The Fall Of Singapore 15th February 1942

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by spidge, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    I am no expert on The Fall of Singapore except I have read the excellent book 'Did Singapore Have to Fall? Churchill and the impregnable fortress' by Karl Hack and Kevin Blackburn. Published in 2004. There is a free PDF copy here: Did Singapore Have to Fall?: Churchill and the Impregnable Fortress - PDF Free Download

    For those interested in defences (fortifications and artillery) there is a Pen & Sword book (pub. 2016) 'The Fatal Fortress, the Guns and Fortifications of Singapore 1819-1956, by William Clements. Here is a review: The Fatal Fortress, the Guns & Fortifications of Singapore 1819-1956 | FIRE Reviews and this seller:

    I have read another book on the policy decisions before 1939, but it has vanished from the bookshelves.

    There may be another thread on the treachery of a few officers; various accounts have appeared in recent years. The name of a NZ officer comes to the fore in a search: Captain Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan and a RN officer William Forbes-Sempill. I have added this as one author is widely respected: The Fall of Singapore – The Great Betrayal – BBC2
  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

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  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Report by General Wavell (June 1942) on Operations in Malaya and Singapore can be read here:
    Wavell Report
    Report by Lt General Percival (Feb 1948) on Malaya Command can be read here:
    Malaya Command

    As to errors made and hindsight is a marvellous thing. I already knew about the withdrawal (mentioned above) from the area in 1939 of the 4th Submarine Flotilla (around 15 submarines) specifically stationed on the China Station for the defence of the area. However I have recently read that a large quantity of Matilda tanks were destined for Singapore but on Churchill's orders were then given to Russia in July 1940 when Hitler ordered Barbarossa. Are there any facts to support this claim?

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  4. hap

    hap New Member

    A Delicate Mission: The Washington Diaries of R.G. Casey, 1940-1942
    casey was ambassador to the USA, served in churchills war cabinet and went on to be 16th governor general of Australia. he talks at length in this book about Churchill stripping the pacific theatre to supply Stalin, in order to keep him on side.
    The USA entering the war after Pearl Harbor and how Churchill convinced Roosevelt that 'Europe First' was the best policy.
    churchill was no strategist, just a politician running out of options with the merchant fleet committed to north atlantic convoys and arctic runs of equipment to murmansk and archangel. supplying the far east for a prolonged war would have been an almost impossible task.
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  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The UK-based military affairs website 'The Wavell Room' has published today this article 'How the “Gibraltar of the East” fell: A Historical Analysis of the Singapore Strategy up to WWII' by Andy Wong: How the "Gibraltar of the East" fell: A Historical Analysis of the Singapore Strategy up to WWII. - Wavell Room

    It is awhile since I looked into the issues, so am uncertain if it contains anything new. Of interest via Twitter have been two responses via Engaging Strategy:

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