Fatboy Coxy wrote: ↑
17 Jan 2022 21:43
OK, so firstly you happy to defend the Naval base out to a distance of about 20 miles, if your defence is based on the 1930s built Kota Tinggi defensive line, but I'm hoping your not thinking so shallow, and you mean the whole of Johore, so now we are about 100 miles away at Segamat. Is that still too shallow to defend the Fleet Anchored at Singapore?
Re your reply on British Somaliland, there seems to be some shift in your strategy, if you conclude Malaya cannot be held once the Japanese enter Indo-China, then surely the same holds for British Somaliland, with the Italian East African colony across the border. How can you argue not to reinforce Malay, but do so in British Somaliland. And before you quote the British control of air and sea, the Italians possessed a decent number of destroyers and submarines to contest the seas, while the air forces Britain could muster to contest the air with the Italians was very much a scrapped together thing.
Why defend a naval base absent a fleet to base there?
The Italian Red Sea force amounted to seven destroyers and eight submarines, whose impact on the campaign was - light - to be charitable, and which was a wasting asset in any case, given their was no supply line. Likewise, the Italian air force in East Africa amounted to less than 200 operational aircraft, of which less than 40 were fighters (all biplanes). Given the results of the air campaign, the British/Commonwealth/etc. asset available were more than adequate. What led to the British decision to evacuate British Somaliland (rightly so) was the threat of the Italian colonial ground forces.
Going back to Malaya, in the fourth quarter of 1941, the Japanese had four corps headquarters equivalents, 10-12 reinforced infantry division equivalents, enough shipping to land about half of the above simultaneously and move and sustain the entire force in locations as separate as Luzon, Malaya, Indonesia, and Burma, more than 2,000 operational aircraft (IJAAF and IJNAF), and the vast majority of the Combined Fleet. They also were operating on interior lines which meant that high value assets like (for example, the fact carriers could operate in the Central Pacific in December, 1941, the Southwest Pacific in the first quarter of 1942, and the Indian Ocean in the second quarter.
The Allied forces in the Western Pacific were deployed in as many different locations, and the handful of mobile reserves - the British infantry division and two Indian brigades deployed to and thrown away in Malaya/Singapore in the first few weeks of 1942 - were allowed to be diverted and destroyed for no good purpose.
The end result was that by the end of the second quarter of 1942, the Allies were facing, essentially, four different campaigns over he rest of the year; of these, three ended well for the Allies (Central Pacific, South Pacific, Southwest Pacific) while the fourth (Burma 1942-43) ended in yet another defeat.
Unless the British could have put a British/Imperial/Commonwealth army and air force capable of fighting and winning against - essentially - the whole of the available Japanese force, detailed above, and before the outbreak of hostilities, the Japanese cud concentrate and reinforce to a degree to overcome any reinforcement the British deployed to Malaya/Singapore after the war began - as they did, historically. Having a fleet the size of the BPF of 1944-45 would not have hurt, either.
And the problem for the British is that after the Fall of France, they would not have such a force available for the Far East until well after the US was at war and able to sustain the British - which was not 1941-42, of course.