BRITAIN'S OWN PEARL HARBOUR ? - Page 2




 
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December 12th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Slight edit! Someone quiped that the Singapore defences were like building a Battleship w/o a bottom.
Yeah that is probably a more accurate statement, Singapore was only defensible if the attack came by sea once that was no longer the case they should have abandoned it.
December 12th, 2011  
BritinBritain
 
 
Percival was hauled over the coals for not preparing proper defences by Wavell. Percivals excuse was that he didn't want to lower morale and cause alarm among the civil population.

I agree that Singapore could not hold out even with the best static defence system in the world, Singapore's water was piped across from the Malay mainland, once this had been cut off when the causeway was demolished and the pumping stations at the reservoir's were destroyed, Singapore was finished.
December 12th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Nifty video showing some damage to the Prince of Wales...

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOouCM6h0EQ"]Prince of Wales - YouTube[/ame]


Repulse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=pi9nDsDzPIM
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December 12th, 2011  
42RM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Percival was hauled over the coals for not preparing proper defences by Wavell. Percivals excuse was that he didn't want to lower morale and cause alarm among the civil population.
General Percival has, with some justification, been made the scapegoat of the Singapore disaster. Yet the man was not a coward, and had won the MC and DSO in the battlefields of France in the First World War. Perhaps that was his main failing: fighting a mobile battle of the Second World War with the trench-bound mentality of the First.
December 12th, 2011  
BritinBritain
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
General Percival has, with some justification, been made the scapegoat of the Singapore disaster. Yet the man was not a coward, and had won the MC and DSO in the battlefields of France in the First World War. Perhaps that was his main failing: fighting a mobile battle of the Second World War with the trench-bound mentality of the First.
I agree that he wasn't a coward, but as Major General Thompson (Falklands Island fame) stated along with B.L. Montgomery (monty) they both (more or less stated) "Too many General Officers and Commanding Officers were promoted beyond their capabilities."

However, having served in the region he was in effect fighting a losing battle. On the north side of the Island there were (unless its changed since I was there) a number of small inlets that would allow invading Japanese to land sizeable forces and almost impossible to defend. The Japanese troops advanced towards RAF Tengah, as the Japanese flooded over the northern part of the airfield the Station Commander shot himself.

The whole of the Far East was a disaster, lack of proper equipment and proper training. It wasn't called the "Forgotten Army" for nothing.
December 12th, 2011  
42RM
 
He had done very well as chief of staff to the British first Corps in France in 1940, to the point of being made the deputy CIGS for a while, and was showing potential as the commander of a division in a Britain facing German invasion. Perhaps if he had been given a chance to lead that division into combat under the command of a good Corps or Army Commander, he might have developed the ability to have led higher formations later in the war. Unfortunately he was thrown unprepared into a situation beyond his experience, or his ability to adapt.
December 12th, 2011  
BritinBritain
 
 
If anyone is to blame for the debacle in the Far East, its the successive British governments who failed to equip the Navy, Army and Air Force with modern up to date equipment.

By the time the British government realised they were on a sticky wicket in the Far East, it was too late.
December 12th, 2011  
42RM
 
I Agree.
December 12th, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Thanks for the measured info chaps - now I have a reliable grasp of the subject.
December 12th, 2011  
VDKMS
 
I disagree that Singapore couldn't be defended. If I'm not mistaken the small attacking Japanese force was exhausted and afraid they couldn't achieve victory in the specified time, that's why their commander started negotiations and bluffed his way in. If Percival would have known this he wouldn't have surrendered.

About the ships. I don't think the RAF could have prevented the sinking. The battle just would have lasted longer but the end result the same. The allies were hugely overconfident and not at all prepared for war with an enemy that was. The Americans thought their ships were safe because of the torpedo nets at PH. It turned out to be a terruble mistake.
The first battles in WWII proved the battleships were doomed just as now, IMHO, the AC's are doomed.
 


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