How much/how little would the in-country ambassador have been read in on general details of an Operation Matador in OTL? I would imagine that some considerable info would be forwarded from London, but how much of Gort's operational plan ITTL would be shared with the Ambassador?
Ramp Rat makes some really great points. Is an Ambassador given free hand to "go native" and still provided the Military information which reveals British War Plans? That's just one of the points he reveals. I smell a perfidious Albion treachery afoot.

The Japanese Army perspective
The Navy are laying a trap to inveigle us into landing along the Kra Isthmus. When it's sprung, this will be the focus of that increased prepositioned British presence in Northern Malaya, This could mean opposed landings at say, Pattani or Singora or Kota Bharu. The Imperial Navy is strung thin, with the PI, Hawaiian and New Britain operations. How very convenient. Is it better to depend more on the over land operation through Thailand? It takes longer. That route is certain though. Or take the riskier three prong, Trident configuration approach that the Imperial Navy seems so content with?

It would be just like the Imperial Navy to leave the Imperial Army befuddled in the eyes of the Emperor. GEN Yamashita who we've never trusted is probably in cahoots with ADM Yamamoto...Yamashita, Yamamoto the connection is obvious to anyone with eyes. Even if our eyesight is poor and particularly bad at night. And the Navy insists in the landings taking place at night!

We never believed in that Hugh G. Grant American Ambassador thing ."Huge Grant" to Thai resistance is more like it. Resigns after a mere few months and an election? He is from Alabama. Like that FDR appointed SCOTUS Judge Hugo Black. No doubt a fellow Klansman and a Stonecutter, like FDR. It doesn't matter, York or Scottish Rite. All are agents of the British Crown, whether British or American. And dare I say, some of our Navy men too. Wait a minute ADM Yamamoto and FDR are both from HARVARD!!!
 
well, it is most unusual for a PM to talk to an Ambassador directly without his Foreign Minister being present.
The Thai government factions can be traced back to the revolution of 1932 that overthrew the absolute monarchy and replaced it with a constitutional monarchy. The revolution had both a military wing (in which Phibun had been a founding and powerful member, though later additions of high ranked officers had initially taken charge) and a civilian wing (which Pridi being perhaps the most visible member). Despite Pridi’s over enthusiasm for socialist (at times nearly communist) ideals contributing to early disruptions, the two sides worked quite well together under the earlier leadership of Phraya Phahon (one of the high ranked members of the military wing). Phibun had been Minister of Defence while Pridi had been first Minister of the Interior and then Foreign Affairs.

In 1938 Phibun took over from Phahon and effectively became a military dictator. He sought to emulate Mussolini’s fascism. Since Pridi was a socialist and the front runner of the civilian half of the People’s party (the one legal party that controlled the state) they were at odds despite being friends in the past. Pridi had been moved out of the Foreign Affairs role and into Finance. Phibun had initially taken foreign affairs himself (along with the Prime Ministership, Ministry of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Army) for a time. He had only allowed a civilian member of the Party into the position a few months before (in April 1941). And that member was closely associated with Pridi’s side of the government. As a matter of fact his appointment may have been a part of Phibun attempts to reestablish diplomatic ties with the European powers following the Franco-Thai war and the takeover of French Indochina by the Japanese. Though he was very pro-Japan, having them on his border did make Phibun nervous. So he made attempts to balance Japanese influence in Thailand with increased talks with the British.

The fact that Phibun is now meeting with the ambassador without his more pro-Western Foreign Affairs Minister would indicate that he has given up on that initiative, or at least holds less faith in it.

In addition given just how polite the Thai’s are normally, the level of deliberate rudeness exhibited is a deliberate smack in the face.
I’ll be honest, though it would not be totally out of character for Phibun from what I can tell (this may even be OTL for all I know), I still find the rudeness somewhat unlikely. Phibun was pro-Japanese but at the time was very concerned about the Japanese invading Thailand. Despite personal preference, he seems unlikely to deliberately antagonize the only counter he has against that possibility. Show them a lack of favour, sure. Deliberate snubbing seems counterproductive.

That said it isn’t entirely out of character or completely at odds with the situation either.
 
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Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Was this Hugh Grant or Willys Peck?
Hi Nevarinemex, Hugh Gladney Grant apparently didn't impress the Thai's, and when FDR had the opportunity to recall him, he did. Sir Andrew Gilchrist notes in his book, Malaya 1941, The fall of a fighting empire that Crosby lobbied hard with strong support from the Foreign Office to have him removed, but there is another angle to this one. Britain was looking at the USA to offer guarantees of security to Thailand, (and the Dutch East Indies) something the Americans, FDR leading, were firmly against. This was a clear frustration to Britain, and then the ending of the Franco-Thai war, which exposed clear differences between the British and Americans over how to treat the Thai's. Britain was more accepting of Thailand's gains, while the Americans were much more hostile towards their (Thailand) actions.

The other thing to note on my MWI 41120216 Relations With Thailand post is the role of Sir Andrew Gilchrist. You may remember the post MWI 41101012 The Holiday, see https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-24318194, well Gilchrist was part of the coordination from the Bangkok end, working with British military intelligence and the Oriental Mission of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, see MWI 41071116 The Secret Army, https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-23861713, journeying twice to Singapore to meet Killery of the SOE and Ewing of the FECB. Gilchrist, although a diplomat easily transformed into a spy, see his latter role in WW2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gilchrist.
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
The question of what can be done about a British Ambassador/Consul who has mental health issues at this point in time, is a very complex one and dependant on multiple factors. Starting with the simplest one, is this a sudden change or a slow deterioration over time. In the case of a sudden mental health crisis, the embassy/consulate doctor will determine that he isn’t fit to continue to serve and arrange for him to be hospitalised and treated. While his number two will inform London and temporarily assume his duties until a replacement can be appointed to take his place, while arrangements are made to evaluate him and his family home for treatment. However if the deterioration is slow and remains unnoticed for a long time, this is where difficulties arise, and very much depends on the circumstances around him. Is he in a major post, where his deterioration is noted by others such as the wider British community, who also have contacts with the home government, and who can raise their concerns, there is a good chance that someone from home, will be asked to visit him and make an assessment. Or should his number two be prepared to put his career on the line, and send a message to the FO raising his concerns, along with those of the British community, and preferably the embassy/consulate doctor. Again someone will be sent to examine him and action taken, remember given the difficulties with travel at the time, and depending on the where he is this could take some time. So if he is in Europe or the United States, you are talking about days or weeks, before a decision can be made. The next easiest is funny enough the Far East where by using the Trans Siberian railway you could have someone there inside two to three weeks. The most difficult to get to pre war were the Middle East and South America, which could entail weeks of travel. Note Africa wasn’t a major consideration at the time as other than Ethiopia and Egypt there were no other independent nations, and very few British consulates other than in a few seaports. In the case of Sir Josiah his problem has been slow to develop but has been exasperated by the war and the local situation, with the situation in Europe since 39, the quick route east is unavailable, and since 40 all ships have to go the long way around. Given just how much is on the governments plate right now, his problem has definitely been pushed to the back burner. However measures have been taken, his access to the most sensitive information has been restricted and he is very much on his own with London and Singapore relying on others for information and advice. The British have effectively written off Thailand for now, and are going to concentrate on defending Malaya and Singapore, and evacuating those British that they can easily when they balloon goes up in a few days.

RR.
 
Hi Nevarinemex, Hugh Gladney Grant apparently didn't impress the Thai's, and when FDR had the opportunity to recall him, he did. Sir Andrew Gilchrist notes in his book, Malaya 1941, The fall of a fighting empire that Crosby lobbied hard with strong support from the Foreign Office to have him removed, but there is another angle to this one. Britain was looking at the USA to offer guarantees of security to Thailand, (and the Dutch East Indies) something the Americans, FDR leading, were firmly against. This was a clear frustration to Britain, and then the ending of the Franco-Thai war, which exposed clear differences between the British and Americans over how to treat the Thai's. Britain was more accepting of Thailand's gains, while the Americans were much more hostile towards their (Thailand) actions.

The other thing to note on my MWI 41120216 Relations With Thailand post is the role of Sir Andrew Gilchrist. You may remember the post MWI 41101012 The Holiday, see https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-24318194, well Gilchrist was part of the coordination from the Bangkok end, working with British military intelligence and the Oriental Mission of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, see MWI 41071116 The Secret Army, https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-23861713, journeying twice to Singapore to meet Killery of the SOE and Ewing of the FECB. Gilchrist, although a diplomat easily transformed into a spy, see his latter role in WW2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gilchrist.
I do remember. There was that fishing expedition or holiday. The British are far more practical about the World. The US is still doing the Pearl Buck thing.

Let's say that Major Prayoon Rattanakit, meets a Canadian officer at that border crossing at Betong. He's at the head of Krohcol. "I'm from America. The Japanese are landing at Songkla. We are here to defend Thailand against invaders. May we pass?"

Wasn't Grant's successor, Willys Peck, involved in trying to work a deal to sell pursuit planes to the Chinese?
 
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Unfortunately Sir Josiah in the words of the British Foreign Office, been captured gone native, and as previously been mentioned, can not be trusted anymore to fore fill his role. What he should have done is on returning to his embassy, fired off two coded cables, one to London and the other to Singapore, warning them that it appears that the Thai government is in bed with the Japanese.
I think you're being unduly harsh on him here. For starters, we have to assume that he knows roughly what the Second Secretary has been doing in talking to Banomyong - even if he doesn't know about the bribery (and remember that Banomyong is being told the ambassador doesn't know here - we can't assume this to be accurate), he will know of the meeting and it is likely to have relevant content for his cables. Having a wash-up discussion prior to sending the cables is absolutely the right thing to do - and that's all we actually see here.
Additionally it's the nature of things that Ambassadors can't know everything - and that goes double for chicanery, they might (probably do) know that it's going on since a certain amount of knowledge is required to lie convincingly, but operational detail is nothing but a headache.
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
I think you're being unduly harsh on him here. For starters, we have to assume that he knows roughly what the Second Secretary has been doing in talking to Banomyong - even if he doesn't know about the bribery (and remember that Banomyong is being told the ambassador doesn't know here - we can't assume this to be accurate), he will know of the meeting and it is likely to have relevant content for his cables. Having a wash-up discussion prior to sending the cables is absolutely the right thing to do - and that's all we actually see here.
Additionally it's the nature of things that Ambassadors can't know everything - and that goes double for chicanery, they might (probably do) know that it's going on since a certain amount of knowledge is required to lie convincingly, but operational detail is nothing but a headache.


Given that it has already been established ITTL, that Sir Josiah is regarded as having gone native, and both Gort and the Governor have been warned not to inform him of any of their plans. And his second secretary is probably reporting to others than the FO, I believe that I have been generous, there was the option of him being ordered to attend a meeting in Singapore, and it then being announced that he had been suddenly ill and wasn’t going to return to Thailand. I doubt that by this stage ITTL, he is being told anything of importance and definitely nothing about his second secretaries activities.

RR.
 
Hi Nevarinemex, Hugh Gladney Grant apparently didn't impress the Thai's, and when FDR had the opportunity to recall him, he did. Sir Andrew Gilchrist notes in his book, Malaya 1941, The fall of a fighting empire that Crosby lobbied hard with strong support from the Foreign Office to have him removed, but there is another angle to this one. Britain was looking at the USA to offer guarantees of security to Thailand, (and the Dutch East Indies) something the Americans, FDR leading, were firmly against. This was a clear frustration to Britain, and then the ending of the Franco-Thai war, which exposed clear differences between the British and Americans over how to treat the Thai's. Britain was more accepting of Thailand's gains, while the Americans were much more hostile towards their (Thailand) actions.

The other thing to note on my MWI 41120216 Relations With Thailand post is the role of Sir Andrew Gilchrist. You may remember the post MWI 41101012 The Holiday, see https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-24318194, well Gilchrist was part of the coordination from the Bangkok end, working with British military intelligence and the Oriental Mission of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, see MWI 41071116 The Secret Army, https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-23861713, journeying twice to Singapore to meet Killery of the SOE and Ewing of the FECB. Gilchrist, although a diplomat easily transformed into a spy, see his latter role in WW2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gilchrist.
Just how would an American guarantee help at this point? I'm not sure if an earlier guarantee could have assisted either. Prince Konoye and his administration probably see
an American guarantee of western Colonialism in SE Asia as similar to interference in China. Perhaps no Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese keep moving over the Fall, after the Indo-China landings? The Malayan/NEI outcome is not delayed or impeded, as it looks likely ITTL.? Then again, there might not have been the time send planes, tanks and troops to the PI either. Which might have a positive effect for ABDA's prospects.

I'm curious as to why ADM Phillips did his "meet and greet" with ADM Hart. Could this happen at another time? ADM Phillips can better get a grip on his own tactical situation. I can see the duty bound aspect to it. This isn't the "The Age of Sail" though.

I doubt that London would authorize a pre-landing "intercept and engage" of IJN transports and warships in the South China Sea. The Japanese do have tendency, "to strike first, inform later". However, once the invasion force gets ashore it's likely too late for a favorable outcome. I see intercept and sink during the hours of darkness, prior to the
landing, as the only positive outcome for Force Z. But do they go after the warships before the transports?
 

Driftless

Donor
We have heard quite a bit about the IJN forces heading towards the South China Sea, a fair amount about Force Z, some about the US Asiatic Fleet, and a little about the Dutch surface warships recently. Also, the Commonwealth air forces changes have been outlined and that there is a much more astute leader in theater.

I doesn't seem to me that we've heard a great deal about the various Allied submarine fleets in the region lately. Without too much of a hand-waving push, they could have played a more significant role than they did historically.
 
Just how would an American guarantee help at this point? I'm not sure if an earlier guarantee could have assisted either. Prince Konoye and his administration probably see
an American guarantee of western Colonialism in SE Asia as similar to interference in China. Perhaps no Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese keep moving over the Fall, after the Indo-China landings? The Malayan/NEI outcome is not delayed or impeded, as it looks likely ITTL.? Then again, there might not have been the time send planes, tanks and troops to the PI either. Which might have a positive effect for ABDA's prospects.

I'm curious as to why ADM Phillips did his "meet and greet" with ADM Hart. Could this happen at another time? ADM Phillips can better get a grip on his own tactical situation. I can see the duty bound aspect to it. This isn't the "The Age of Sail" though.

I doubt that London would authorize a pre-landing "intercept and engage" of IJN transports and warships in the South China Sea. The Japanese do have tendency, "to strike first, inform later". However, once the invasion force gets ashore it's likely too late for a favorable outcome. I see intercept and sink during the hours of darkness, prior to the
landing, as the only positive outcome for Force Z. But do they go after the warships before the transports?
The meet and greet was barely 24 hours after his arrival. The worst part, according to Hart was 3 wasted hours of listening to MacArthur droning on about his "powerful" forces, before Hart Phillips and staffs could get down to business. Included was Hart confirming a loan of 4 sonar equipped destroyers to Phillips when war breaks out. That was a third oh Hart's destroyers. There was no time. Hart told Phillips of the War Warning, and that were picking up large shipping movements in the South China sea.
 
I doesn't seem to me that we've heard a great deal about the various Allied submarine fleets in the region lately. Without too much of a hand-waving push, they could have played a more significant role than they did historically.
American submarine doctrine for the Asiatic Fleet seems to envision a submersible coastal monitor or coastal fort. It appears that an Army General calling the shots pre-war.
This is a major problem. Did this occur pre or post ascension to The Throne?

The submarine is not a defensive weapon. It's not a seaborne picket line of skirmishers. If allowed to train properly it may have an affect on the outcome of a campaign.
Of course, NTS is as obdurate as possible for the first couple of years...
 
We have heard quite a bit about the IJN forces heading towards the South China Sea, a fair amount about Force Z, some about the US Asiatic Fleet, and a little about the Dutch surface warships recently. Also, the Commonwealth air forces changes have been outlined and that there is a much more astute leader in theater.

I doesn't seem to me that we've heard a great deal about the various Allied submarine fleets in the region lately. Without too much of a hand-waving push, they could have played a more significant role than they did historically.
Except for the 6 original subs of the Asiatic Fleet, the other 20 had arrived between Nov. 22nd and Dec. 2nd, after a transit with their tenders, Holland and Otus from Hawaii. The distance of a very long patrol. All needed tender or dock time.
 
The meet and greet was barely 24 hours after his arrival. The worst part, according to Hart was 3 wasted hours of listening to MacArthur droning on about his "powerful" forces, before Hart Phillips and staffs could get down to business. Included was Hart confirming a loan of 4 sonar equipped destroyers to Phillips when war breaks out. That was a third oh Hart's destroyers. There was no time. Hart told Phillips of the War Warning, and that were picking up large shipping movements in the South China sea.
So then ADM Hart detracted from al those other hours available in the meeting from GEN MacArthur expressing himself. Just like the Navies to go off on observations about a nonexistent invasion that can't happen before 1943.:)
 
Except for the 6 original subs of the Asiatic Fleet, the other 20 had arrived between Nov. 22nd and Dec. 2nd, after a transit with their tenders, Holland and Otus from Hawaii. The distance of a very long patrol. All needed tender or dock time.
Just like the Navy to require upkeep for their precious ships. The Army Air Corp can always take parts from destroyed planes and keep the other six flying.:p
 
American submarine doctrine for the Asiatic Fleet seems to envision a submersible coastal monitor or coastal fort. It appears that an Army General calling the shots pre-war.
This is a major problem. Did this occur pre or post ascension to The Throne?

The submarine is not a defensive weapon. It's not a seaborne picket line of skirmishers. If allowed to train properly it may have an affect on the outcome of a campaign.
Of course, NTS is as obdurate as possible for the first couple of years...
Post acension. Pre, subs traveled to North China, Fr Indochina, DEI, Guam. Post The same arc to Formosa and North was off limits, officially. Hart's sub Captains knew the probable beaches were too shallow for subs.
 
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So then ADM Hart detracted from al those other hours available in the meeting from GEN MacArthur expressing himself. Just like the Navies to go off on observations about a nonexistent invasion that can't happen before 1943.:)
No, Phillips wanted to meet Mac Arthur, and Mac Arthur him. Hart was constrained, by the FUBAR Command structure. Phillips according to Hart and staffers came away shocked and bemused at MacArthur and his fantasy world view, and time line.
 
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Post acension. Pre, subs traveled to North China, Fr Indochina, DEI, Guam. Post The same arc to Formosa and North was off limits, officially. Hart's sub Captains new the probable beaches were too shallow for subs.
Why did FDR allow the abandonment of WPO-3? I don't see a field commander having that decision making authority. If after nine months of continued reinforcements and replenishment arriving, the abandonment of WPO might be contemplated. A battle or two the other way and the IJA sweeps into Bataan, before the So. Luzon Force makes it to Pampanaga.
 
No, Phillips wanted to meet Mac Arthur, and Mac Arthur him. Hart was constrained, by the FUBAR Command structure. Phillips according to Hart and staffers came away shocked and bemused at MacArthur and his fantasy world view, and time line.
Some Mark Twain? "It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove doubt".


 
Why did FDR allow the abandonment of WPO-3? I don't see a field commander having that decision making authority. If after nine months of continued reinforcements and replenishment arriving, the abandonment of WPO might be contemplated. A battle or two the other way and the IJA sweeps into Bataan, before the So. Luzon Force makes it to Pampanaga.
Because MacArthur never publicly renounced WPO. No one on his staff would say a word, Brett commanding USAAC in the Far East only arrived in November, and no one outside the the Navy Dept. believed Hart on how deranged MacArthur was.
The South Luzon force survived because of the professionalism of the Philippine Scouts, 1 platoon of the 192nd Armored and in particular the PS artillery, holding the vital bridges.
 
Because MacArthur never publicly renounced WPO. No one on his staff would say a word, Brett commanding USAAC in the Far East only arrived in November, and no one outside the the Navy Dept. believed Hart on how deranged MacArthur was.
The South Luzon force survived because of the professionalism of the Philippine Scouts, 1 platoon of the 192nd Armored and in particular the PS artillery, holding the vital bridges.
Thanks for the explanation. Perhaps Lend-Lease of the USAFFE might have achieved better results.

The peninsula campaign up from Legaspi always interested me in. I read Morton's The Fall of the Philippines.
 
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