The 8th Division arrived in Malaya after the Japanese took control of French Indochina, however, which is the point: before the Japanese took over FIC, the British could hold Malaya with what they had in place. Afterwards, absent the equivalent of the 8th Army and Desert Air Force (both of which had other engagements at the time), they couldn't hold Malaya. Dying gallantly may be gallant, but it is also dying; and reinforcing failure remains failure.Fatboy Coxy wrote: ↑10 Jan 2022 08:01Sorry daveshoup2MD, giving up on defending Malaya/Singapore is quite unacceptable to the British, whats committed before the fighting starts has to stay there. I grant you there is a very good argument for not sending the 18th Division, but the Australians were already there. There is a big difference between what the Philippines are to the USA and Malaya is to Britain. No, you'll have to provide me with a better strategy than that please
Have the 9th and 11th divisions dig in on the north side of the Johore Strait, have the fortress troops hold the island, and fight it out for as long as possible; given that it was all of 70 days (more or less) from start to finish historically, it's not like a "defend in Johore" strategy is likely to have ended in surrender particularly sooner than the campaign the British fought, historically.
There's a "too little, too late" pattern, unfortunately, that the British (and Canadians) repeated in 1941-42 in Hong Kong, Malaya-Singapore, and Burma, and the Australians with the piecemeal defenses of Ambon, Timor, and Rabaul.
One can argue the same pattern took place in Norway, Greece, Crete, Cyrenaica, and the Dodecanese at various points in 1940-43, as well, of course.