Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Where did they get all these mines? If the British are laying them during daylight the Japanese will see them doing it. So, I guess the British are abandoning the New Territories and will just defend Hong Kong Island?
Hi Belisarius II, regarding Britain's strategy for defending Hong Kong, see https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-22746760, for its extensive mine defences see https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-23328954
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Information on mine laying operations in Hong Kong

From what I can gather the only difference over OTL is more mines being laid ITTL and there was extensive mine laying facilities and stores on the Island

Part of that link contains very concise instructions in the event of the base about to be over run.
Hi Cryhavoc 101, Yes very similar to OTL, but as you say, Thracian has managed to undertake two mine laying operations in one day, which is a bit of a stretch, but I wanted to portray the Royal Navy being as 'on the ball' as Maltby's army garrison.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Incidentally, anyone who thinks it's easy to hit a narrow linear target with WW2 bomb-aiming is welcome to study the history of the Bielfeld viaduct or 617 Squadron's particular bugbear, the Dortmund-Ems canal.
Hi Merrick, they are excellent examples of just how hard a task it would be to take the Ledge out by aircraft!
If Coxy decides to incorporate this in some shape or form, I can't think of a better candidate for the pilot to pull it off: Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf, the sole VC recipient of the Malaya Campaign, who IOTL performed a near-suicidal bombing run against Japanese forces at Singora and perished after fighting his way out of the target area.
Hi Sekhmet_D, Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf was a hero, but he wasn't superman, and even if he flew his Blenheim, loaded with explosive into the ledge, I'm not sure he could take out enough of it. But I'm sure we'll meet Arthur along the way, doing something daring!
 
The Ledge is 26 mi/42 km from Betong, Thailand. There are KM markers along both sides of the road(410). They are legible.

In the OTL, there is mention of a bridge crossing on the Betong-Yala road. It is past the bend(north) where the
Britsh and Japanese met. This is at Aiyoeweng in the Yala District.

Rainbow Spray waterfalls is on a side road to the left(heading north) or right(heading south). If you do Google Maps, you
can place yourself on the road and head south. You can see a terraced side of a hill. This is short of The Ledge. It gives you
an idea of height though. This is with the improvements over 83 years. The drop from the road to the river would not
have the banks, as it is likely debris fill.

I think that The Ledge is further north by several KM. A road marker indicates 40 Km to the south. Perhaps Betong?
There is the 39 Km bridge further to the south. It's a guess.

Why is The Ledge important? There is a trail/track from Mae Wat to Bae Wat which bypasses The Ledge. It appears
on maps of the era. The question is whether it would be suitable for vehicles. I doubt that the Betong-Yala road had
areas for turnouts. So once armor and transports are committed, it's hard to back up 15 miles. Imagine the damage
that can be done to your advance, if a few subedar or havildar scramble up the hillsides and bushwhack with Boy's
AT and pummel the Japanese vehicles.

If the sappers blow the hillside, the advance by the IJA south from Pattani is stymied. If the IJA center thrust is foiled
for a period of a week, perhaps a Gurun - Grik line is held. Time is on the Allies time. Delay is not a friend to the Japanese
Army.
Thank you for pointing out there is a trail by passing the Ledge. Since the Japanese would know that the British have taken the Ledge, especially if they push past, it on their way to Pattani why would they try to move down that vulnerable road when they push the British back? The obvious thing for the Japanese to do is use the Mae Wat-Bae Wat Road to bypass the Ledge. The Japanese aren't stupid. One of the things that caught the British by surprise is how much better their cross-country mobility was than their own. The British were surprised by the type 97 tanks ability to move across ground they thought was unsuitable for tanks.
 
Coxy,

What communication set up are the British using for communications with forward bases ? Radio, or a combination of long and short range radio and land line phones.
Long range, Radio Sangley will pick it up, medium range maybe on skip, short range no. Singapore to RN units no problem for Radio Sangley, Japanese radio commo to Saigon Formosa and Japan no problem to intercept then to CAST for what they can filter out. Plain Language, no problems, Diplomatic they can read a lot, Japanese Army and Navy coded not yet; they will record and send those on to D.C.
IMO, once Adm Hart gets word that the British have started operations, he will make the necessary decisions. Move his subs to to their operational patrol areas, push loading out his fleet train and prepare it to move south. He could send out a coded warning for imminent war. Hart would notify Mac Arthur, but it will get clogged by Sutherland, as in OTL, MacArthur's Chief of Staff.
 
MWI 41120704a Hong Kong Command OOB

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Units or Officers underlined indicates not historical to this Command

Hong Kong Command
Major General Christopher Maltby
Subordinate to Lord Gort

Fortress HQ
GSO1 - Lt Col Lanceray (Lance) Arthur Newnham
GSO2 – Maj Gordon Eric Neve
GSO3 – Capt H. F. G. Chauvin RA
GSO3 – Capt Peter A. MacMillan RA
GSO3 – Capt Godfrey V. Bird
Maltby’s Aide-de-camp - Captain Iain MacGregor, 2/Royal Scots

Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General - Brigadier Andrew Peffers
Deputy Assistant Adjutant General – Maj R. E. Moody
Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General – Maj I. D. H. Helby

Chief Engineer China Command - Col Esmond Humphrey Miller Clifford RE
Staff Officer Royal Engineers – Capt F. J. Freeman RE

Chief Signal Officer – Lt Col Eustace Levett RS

Assistant Director of Supplies and Transport - Lt Col Keble Theodore Andrews-Levinge RASC
Deputy ADST – Maj C. W. Richards
Movement Control Officer – Capt A. J. Dewar RASC

Assistant Director of Ordnance Services – Col Gilbert R. Hopkins RAOC
Deputy ADOS - Lt Col Robert Macpherson RAOC

Assistant Director of Medical Services – Col John Thomas Simson
Hong Kong RAMC - Lt Col C. O. Shackleton
Combined Field Ambulance – Lt Col Lindsay Ride

Command Paymaster – Col Noel Forde RAPC
Assistant Command Paymaster – Maj Thomas Alexander Meek RAPC


Hong Kong Infantry Bde – Brig Cedric Wallis
2nd Bn Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) - Lt Col Simon White
1st Bn Hong Kong Chinese Regt - Lt Col Rodney Mayer (22Jun41)
2nd Bn Hong Kong Chinese Regt - Lt Col Henry 'Rusty' Russell Forsyth (19Oct41)
1st Field Art Battery HKCR - Maj E. W. De Hunt, 4 x 4.5-in hows
2nd Field Art Battery HKCR - Maj A. O. G. Mills, 4 x 4.5-in hows
Field Eng Coy HKCR – Maj J. H. Bottomley
Recce Coy (ex HKVDC Pltn expanded) – Capt M. G. Caruthers (12 Marmon Herrington Armoured Cars, plus Bren carriers)

Garrison Fixed Defences
Brig Torquil McCleod RA
Staff Captain – Capt P. S. Whitehead RA

HKVDC - Col Henry B. Rose
HKVDC MG Bn – Lt Col Evan George Stewart
(Located in 72 bunkers dotted around Hong Kong Island, operationally under the command of local units in the area where they were stationed. Bn was reformed along the same lines as the Straits battalions, transforming into six static machine gun companies of 12 Vickers MG, 100 men per company plus another 150 in the HQ. The age of men is to be up to 55 but becomes very lax and quite a number of older men are recruited, as established totals not met.)

HKVDC outpost guards, providing static defence of strategic points. (These units vary from between half a dozen men to a platoon of 30.)

Coastal Defences, Eastern Command
8th Coast Regiment RA, Lt Col Shelby Shaw
12th Coast Battery RA, Maj W. M. Stevenson, 2 x 9.2in, Fort Stanley (a third removed in May for Penang)
30th Coast Battery RA, Maj C. R. Templer, 2 x 9.2in, Bokhara Fort
36th Coast Battery RA, Maj W. N. J. Pitt, 2 x 6in, Collinson Fort, 2 x 6in, Chung Hom Kok Fort
1st Battery HKVDC, Capt G. F. Rees, 2 x 4in, Cape D’Aguilar Fort
2nd Battery HKVDC, Lt (Ty/Capt) D. J. S. Crozier, 2 x 6in, Bluff Head Fort, Stanley
3rd Battery HKVDC, Capt C. W. L. Cole, 2 x 4in, Belcher’s Fort

Coastal Defences, Western Command
12th Coast Regiment RA, Lt Col Richard L. J. Penfold
24th Coast Battery RA, Maj E. W. S. Anderson, 2 x 9.2in, Mount Davis (a third removed in May for Penang)
(26th Coast Battery RA, Maj A. O. G. Mills, 3 x 6in, Stonecutters Island, Jubilee Fort, disbanded, guns sent to Malaya)

4th Battery HKVDC, Lt. K. M. A. Barnett, 2 x 6in, Pak Sha Wan Fort, Lyemun
965 Battery RA, Maj. B. T. C. Forrester, 1 x 6in, 2 x 4.7in, 6 x 18-pdrs, 4 x 2pdrs, Belchers Upper, Belchers Lower, Repulse Bay, Taitam Bay, Stanley, Promontory, Island Bay, Deep Water, Tai Ho Wan

AA Defences
5th HAA Regiment RA, Lt Col Fred D. Field
7th HAA Battery RA, Maj W. A. C. H. Morgan, 2 x 3.7in, 4 x 3in AA guns, Lewis MGs, West Bay, Wong Nai Chong, Sai Wan Fort
17th HAA Battery RA, Maj A. R. Colquhoun, 2 x 4.5in, 2 x 3.7in, 4 x 3in AA guns, Lewis MGs, Pinewood, Mt Davis, Brick Hill, Waterfall Bay
18th LAA Battery RA, Maj J. C. Rochfort-Boyd, 6 x 40mm Bofors, Lewis MGs, Stanley, Cape D’Aguilar Fort, Albany Road
5th Anti-aircraft Battery HKVDC, Capt L Goldman, 4 x 3in AA guns, Lewis MGs, Sai Wan Hill Fort

Engineers
22nd Fortress Company, Royal Engineers
40th Fortress Company, Royal Engineers

RAF Hong Kong
Wing Commander Humphrey G. Sullivan
Subordinate to Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, and locally to Maj Gen Maltby

Sqn Ldr Donald Hill
RAF - 2 x Vickers Vildebeest torpedo/light bombers
HKVDC flight - 1 x Avro 621 Tutor, 2 x Hornet Moths, 2 x Cadet biplanes
Airfield – Kai Tak, civil/military, single grass runway, larger hangar


RN China Station, Hong Kong
Commodore Alfred C. Collinson
Subordinate to Admiral Tom Phillips, and locally to Maj Gen Maltby
Flag Lieutenant Cecil Gray

Aberdeen Naval Repair Yard - Cmdr Hugh Montague Rtd
Hong Kong RNVR (HQ HMS Cornflower) – Lt Cmdr Hugh 'Peter' Dulley

Hong Kong Dockyard Defence Corps - Major D. Campbell RM
Royal Marines - Major R. G. Giles RM, 47 men
Major Farrington RM

Local Defence flotilla
DD HMS Thracian - 1092t, 36kts, 2750 Nmi at 15kts, S class destroyer, Lt Cdr A. L. Pears, 3x1 4in Mk4 guns LA, 1 x 2pdr AA pompom, 2x2 21in torpedo tubes, crew 90

Submarines
HMS Rainbow – Lt Cdr L. P. Moore
HMS Regent – Lt Cdr W. N. R. Knox

Gunboats

HMS Tern – 262t, 14kts, Tern class river gunboat, Lt John Douglas RNR, 2 x 3in AA HA, 8 x 1 Lewis MG, crew 55
HMS Robin – 226t, 12Kts, River class river gunboat, Lt Cdr E. G. Solway Rtd, 1 x 3.7in how, 1 x 6 pdr, crew 35

HMS Peterel – based at Shanghai

Aux Patrol Vessels
HMS Indira – 895t, b1918, 10kts, ex Kil class sloop, Lt Desmond E. Hindmarsh HKRNVR, 1 x 12 pdr, 1 x 2 pdr pom-pom, 2 Lewis MGs, one either side of bridge, crew 62

HMS Margaret – 750t, 11kts, Lt ?, 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Henriette– 750t, 11kts, Lt ?, 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Minnie Moller – 740t, 11 kts, Lt ? 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Ho Hsing – Lt Trenchard-Davis, 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Teh Hsing – Lt Morahan, 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs

Aux Minesweepers
HMS Han Wo – 248t, b1919, tug, Lt Wood, 1 x 6pdr, MGs
HMS Shun Wo – 220t, b1917, tug, Lt D. P. Ralph HKRNVR, 1 x 6 pdr, MGs
HMS Perla – Lt P. Young, 1 x 6 pdr, MGs
HMS Poseidon – Lt R. Smith, 1 x 6 pdr, MGs

Smaller Auxiliary Patrol Vessels
HMS Stanley
HMS Britannia – Lt Manning

Aux Mine Carrier
HMS Moa Lee – 1946t, used as mine storage ship

Indicator Loop Minelayer
HMS Redstart – 498t, 10 kts, Lt Cdr H. C. S. Selby Rtd, 1x20mm, 12 mines, crew 24

Boom Defence Vessels
HMS Barlight - 730t, 11kts, 1x3in AA gun, 1938, crew 32
HMS Aldgate - 290t, b1934, 1x3in AA gun, no engine
HMS Watergate - 290t, b1934, 1x3in AA gun, no engine

Tugs
HMS Alliance – 615t, 11 kts 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Frosty – 525t, b1927, twin screw tug, Lt Stevenson, 1 x 12 pdr, 2 Lewis MGs
HMS Hsin Fuhle – harbour tug
HMS Poet Chaucer – harbour tug, 239t
HMS Gatling – harbour tug
Jeanette – P&O tug

Tanker
RFA Ebonol – 1175t, 11 kts, crew 19, RFA Port Tanker, only stationary refuelling

HKRNVR Depot Ship
HMS Cornflower – 1250t, b1916, ex Tai Hing, Lt Cdr R. J. D. Vernall

Navy manned ferries, all 371grt
Man Kim
Man Kung
Man Yeung


Shipyard Building & Repair

Vaughan Shipbuilding, Hong Kong

MMS (Motor Mine Sweeper)95, 96, 123, 124 (building) - 295t, 12 kts, 2x1 .5 mgs, crew 20

Taikoo Dockyard
Skilful – 300t, 9kts, dockyard tug, incomplete on slips
Fairmile B MLs 376, 377, 434, 435

For the Historical OOB, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hong_Kong_order_of_battle
 
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Wonder what that idiot MacArthur is making of all this?
MacArthur will do as he did OTL, ignore everything else until bombs fall on his head. Hart will do has he did OTL, everything he can to be ready, and get his forces moving. The question is will have Hart have enough information soon enough to convincingly notify Hawaii.
 
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Rainbow Spray waterfalls is on a side road to the left(heading north) or right(heading south). If you do Google Maps, you can place yourself on the road and head south.
Since we don't have much of a description of the Ledge, we don't know how high the cliff face is. My impression is a rocky cliff face.
Not far along the 410 south of the road to Rainbow Spray waterfall, one sees the modern road run around the steep end of a high hill, likely built by cutting farther into the hillside than the pre-historical cut created by the river in the valley below the road. The 1941 "Ledge", if even higher and wider, must have been pretty big, because the one in question is' itself about four electrical-pole spacings wide, and about four electrical-pole heights high. If Thai electrical poles are comparable to US ones, then the cut in the hillside is at least two hundred feet high and five hundred feet wide.

All of the historical descriptions I've seen of the road running past the Ledge in 1941 have had it as a narrow, bumpy, occasionally muddy two-track, very irregularly cambered.

The modern face of the hillside-cut visible at fifty-foot distance on Google Street View, as described above, is a dirt cut held in place by extensive vegetation. It's most certainly not a rock cut in modern times. Likely it wasn't in 1941, either.

And if the actual Ledge was elsewhere, and even higher and wider...the one noted above is plenty big enough, if collapsed into the river gorge, to eliminate in the near term any passage of supply trucks or wagons. Which was the whole point.

Passage of infantrymen over a trail created over the landslide would be easy, but irrelevant. Supplies can only be moved efficiently by truck or wagon (or rail or water-vessel, but those aren't relevant in inland Thailand.) And trucks and wagons cannot move across a collapsed hillside.

As to the alternate trail: historical accounts describe it in 1941 as a "goat trail"...perhaps traversible by local personnel carrying small loads, but with a clear implication of no capability at all for wheeled vehicles.
{...} anyone who thinks it's easy to hit a narrow linear target with WW2 bomb-aiming is welcome to study the history of the Bielfeld viaduct or 617 Squadron's particular bugbear, the Dortmund-Ems canal.
Yes, it would be difficult to bomb a road...transversely, or even longitudinally...that's say five meters wide. But if the hillside above the road is 500 feet by 200 feet, shouldn't that be an easier target to hit?

So fly toward the road at ninety degrees, at an altitude that will clear the hilltop even if you don't pull up, aiming your bomb at the hillside above the road. The hillside, being steeply sloped, will be destabilized by having bombs explode within it, after penetrating deeply. The expectation would be that the hillside would collapse and wipe out the road.

And don't wait until the Japanese are near the Ledge, or your own troops are nearing the Ledge. Certainly don't wait for the Japanese to have fighters in the area, or AA guns deployed. As soon as Matador commences, send the bombers. Drop the hillside, and the already-committed landing at Pattani becomes much less valuable.
Most bombs are instant action back in the time in question.
Fuze selection occurs during mission design. Fuzes always were installed into WWII aerial bombs as the bombs are readied for a particular mission...and that includes selecting which fuze to use, from the base's fuze inventory. Of course, armorers couldn't install delay fuzes...or hang AP bombs, for that matter...if they had no supply. But without AP bombs and delay fuzes, bombing missions against armored ships would be impossible. Most naval air forces, and land based air elements with coastal-waters defensive responsibilities as well, considered those capabilities to be basic.
 
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Not far along the 410 south of the road to Rainbow Spray waterfall, one sees the modern road run around the steep end of a high hill, likely built by cutting farther into the hillside than the pre-historical cut created by the river in the valley below the road. The 1941 "Ledge", if even higher and wider, must have been pretty big, because the one in question is' itself about four electrical-pole spacings wide, and about four electrical-pole heights high. If Thai electrical poles are comparable to US ones, then the cut in the hillside is at least two hundred feet high and five hundred feet wide.

All of the historical descriptions I've seen of the road running past the Ledge in 1941 have had it as a narrow, bumpy, occasionally muddy two-track, very irregularly cambered.
I'm wondering if The Ledge might be located between the Hospital and Ta Phayao Temple? I think I remember reading the mention of a substantial drop off to the Pattani River. Although the reservoir that exists now likely widens the Pattani River further north.
The modern face of the hillside-cut visible at fifty-foot distance on Google Street View, as described above, is a dirt cut held in place by extensive vegetation. It's most certainly not a rock cut in modern times. Likely it wasn't in 1941, either.

And if the actual Ledge was elsewhere, and even higher and wider...the one noted above is plenty big enough, if collapsed into the river gorge, to eliminate in the near term any passage of supply trucks or wagons. Which was the whole point.
My thoughts are that infantry can cross over the rocks, but not advance as quickly. It might take days to reestablish semblance of a road, which is even more primitive in nature.
Passage of infantrymen over a trail created over the landslide would be easy, but irrelevant. Supplies can only be moved efficiently by truck or wagon (or rail or water-vessel, but those aren't relevant in inland Thailand.) And trucks and wagons cannot move across a collapsed hillside.

As to the alternate trail: historical accounts describe it in 1941 as a "goat trail"...perhaps traversible by local personnel carrying small loads, but with a clear implication of no capability at all for wheeled vehicles.
There are a couple of maps from the 1920's. They are at Cornell. They do not show the Betong-Yala road, but as a path. The same with the goat trail. I know I saw it...
I don't know if a 90 degree attack is going to work. The Pattani River valley is narrow and surrounded by 800 meter walls.
 
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Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
I expect this distant cousin of mine has a reasonably busy life ahead. Though hopefully not too eventful.
Hi Jules, I think Maj Helby survived the battle historically, but with things getting a bit tighter now, and no doubt the distribution of supplies being increasingly fragile, I'll have to be a bit more diligent with how he gets through it all.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Coxy,

What communication set up are the British using for communications with forward bases ? Radio, or a combination of long and short range radio and land line phones.
Long range, Radio Sangley will pick it up, medium range maybe on skip, short range no. Singapore to RN units no problem for Radio Sangley, Japanese radio commo to Saigon Formosa and Japan no problem to intercept then to CAST for what they can filter out. Plain Language, no problems, Diplomatic they can read a lot, Japanese Army and Navy coded not yet; they will record and send those on to D.C.
IMO, once Adm Hart gets word that the British have started operations, he will make the necessary decisions. Move his subs to to their operational patrol areas, push loading out his fleet train and prepare it to move south. He could send out a coded warning for imminent war. Hart would notify Mac Arthur, but it will get clogged by Sutherland, as in OTL, MacArthur's Chief of Staff.
Hi Butchpfd, Initially for the first 24 hours forward ground units will be using short wave radio, but after that better comms via telephone - telegraph and medium range radio will begin to take over. With a very fluid first day, there will be a lot of trust put in the hands of battalion commanders, with results trickling in, a very sweaty time for Percival and his senior commanders.

I'll hide behind those facts and not allow Hart to get a better start than he had historically, to minimise ripples in the Philippine campaign.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Regarding discussions on the famous 'Ledge', the little I know is the road to Yala from Betong is a winding torturous narrow road, with passing bays, a few bridges, and this cutting into the hillside called the Ledge. Not only is it the main road in this area, it is also the only road, and any diversion with be by single file paths. Certainly you can take a mule train along them with care, but trying to maintain a reasonable force over these trails would be difficult. Having said that, I believe initially the Kokoda trail wasn't any better, so a Japanese infantry force might try and force it's way through.
 
Not far along the 410 south of the road to Rainbow Spray waterfall, one sees the modern road run around the steep end of a high hill, likely built by cutting farther into the hillside than the pre-historical cut created by the river in the valley below the road. The 1941 "Ledge", if even higher and wider, must have been pretty big, because the one in question is' itself about four electrical-pole spacings wide, and about four electrical-pole heights high. If Thai electrical poles are comparable to US ones, then the cut in the hillside is at least two hundred feet high and five hundred feet wide.

All of the historical descriptions I've seen of the road running past the Ledge in 1941 have had it as a narrow, bumpy, occasionally muddy two-track, very irregularly cambered.

The modern face of the hillside-cut visible at fifty-foot distance on Google Street View, as described above, is a dirt cut held in place by extensive vegetation. It's most certainly not a rock cut in modern times. Likely it wasn't in 1941, either.

And if the actual Ledge was elsewhere, and even higher and wider...the one noted above is plenty big enough, if collapsed into the river gorge, to eliminate in the near term any passage of supply trucks or wagons. Which was the whole point.

Passage of infantrymen over a trail created over the landslide would be easy, but irrelevant. Supplies can only be moved efficiently by truck or wagon (or rail or water-vessel, but those aren't relevant in inland Thailand.) And trucks and wagons cannot move across a collapsed hillside.

As to the alternate trail: historical accounts describe it in 1941 as a "goat trail"...perhaps traversible by local personnel carrying small loads, but with a clear implication of no capability at all for wheeled vehicles.

Yes, it would be difficult to bomb a road...transversely, or even longitudinally...that's say five meters wide. But if the hillside above the road is 500 feet by 200 feet, shouldn't that be an easier target to hit?

So fly toward the road at ninety degrees, at an altitude that will clear the hilltop even if you don't pull up, aiming your bomb at the hillside above the road. The hillside, being steeply sloped, will be destabilized by having bombs explode within it, after penetrating deeply. The expectation would be that the hillside would collapse and wipe out the road.

And don't wait until the Japanese are near the Ledge, or your own troops are nearing the Ledge. Certainly don't wait for the Japanese to have fighters in the area, or AA guns deployed. As soon as Matador commences, send the bombers. Drop the hillside, and the already-committed landing at Pattani becomes much less valuable.

Fuze selection occurs during mission design. Fuzes always were installed into WWII aerial bombs as the bombs are readied for a particular mission...and that includes selecting which fuze to use, from the base's fuze inventory. Of course, armorers couldn't install delay fuzes...or hang AP bombs, for that matter...if they had no supply. But without AP bombs and delay fuzes, bombing missions against armored ships would be impossible. Most naval air forces, and land based air elements with coastal-waters defensive responsibilities as well, considered those capabilities to be basic.
The RAF suffered from a huge problem in the early war years. That was that it started the war with a rather pathetic inventory of bombs both in type and size. It also suffered from a lack of numbers. The majority of weapons would be in the 250lb and 500lb sizes and again the vast majority would be in the GP style for which penetration is minimal and the fusing options really are not going to be suitable for penetrating rock in order to act as demolition munitions. The MC style bombs are slightly thinner walled but again not what you would need for the mission your thinking of running. The wall thickness for a 250lb bomb is 0.6 for GP and 0.3 inch for the MC so either a 16mm or 8mm wall thickness. The SAP 250lb bomb was a full inch thick at the tip and .6 at the thinnest section towards the rear of the bomb. It was also likely heat treated as opposed to the GP and MC bombs. (BTW the measurements are from diametre of explosive filling cavity not the frontal section of the forging that apears to be solid in the SAP bombs. )

The Royal Navy had the Skua as it's Divebomber and my understanding is that because it was only capable of lifting the 500lb bomb that is likely the only bomb sent out to Singapore that is SAP in nature and likely not many of them got sent. The Aircraft in service at the time in theatre would have used 250lb bombs the majority of the time and 500lb infrequently. The aircraft in question are going to be moving at no more than 240mph while loaded and although they can drop the bombs they are unlikely to travel far enough forward before they change orientation to impact a cliff at an angle to support penetration before lateral forces break open the explosives container and render the detonation partial or fuse only.

I am not saying it is impossible just if it occurs it is a miracle and not a planned outcome.
 
Hi Cryhavoc 101, Yes very similar to OTL, but as you say, Thracian has managed to undertake two mine laying operations in one day, which is a bit of a stretch, but I wanted to portray the Royal Navy being as 'on the ball' as Maltby's army garrison.
Yes reading that link its clear that there was extensive command detonated minefield's in place well before Dec 1941 and additionally multiple dumb minefield's with the local forces quite capable of policing them after a typhoon and reinforcing them during time of war.
 
The Kokoda Trail is probably worse.
The Kokoda Track was basically single file for most of it's length. I had a friend who was ex-SASR who had crossed it in the early 1960s and remarked that it was basically the same as it had been in WWII. He and his patrol discovered the remains of an ambushed supply column on a branch of the Track. They discovered old ammunition and rations that had not been consumed. They found 9mm ammunition which they tried out in an Owen Gun they were carrying. They strapped it to a tree and pulled the trigger via a string. It worked, after a few seconds delay. They were well pleased with the result, after 30 years out in the open on the Track.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
The RAF suffered from a huge problem in the early war years. That was that it started the war with a rather pathetic inventory of bombs both in type and size. It also suffered from a lack of numbers. The majority of weapons would be in the 250lb and 500lb sizes and again the vast majority would be in the GP style for which penetration is minimal and the fusing options really are not going to be suitable for penetrating rock in order to act as demolition munitions. The MC style bombs are slightly thinner walled but again not what you would need for the mission your thinking of running. The wall thickness for a 250lb bomb is 0.6 for GP and 0.3 inch for the MC so either a 16mm or 8mm wall thickness. The SAP 250lb bomb was a full inch thick at the tip and .6 at the thinnest section towards the rear of the bomb. It was also likely heat treated as opposed to the GP and MC bombs. (BTW the measurements are from diametre of explosive filling cavity not the frontal section of the forging that apears to be solid in the SAP bombs. )

The Royal Navy had the Skua as it's Divebomber and my understanding is that because it was only capable of lifting the 500lb bomb that is likely the only bomb sent out to Singapore that is SAP in nature and likely not many of them got sent. The Aircraft in service at the time in theatre would have used 250lb bombs the majority of the time and 500lb infrequently. The aircraft in question are going to be moving at no more than 240mph while loaded and although they can drop the bombs they are unlikely to travel far enough forward before they change orientation to impact a cliff at an angle to support penetration before lateral forces break open the explosives container and render the detonation partial or fuse only.

I am not saying it is impossible just if it occurs it is a miracle and not a planned outcome.
Hi alspug, thank you, very informative and you made me laugh!
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
The Kokoda Trail is probably worse.
Hi Sekhmet_D, yes I would say it would be worse, circumventing the destroyed 'Ledge' position might be as much as ten miles, but that's not a great distance. Also I'd expect the Kokoda trail to climb to higher altitudes. Possibly after some work by the Japanese Field Engineers, a trail that allows you to push a bike along. might be available around the 'Ledge', I have visions of the Ho Chi Minh Trail here. Suffice to say blowing the 'Ledge' wouldn't put pay to further fighting, if the Japanese are unable to progress quickly down the western coastline of Malaya.
 
The Kokoda Track was basically single file for most of it's length. I had a friend who was ex-SASR who had crossed it in the early 1960s and remarked that it was basically the same as it had been in WWII. He and his patrol discovered the remains of an ambushed supply column on a branch of the Track. They discovered old ammunition and rations that had not been consumed. They found 9mm ammunition which they tried out in an Owen Gun they were carrying. They strapped it to a tree and pulled the trigger via a string. It worked, after a few seconds delay. They were well pleased with the result, after 30 years out in the open on the Track.
Boys will be boys LOL
 
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