Malaya What If

If it is Andrew Caldecott, what was his view of the Japanese military? I have always thought that the European and American racial view of the Japanese was a factor in the lack of preparation. Singapore needs some one who can bring a realistic understanding of Japanese military strength to Singapore.
 
If it is Andrew Caldecott, what was his view of the Japanese military? I have always thought that the European and American racial view of the Japanese was a factor in the lack of preparation. Singapore needs some one who can bring a realistic understanding of Japanese military strength to Singapore.
He is a civilian governor, appointed by the Colonial Office, he knows about as much as the military cares to tell him about Japanese military capabilities

But he knows about the Chinese Triad, both in Hong Kong and Singapore, and understands the complexity of the political system in Malaya/Singapore. Very simply put, to keep the colony manageable, politically from a British Empire POV, it developed into a series of small states, each with their own ruling sultan, a British adviser by his side. Some states were federated, others not, with the islands of Singapore and Penang , a bit of the mainland opposite Penang and the town of Malacca being parts of the Crown Colony, under direct rule. Managing that was challenging, and he was a very able administrator, who was able to get on with most people.
 
MWI 40101023 Who To Command In the Far East?
1940, Thursday 10 October;

Churchill sat in the red leather chesterfield, cigar in hand, a large brandy on the side table. Dinner was finished, it was time to sound out some ideas with his close friend Brenden Bracken. “It has come to my attention that things are not too good in the Far East. I’ve spoken to Admiral Noble, just back from Singapore, and he paints a very poor picture of affairs there. And he’s not the first I’ve heard from, but the fact he made a point of wanting to meet me about it, only heightened my concerns.

It’s time for a clear out, I’m going to change the lot, it’s simply a mess out there. I’ve spoken to Lloyd in the Colonial office, and he’s already replaced Thomas as Governor. The Civil Government needs a firm hand but with a good understanding of the complexities presented by the numerous small states that make up Malaya, and he thinks we have the right man for that. On the military side, I’ve agreed with the CoS on a unified command structure, the Army and RAF clearly can’t be left to work in harmony together, we need to unify them. The problem is who? I’m not so troubled by the Navy, Layton’s a good man, and they were never a problem anyway.”

“That’s a potential big post to fill Winston, what would their responsibilities be?”

“Singapore and Malaya, Hong Kong, Borneo, but we’ll give Burma back to India to look after. Just the higher direction and control of major military policy and strategy, small staff, as both the Army and RAF will manage their internal affairs. But I need someone to bang heads if needed, and get them working together.”

“So, who do you have in mind Winston, who could we afford to lose out there?”

“Ah so that the devil of it all, who? Newall has suggested bringing Brooke Popham back, do you know him, was Governor of Kenya, he’s been running the Commonwealth Air Training Plan lately”.

“Yes, I have met him a few times, charming man, can get things done, but not going to bash any heads”

“Yes, that’s what I thought, this is just Newall promoting the RAF, he argues as they have the main responsibility of defence, they should have the command, all a bit parochial to my mind, especially as they can’t provide the aircraft required to defend the colony. In fact, Newall himself has become a concern, Beaverbrook is adamant he must go, he simply can’t continue working with him, and so it’s a no to Brooke Popham.

“So, someone from the Army, Winston? A chance for a new star or a shuffle of the pack?”

“Army, yes I think so. So, I thought of one of the older generals, Wilson, Auchinleck, Paget, but anyone decent is needed either here for home defence or in North Africa, and jumping up an unproven commander could give me more problems. No, it has to be someone with some proven experience at a senior level, which rules out the younger ones.”

Now let’s see, Wavell’s out, has to stay in the Middle East, Brooke out, Home Forces, Dill out, who else? Tiny?

“If you’re referring to Ironside, I am reliably informed he has taken himself off to his estates in Norfolk, and there shall he remain”

“Well that really only leaves one other in my mind Winston, Lord Gort”

“Good god man, not him, no never”

“Winston, you’re letting your personal feelings cloud your judgement. Is this about him defying you in France? You know it must have taken him some considerable courage to do that, and what’s more he was right. He’s not going to be a bother to you out there, but if, and I say if, a decision of great magnitude arose, we know he wouldn’t shy away from it”.

“France? no I have never held that against him, and neither have I with Brooke before you say so. But Gort is no great brain, he’s a guardsman, all spit and polish”.

“Come on Winston, you being unfair, granted Tiger’s no Wavell, but he can get on with people, he organises well and will take the right decision regardless, he sounds like just the man you want”

“Well perhaps it will be better sending him rather than any of the others, I just hope we don’t all regret it later”
 
The decision by Lord Gort to order the entire BEF to fall back on Dunkirk has to rank as one of the greatest acts of Moral courage at the time and for that he is to be lauded.

However he did not conduct one army level training exercise in the entire time he was in command and that gives me heart burn about this decision

My choice for a butt kicker would be either this nut case

Or Stuffy

Or perhaps both
 
The decision by Lord Gort to order the entire BEF to fall back on Dunkirk has to rank as one of the greatest acts of Moral courage at the time and for that he is to be lauded.

However he did not conduct one army level training exercise in the entire time he was in command and that gives me heart burn about this decision

My choice for a butt kicker would be either this nut case

Or Stuffy

Or perhaps both
I will once again plug Ironside for the role.
 
The decision by Lord Gort to order the entire BEF to fall back on Dunkirk has to rank as one of the greatest acts of Moral courage at the time and for that he is to be lauded.

However he did not conduct one army level training exercise in the entire time he was in command and that gives me heart burn about this decision

My choice for a butt kicker would be either this nut case

Or Stuffy

Or perhaps both

Why don't we set Carton de Wiart, Jack Churchill and Colonel A.D. Wintle out as the shit-kicking team.
 
In my own opinión Churchill should send General Ironside as commander in Chief. Major General Carton de Wiart as his Deputy Commander. This two would build up the defence of Singapore and Malaysia.
 
The decision by Lord Gort to order the entire BEF to fall back on Dunkirk has to rank as one of the greatest acts of Moral courage at the time and for that he is to be lauded.

However he did not conduct one army level training exercise in the entire time he was in command and that gives me heart burn about this decision

My choice for a butt kicker would be either this nut case

Or Stuffy

Or perhaps both

The problem with Dowding (which Churchill would recognize) is the Bomber Boys would likely do everything possible to ensure he failed....

The other choice on the other hand looks absolutely brilliant! What a great alternative!
 
The problem with Dowding (which Churchill would recognize) is the Bomber Boys would likely do everything possible to ensure he failed....

The other choice on the other hand looks absolutely brilliant! What a great alternative!
In that case they would be delighted that he was on the other side of the world

Also it keeps him away from upsetting the cousins (The USA soon found out why he was called Stuffy)
 
In that case they would be delighted that he was on the other side of the world

Also it keeps him away from upsetting the cousins (The USA soon found out why he was called Stuffy)

"Delighted" = Absolutely! But what I was trying to say was that as they dislike him so, although happy for him to be that far away, on principle, they would likely do everything possible to minimize supports to him. As such having Churchill put him in that position only sets him (and the theatre) to fail.
 
"Delighted" = Absolutely! But what I was trying to say was that as they dislike him so, although happy for him to be that far away, on principle, they would likely do everything possible to minimize supports to him. As such having Churchill put him in that position only sets him (and the theatre) to fail.
Hmmm - anyway it was the 'Big wing' types of fighter command that hated him and not the bomber barons and they are busy fighting the Blitz

And if he is sent by WSC he becomes Winston's man and has a direct line to him - an 'action this day' memo is far more powerful than any office politics the RAF senior leadership might or might not carry out.
 
I have to say Dowding would be the best choice to fix the aviation faults and prepare the airfield defences. I am also sure he would check the ammunition storage along with the spares available to improve land defences. For example how would an improvised mount for pom pom's work for airfield defence.
 
Nice update, again.
Might be irrelevant for your story. But I hope the Dutch submarines can show their tactics againts the Japanese invasion fleets, in this time line. There are 26 subs of which 16 modern or brand new and 6 old but usable (O & K class 1926 commisioned)and 3 obsolete (K class 1923 commisioned) Probably only enough for one or two attacks, since the doctrine was based on risking the submarines
 
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For the RAF I would actually think that Air Marshal K. Parks would be a very good choice. He a Colonial for a start, knows how to run a fighter defence and was inspirational to those under his commend.
 
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