a “colored” Asian race defeating them?
    To such a significant extent among some British leaders that they discounted Japanese troops and equipment as hopelessly inferior to their British counterparts, and thus failed to make proper preparation for an enemy which had shown in China that they were effective, relentless and brutal troops.

    Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was the British Commander in Chief Far East from November 1940 until November 1941 when he was replaced by Major General Sir Henry Royds Pownall, although Brooke-Popham remained in charge for a few weeks afterwards while Pownall headed east so Brooke-Popham was effectively the Commander in Chief Far East in the lead up to Japan's attack on Malaya. The first full paragraph here http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...0up%22&f=false exemplifies Brooke-Popham's unfounded contempt for the Japanese as an enemy. See also the third paragraph for another example of a similar attitude.

    Brooke-Popham also thought that the Brewster Buffalo was more than adequate against any Japanese planes, despite reports in January 1941 about the effectiveness in China of the Type 96 IJN fighter, which was a forerunner of the Zero. His opinion was not borne out in action. For example, Buffalos were involved in the defence of Midway Island in June 1942.

    The Marines shot down and damaged several Japanese bombers before the escorting Zero fighters struck viciously. The Marine fighters were not only heavily outnumbered, but completely outclassed by the faster and more agile Zeros. In quick succession, sixteen Buffalos and Wildcats were sent plummeting into the sea.
    http://www.pacificwar.org.au/Midway/...r_defence.html

    In response to the January 1941 reports about the Zero forerunner’s effectiveness in China, in February 1941 the chief of Australia’s air staff, Sir Charles Burnett who was a Briton on secondment to the RAAF, assured the Australian War Cabinet (we had been at war from the commencement of hostilities between Britain and Germany in 1939) that the Australian Wirraway fighter was adequate to deal with any advanced Japanese fighter planes over Australia in the unlikely event that any actually came here. Quite a lot came here a year after Burnett’s assurance when a Japanese attack on Darwin utilised about the same number of aircraft as were used at Pearl Harbor, while Wirraways were found badly wanting when they actually encountered Zeros.

    By the time the war began the RAAF owned seven Wirraways. They would later prove to be greatly outmatched by the Japanese aircraft models, in early 1942 eight Wirraways were Rabaul's main air defence against a raid of 100 Japanese aircraft. Even though there were generally poor results when Wirraways engaged the Japanese aircraft, a Wirraway did manage to down a Zero near Gona in 1942.
    http://ww2db.com/aircraft_spec.php?a...t_model_id=245

    On 13 November 1941, barely three weeks before Japan attacked Malaya, General Archibald Wavell (having been sacked as commander in the Middle East and appointed Commander in Chief India) wrote to Brooke-Popham saying “Personally I should be most doubtful if the Japs ever tried to make an attack on Malaya, and I am sure they will get [it] in the neck if they do.” http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...aps%22&f=false

    Not all British or British Commonwealth political and military leaders at any level necessarily shared the same opinions, but enough did to allow them to think they were not facing the formidable foe they actually faced.

    At the other end of the picture, in Malaya in 1941 a senior British officer lectured Australian troops on the Japanese, describing them in terms that they were bespectacled little men incapable of defeating British Commonwealth forces. After he left an Australian officer instructed the troops along the lines “Ignore everything that stupid bastard said and don’t underestimate the Japs.” (I think I posted a more accurate version of that event quite some time ago when it was fresher in my mind, but I don’t know where it might be.)

    The British weren’t unique in their dismissive views of the Japanese. Many Australians suffered from the same attitude, as did many Americans, but I suspect that the misconception might have been worse in the British because their colonial experience in India, Malaya, China and Hong Kong reinforced from personal experience and wider imperial arrogance an attitude of racial superiority towards Asians. Then again, if one looks at the pre-war history of American attitudes towards the Japanese and especially in California it’s debatable whether the British were any worse in their belief in Japanese inferiority.

    Quote Originally Posted by muscogeemike View Post
    Maybe American, British, Dutch, and the other W. Sr. Officers should have paid more attention to an incident during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The small Japanese force of one officer and 24 sailors commanded by Colonel Shiba (defending the Foreign Compound in Peking) distinguished itself in several ways. It had the almost unique distinction of suffering greater than 100 percent casualties. This was possible because a great many of the Japanese troops were wounded, entered into the casualty lists, then returned to the line of battle only to be wounded once more and again entered in the casualty lists.
    Or the Russo-Japanese war some 35 years before WWII where Japan shocked the world by defeating a major European power, or Japan's activities in China since 1933.

    On a different aspect of the same issue of contempt for the Japanese, I think that Japan's stupendous victories all over Asia in a few months had a doubly great impact on Allied morale because it was so unexpected and it made the Allies realise that they had been outclassed by a supposed inferior.
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    [QUOTE=Rising Sun*;180649]To such a significant extent among some British leaders that they discounted Japanese troops and equipment as hopelessly inferior to their British counterparts, and thus failed to make proper preparation for an enemy which had shown in China that they were effective, relentless and brutal troops.


    Of course racism played a part. The attack on Pearl Harbor only reinforced the stereotype of the "sneaky Japanese" (true), but this flew in the face of an earlier stereotype of the Japanese as a "small doll-like people with bad eyes" (untrue) who, unaccountably, according to this latter stereotype, had conducted an unbelievably brutal atrocity in its attack on Nanking, which event did not get much publicity in the West at the time. The Americans quickly learned just how tough and intractable the Japanese were and did not underestimate them for long since the cost could be one's life.
    Last edited by royal744; 10-20-2011 at 06:12 PM.

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    Came back to this thread by accident after several years. Dont have time to wade though all the pages to find the good parts, but this caught my eye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Yes , i remember that talk and i do agree with you the Parsival can't be ONLY the scapegoat. However the Malaya was lost , i'ts a fact , due to military incompetence of british command. whatever it was Churchil's operative blindness or lacks of locals officers. Japanes took Singapoore haveing almost TWICE lesser troops then defenders.
    But i'm puzzled by the another thing - if the incompetence of Red Army in western historiography is explained purely by "Stalin's purges" or "fear of NKVD" or "fear by anything else" , then how does the historians explain the military impotence of Allied command for the first period of war in asia in general sense? Even in the Europe union western powers by the strange way lost such a giant territories for few month. I mean almost all the continental Europe had fall into GErmans hands for such a short period of war. I still inconceivably for me.
    The question of why the Axis nations were able to conquor so much with seeminingly little efort is a legitamate question. It of course has been asked in detail many many times. ie; The Fall of France, conquest of Norway, Balkans/Crete campaign, Maylasia, Burma, Phillipines are all oft discussed seperately. A discussion searching for a unified causual theory, or perhaps more practical a comparative study discussion could be worth the effort. If anyone starts one please let me know I like to help get it off the ground.

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