Why Was Britain Defeated in Malaya?

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
daveshoup2MD
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Re: Why Was Britain Defeated in Malaya?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jun 2020 07:33

Attrition wrote:
16 Jun 2020 14:33
That's imperialism for you; by not defending Malaya and Singapore, the British Empire would have had a hard time claiming them back after the war.
Didn't stop the French in Indochina, however.

And going down fighting in 1942 didn't do much for the Dutch in what became Indonesia in 1945 and afterwards...

aghart
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Re: Why Was Britain Defeated in Malaya?

Post by aghart » 21 Jun 2020 12:42

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
27 Apr 2020 16:06
aghart wrote:
25 Apr 2020 10:23
In my opinion the one factor that did the most to doom Malaya was the abandonment of the Dobbie defence line. I understand the change in concept to a "whole of Malaya" forward defence rather than a "hold Johore" defence. However, A fully prepared last line of defence (in case plan A fails) where the reteating forces could make a determined stand and keep the Naval base out of artillery range seems (with hindsight) a basic requirement, especially when the defenders were in insufficient numbers to have any real chance of holding all of Malaya. This especially as the line had been started and funds in place to continue it.
If it had existed, the Dobbie or Kota Tinggi line could have been a disaster when Percival was at the stage of withdrawing to the Island. The troops used to defend it would have been well spread out along the line, and the defensive line was just some pill boxes that would have been augmented with earthworks, lacked depth. Once the Japanese pieced the line it would have been a race back to the causeway, with many more cut off. A failing of the Japanese in this campaign was they didn't stop the retreat onto the island, this line would have given them that chance.

The other thing about the Kota Tinggi line is it lacked strategic depth, the captured airfields at Kluang and Kahang were only 60-70 miles away from Singapore City, giving the RAF no time to respond to any air attacks. At best, the line might have given the British another two weeks respite.
Good points, A completed Kota Tinggi line would I hope have been accompanied by a previously planned fighting withdrawal with choke points etc prepared in advance, and no Matador. The outcome I envisage would be a slower Japanese advance, a delay at Kota Tinggi, allowing 18th Div. 7th Armoured Bde, 6th& 7th Australian Div's to arrive. As I have indicated a completed Kota Tinggi line alone would lead to the possible outcome you have mentioned.

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Attrition
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Re: Why Was Britain Defeated in Malaya?

Post by Attrition » 22 Jun 2020 10:11

[quote=daveshoup2MD post_id=2275648 time=1592721200 user_id=85831]
[quote=Attrition post_id=2274763 time=1592314432 user_id=33401]
That's imperialism for you; by not defending Malaya and Singapore, the British Empire would have had a hard time claiming them back after the war.
[/quote]

Didn't stop the French in Indochina, however.

And going down fighting in 1942 didn't do much for the Dutch in what became Indonesia in 1945 and afterwards...
[/quote]

Yes, the French and Dutch tried a comeback and failed because of indigenous revolt. The British were rather better at picking the right time to scuttle and left quite a few time bombs behind.

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