Was Percival not the guy who opposed the buidling of defensive positions, reasoning that, building defensive field works would be bad for morale and would give the wrong impression to the civilansor so?
Doesn't ring a bell. There was opposition from the civilian side as large scale works would drive labour costs up.

Percival was chief of staff to Dobbie, GOC Malaya in 36-7. It was Percival's assessment of the avenues for Japanese attack that went into the letter that Dobbie sent to CIGS Gort in May '38, where Percival had identified that an invasion of Northern Malaya and overland campaign was possible, and that the Malayan jungle was passable. Wikipedia says that Percival "supported Dobbie's unexecuted plan for the construction of fixed defences in Southern Johore."
 
One other aspect of improving the defense of Singapore and its immediate vicinity may have been supplying more HE 15" shells for the coastal defense battery. It's not clear to me how well the Johore Battery could have covered the landward approaches as well as the sea. But if the 15" guns could be used to fire HE shells against the IJA units that would have had an impact. These guns would need adequate protection from air attack.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on the Johore Battery.
1646329382381.png
 
While not knowing the precise details, I do think that by the time you get to the point where the 15" guns are relevant for a landside defence things have already gone very badly wrong.

In an ideal world with limitless time and resources it is probably a good idea to sort them, but as the defenders do have to prioritise I'd look at making improvements which mean the IJA never get into the range of Singapore's guns in the first place.
 
Very enjoyable TL, keep it up!

I doubt that getting 15in HE for the Singapore batteries would be considered, because if there is a need for them, they have already lost. Though, some other things could end up for better, perhaps if exercise using live ammo is set up, it could uncover the problems with munitions degredation in tropical weather? That would certainly be a meaningful change for the better, getting the CW forces ammo that at least works the way it is intended to...

If RAF is unable and/or unwilling to get some fighter aircraft in theatre, is there any other realistic option in that regard? Brewster Buffalos are better then nothing, but unless they are suitably modified they are going to "struggle" (to put it mildly) against Japanese aircraft.

Lastly, some tanks. Any tanks. Just that CW commanders/units realise that they can in fact be used in jungles, and act appropriately if and when they encounter the IJA tanks. Hell, Matilda Is or Vickers Lights would do in that regard.
 
One other aspect of improving the defense of Singapore and its immediate vicinity may have been supplying more HE 15" shells for the coastal defense battery. It's not clear to me how well the Johore Battery could have covered the landward approaches as well as the sea. But if the 15" guns could be used to fire HE shells against the IJA units that would have had an impact. These guns would need adequate protection from air attack.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on the Johore Battery.
View attachment 723161
Singapore needs to be defended at the Kra Isthmus and the South China sea

If the enemy is in 15" / 45 cal range then its not a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, its shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, died, been rendered down for glue and no one can recall what the horse was called or what colour it was.
 
Very enjoyable TL, keep it up!

I doubt that getting 15in HE for the Singapore batteries would be considered, because if there is a need for them, they have already lost. Though, some other things could end up for better, perhaps if exercise using live ammo is set up, it could uncover the problems with munitions degredation in tropical weather? That would certainly be a meaningful change for the better, getting the CW forces ammo that at least works the way it is intended to...
Getting them some HE would be very useful, as would supplying them with armoured casements. After Singapore fell to the Allies again in 1945 they discovered that the 15in guns had fired on the advancing Japanese as they came across the Jahore Straits, however they only had AP rounds. I am sure that an odd IJA soldier owes his life to that reality...
 
Just re: the 15" shells:
1. Who made them?
2. Was there an HE version?
3. Who had leverage over their production? I assume this is an RN gun and so ammunition would be part of the RN supply chain?

Just a late add: Could they purchase US 15" HE projectiles as long as they used the originally-intended propellant?
 
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Ramontxo

Donor
Just re: the 15" shells:
1. Who made them?
2. Was there an HE version?
3. Who had leverage over their production? I assume this is an RN gun and so ammunition would be part of the RN supply chain?

Just a late add: Could they purchase US 15" HE projectiles as long as they used the originally-intended propellant?
15" was not an USN caliber but after Torch they did manufacture shells for the Marine National so they can be purchased. And yes the RN did had HE shells



Edited to add that apparently they (in the RN) had even Shrapnel shells... I think they would play some part against Japanese infantry in the open...
 
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15" was not an USN caliber but after Torch they did manufacture shells for the Marine National so they can be purchased. And yes the RN did had HE shells



Edited to add that apparently they (in the RN) had even Shrapnel shells... I think they would play some part against Japanese infantry in the open...
However they were not issued to Singapore. Nor were HE rounds.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Ok, lets deal with the remarks, so firstly, Derwitt, El Pip, Parma, Rickshaw, GarathC and Finbarr the fair discuss Percival and whether he'll be up to the job. Well perhaps with a more forceful commander like Lord Gort above him, and if the Navy ad Air Force can pull their weigh, maybe he'll be given a chance?, so I think it will be interesting to see how it pans out for him.

Now
One other aspect of improving the defense of Singapore and its immediate vicinity may have been supplying more HE 15" shells for the coastal defense battery. It's not clear to me how well the Johore Battery could have covered the landward approaches as well as the sea. But if the 15" guns could be used to fire HE shells against the IJA units that would have had an impact. These guns would need adequate protection from air attack.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on the Johore Battery.
View attachment 723161
Draconis, your a very naughty boy, bringing in the 15 inch guns so early, I don't think I've even mentioned them yet, or have I, er?
Now you've got El Pip, Triune Kingdom, Richshaw, CB13 and Ramontxo all in a tizz!

The guns were provided to repel any attacks by ships, up to battleships, and so were provided with AP shells to sink those ships. Yes there was a very few HE shells knocking about, but Singapore Naval Base held these munitions, in the expectation that if/when the fleet arrived, they might want some more shells, and yes battleships could fire HE shells, useful for everything but fighting other battleships.

Ok, next one
Very enjoyable TL, keep it up!

I doubt that getting 15in HE for the Singapore batteries would be considered, because if there is a need for them, they have already lost. Though, some other things could end up for better, perhaps if exercise using live ammo is set up, it could uncover the problems with munitions degredation in tropical weather? That would certainly be a meaningful change for the better, getting the CW forces ammo that at least works the way it is intended to...

If RAF is unable and/or unwilling to get some fighter aircraft in theatre, is there any other realistic option in that regard? Brewster Buffalos are better then nothing, but unless they are suitably modified they are going to "struggle" (to put it mildly) against Japanese aircraft.

Lastly, some tanks. Any tanks. Just that CW commanders/units realise that they can in fact be used in jungles, and act appropriately if and when they encounter the IJA tanks. Hell, Matilda Is or Vickers Lights would do in that regard.
Thank you Triune Kingdom, I must admit, on first reading your handle, I thought you'd had a mare and posted your name incorrectly, having dropped the B from Tribune, until I looked it up, and yes it does make a lot more sense with Kingdom tacked behind it. Anyroad, tanks again! clearly I'll have to do something, but you chaps do know tanks don't do very well in jungle, and well Malaya is covered in it, plus the British ones all tend to present different operational problems. But historically Percival did ask for them, so I'll see what i can do.

So Cryhavoc101 is wading in with strategic thoughts
Singapore needs to be defended at the Kra Isthmus and the South China sea

If the enemy is in 15" / 45 cal range then its not a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, its shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, died, been rendered down for glue and no one can recall what the horse was called or what colour it was.
And we will most definitely be discussing this later in the TL

Ok, so having tidied that lot up, time for another topic worthy of discussion in our TL
 
MWI 40120513 Navies Need Oil

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
1940, Thursday 05 December;

The oil tanker, British Governor eased into the Johore Straits, the boon gates opened, welcoming her arrival, with 10,000 tons of Bunker Fuel Oil for the Royal Navy’s oil storage farm at the Senoko Fuel Depot, within the Naval Base perimeter. The tanker was one of nearly 150 owned or managed by the British Tanker Company, whose entire fleet had been chartered by the British Government to transport fuel for its armed forces, including bunker fuel to all their strategic ports around the world. These ships were slow, 10kts a typical speed, and had no fleet refuelling facilities, that was the domain of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, and they plied a continuous path of oil refinery to storage tanks and back, carrying either crude or refined oils as required.

Singapore was having her strategic fuel storage increased, the tanker British Resolution having visited a few days ago, while both British Justice and British Grenadier were due in the next few weeks. The Naval Fuel Dumps at Normanton, just west of the British Alexandria Military Hospital, at Kranji, southwest of the Causeway, and Senoko, within the Naval Base, could hold over 800,000 tons of bunkerage fuel oil between them, enough to service the Fleet, if it ever came, indeed it was planned to have storage for 1,250,000 tons of oil but these plans weren’t expected to be completed until 1943. The oil farms were all interconnected by underground pipes and pumps, as well as several refuelling jetties, allowing the quick and efficient transfer of oil around the island.

Near Woodlands, was a jetty, connected to the underground oil pipe network, with the big old RFA tanker Ruthenia, no longer capable of any sea voyage, at its life’s end, to be used as a pumping station for refuelling Royal Navy ships, although increasingly they were refuelled by the port tanker, RFA War Sirdar, or a lighter.

Both the Army and RAF also had significant storage of petrol and aviation in their own fuel depots on the island, although nowhere near the capacity of the Navy. For civilian use there was another fuel deport at Woodlands, which sat between the Naval Base, to the east, and the causeway, to the west, with a further depot behind the wharfs of Keppel harbour.

And in addition to all this, there were the enormous oil farms on the islands laying off the southern coast of Singapore. Four miles west of Keppel harbour, on Pulau Bukum island, the Asiatic Petroleum Company had built 49 oil tanks to hold either crude oil or refined products, from the oil fields in Borneo and Sumatra, to be distributed onwards. They also had five wharfs to refuel ships. Close by, on Pulau Sebarok island, the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company also had an oil farm, and a long concrete jetty for bunkerage, while Anglo-Saxon Petroleum had three tankers, SS Pleioden, SS Solen and SS Spirila moored off Pulau Blakang Mati, in use as storage fuel hulks. Nine miles southeast of Keppel Harbour, on the Dutch island of Pulau Sambu, the Royal Dutch Shell company had their storage tanks, again also offering bunkering facilities.

So, it wasn’t just Japan that had a thirst, a need for oil, and Singapore was the distribution centre for the British in the Far East, serving Australia & New Zealand, Singapore & Malaya, Thailand, China & Japan, Ceylon & Eastern India. If the oil fields of Sumatra and Borneo were lost, the British would have to look for Abadan, at the end of the Persian Gulf, for alternative supplies. But much of her output was for the British forces fighting in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, there wouldn’t be enough for all, alternative supplies from the Caribbean or the USA would be required.

And while we mention the good old USA, they also had something of a problem. Oil, they had plenty of it, and all its refined products, but the oil farms at Hawaii were critical to the US Pacific Fleet, holding 4.5 million barrels of oil, there was nowhere else, other that the western coast of mainland America, nearly 2,400 miles away. Without the oil on Hawaii, they would have to retreat back to the mainland. Furthermore, projecting power forward was also a problem for them, the war plan against Japan demanded they cross the Pacific, but the shortage of fleet tankers meant the march across would be more of a shuffle. The Pacific Fleet crossing the ocean and fighting in defence of the Philippines could only be done with access to the British and Dutch oil, coming from Singapore

Yes, Japan was facing the bleak prospects of being without oil in about 18 months, but the US and Britain were not without their own conundrums. All navies need oil.
 
1940, Thursday 05 December;

The oil tanker, British Governor eased into the Johore Straits, the boon gates opened, welcoming her arrival, with 10,000 tons of Bunker Fuel Oil for the Royal Navy’s oil storage farm at the Senoko Fuel Depot, within the Naval Base perimeter. The tanker was one of nearly 150 owned or managed by the British Tanker Company, whose entire fleet had been chartered by the British Government to transport fuel for its armed forces, including bunker fuel to all their strategic ports around the world. These ships were slow, 10kts a typical speed, and had no fleet refuelling facilities, that was the domain of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, and they plied a continuous path of oil refinery to storage tanks and back, carrying either crude or refined oils as required.

Singapore was having her strategic fuel storage increased, the tanker British Resolution having visited a few days ago, while both British Justice and British Grenadier were due in the next few weeks. The Naval Fuel Dumps at Normanton, just west of the British Alexandria Military Hospital, at Kranji, southwest of the Causeway, and Senoko, within the Naval Base, could hold over 800,000 tons of bunkerage fuel oil between them, enough to service the Fleet, if it ever came, indeed it was planned to have storage for 1,250,000 tons of oil but these plans weren’t expected to be completed until 1943. The oil farms were all interconnected by underground pipes and pumps, as well as several refuelling jetties, allowing the quick and efficient transfer of oil around the island.

Near Woodlands, was a jetty, connected to the underground oil pipe network, with the big old RFA tanker Ruthenia, no longer capable of any sea voyage, at its life’s end, to be used as a pumping station for refuelling Royal Navy ships, although increasingly they were refuelled by the port tanker, RFA War Sirdar, or a lighter.

Both the Army and RAF also had significant storage of petrol and aviation in their own fuel depots on the island, although nowhere near the capacity of the Navy. For civilian use there was another fuel deport at Woodlands, which sat between the Naval Base, to the east, and the causeway, to the west, with a further depot behind the wharfs of Keppel harbour.

And in addition to all this, there were the enormous oil farms on the islands laying off the southern coast of Singapore. Four miles west of Keppel harbour, on Pulau Bukum island, the Asiatic Petroleum Company had built 49 oil tanks to hold either crude oil or refined products, from the oil fields in Borneo and Sumatra, to be distributed onwards. They also had five wharfs to refuel ships. Close by, on Pulau Sebarok island, the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company also had an oil farm, and a long concrete jetty for bunkerage, while Anglo-Saxon Petroleum had three tankers, SS Pleioden, SS Solen and SS Spirila moored off Pulau Blakang Mati, in use as storage fuel hulks. Nine miles southeast of Keppel Harbour, on the Dutch island of Pulau Sambu, the Royal Dutch Shell company had their storage tanks, again also offering bunkering facilities.

So, it wasn’t just Japan that had a thirst, a need for oil, and Singapore was the distribution centre for the British in the Far East, serving Australia & New Zealand, Singapore & Malaya, Thailand, China & Japan, Ceylon & Eastern India. If the oil fields of Sumatra and Borneo were lost, the British would have to look for Abadan, at the end of the Persian Gulf, for alternative supplies. But much of her output was for the British forces fighting in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, there wouldn’t be enough for all, alternative supplies from the Caribbean or the USA would be required.

And while we mention the good old USA, they also had something of a problem. Oil, they had plenty of it, and all its refined products, but the oil farms at Hawaii were critical to the US Pacific Fleet, holding 4.5 million barrels of oil, there was nowhere else, other that the western coast of mainland America, nearly 2,400 miles away. Without the oil on Hawaii, they would have to retreat back to the mainland. Furthermore, projecting power forward was also a problem for them, the war plan against Japan demanded they cross the Pacific, but the shortage of fleet tankers meant the march across would be more of a shuffle. The Pacific Fleet crossing the ocean and fighting in defence of the Philippines could only be done with access to the British and Dutch oil, coming from Singapore

Yes, Japan was facing the bleak prospects of being without oil in about 18 months, but the US and Britain were not without their own conundrums. All navies need oil.
You appear to have missed the fuel farm at Darwin. Darwin had been established as a secondary fleet base, with fuel, shells and so on established on shore. It was why the IJN attacked it on 19 February 1942, on it's way west to attack Ceylon. The holdings at Darwin were fairly extensive, with several hundred thousands of gallons of fuel oil stored there.
 
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And they need to be defended. I hope they have an in depth multi layered plan or some bright spark (pun) will make all this oil go up in smoke with one hell of a bang.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
You appear to have missed the fuel farm at Darwin. Darwin had been established as a secondary fleet base, with fuel, shells and so on established on shore. It was why the IJN attacked it on 19 February 1942, on it's way west to attack Ceylon. The holdings at Darwin were fairly extensive, with several hundred thousands of gallons of fuel oil stored there.
I'd just assumed the Australians had hurriedly assembled a base at Darwin at the beginning of the war, and didn't appreciate the size of it all. 11 fuel storage tanks, is that just for normal use, Darwin being the point of departure for most vessels heading to the Dutch East Indies or Singapore from Australia, or was it a more strategic build. See link below for development of the farm, page 2.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
And they need to be defended. I hope they have an in depth multi layered plan or some bright spark (pun) will make all this oil go up in smoke with one hell of a bang.
Initially just spacing between the tanks was deemed sufficient safety, with the ability to quickly pump empty ruptured tanks, as well as a runoff ditch around the outside of the tank for spilt oil. With war breaking out in 1939, other measures were put in place, camouflaging the tanks by paint, and building brick walls around the outside to protect from heavy splinter damage, however this was expensive and time consuming, many tanks still hadn't been protected in this way when Singapore fell in Feb 42.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
What about the Anderman island base?
I'm not sure what they had in the Andaman islands, very little I believe, possibly a seaplane base, but maybe your confusing that with Addu Atoll, the Royal Navy secret base 'Port T' in the southernmost Maldives? Work on this began in August 1941.
 
They did have something on the Andermans, not sure what - difficult to find data. I think you're right, something like a small base, maybe a strip for aircraft, basically an emetgency facility
 
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