Respectfully that's a relative term. The Allies had higher consumption rates; the Japanese could keep going with a lot less. The Japanese had serious supply problems because they'd advanced so much faster, than their most optimistic estimates. They pushed themselves ahead carried on by their own momentum. Crossing over onto Singapore Island was the end point of the whole campaign, one more push and victory would be theirs.

What was the state of Commonwealth forces in early February 1942? They were demoralized and exhausted after losing every battle and being forced to retreat down the whole length of Malaya. After being out maneuvered over and over again and forced onto Singapore Island with no place left to retreat to the idea that if they could just hold out a few more days the Japanese would collapse is whistling past the graveyard. Singapore just lost control of the water supply; they were being bombed relentlessly and they had no way of knowing the Japanese supply situation. Everyone had reached the end of the line.

It's not realistic to think the British could hang on hoping that the campaign would end like the War of the Worlds. When all that men could do had failed on the very eve of the fall of the Human race the Martians dropped dead from the common cold. The Japanese weren't going to just fade away.
And the impact of Matador will hopefully be to instil confidence in those same units involved and force the Japanese to start their campaign from further back. And the preparation of the British and Empire forces is better and they have slightly more resources.

I don't believe it is the case that the outcome of the campaign is pre-ordained based on OTL outcome.
 
And the impact of Matador will hopefully be to instil confidence in those same units involved and force the Japanese to start their campaign from further back. And the preparation of the British and Empire forces is better and they have slightly more resources.

I don't believe it is the case that the outcome of the campaign is pre-ordained based on OTL outcome.
I didn't say it was pre-ordained. I've said all along it's a heavy lift to have the Commonwealth forces win. The IJN controls the east coast of Malaya, they have air superiority, and can bomb the port of Singapore at will. Their army is better prepared for the climate and terrain, their Light Infantry doctrine supported by light armor and bicycle mounted troops give them better cross-country mobility. Their leadership is more aggressive, with more recent combat experience, and their soldiers are better trained, motivated, and conditioned for physical hardship, and combat stress.

The Commonwealth forces outnumber their enemy in men, motor transport and artillery. Their better prepared for a conventional land battle with secure flanks. They have the advantage of being on the strategic defense. The heavy guns in Singapore will keep the IJN out of the Straits of Malacca securing sea communications with the outside world. The leaders of the UK & Australia have made an outsized commitment to saving Malaya even at the risk of endangering more important theaters in a global war.

If the British can stall the Japanese in north Malaya for maybe a month and keep funneling aircraft and men in that would otherwise be in the ME, they may hold Malaya for an extended period of time. The downside is they may lose Egypt or Malta. Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that will suck in an endless flow of men and material in a place that the Japanese can more easily reinforce in the midterm. Just try to imagine each month how many men will be needed as replacements, how many aircraft, how much fuel, and ammo, and how many ships will have to carry it all?
 
The downside is they may lose Egypt or Malta.
On what planet? This is 1942, Malta is already too heavily defended to fall to an assault. As for North Africa, unless Rommel has the infinite logistics cheat enabled, all a diversion of some resources will change is where in Libya the Front line is. The Axis simply cannot sustain operations in Egypt. The UK actually has more troops than it has places to deploy them ( Logistics in North Africa are better for the Allies but still have hard limits ) so the men are there.
So you might butterfly Dieppe and Torch might be all American but that's about it. Japanese logistics are crippling in the limits, so if they stall in Malaya , they pretty much stay stalled.
 
I didn't say it was pre-ordained. I've said all along it's a heavy lift to have the Commonwealth forces win. The IJN controls the east coast of Malaya, they have air superiority, and can bomb the port of Singapore at will. Their army is better prepared for the climate and terrain, their Light Infantry doctrine supported by light armor and bicycle mounted troops give them better cross-country mobility. Their leadership is more aggressive, with more recent combat experience, and their soldiers are better trained, motivated, and conditioned for physical hardship, and combat stress.

The Commonwealth forces outnumber their enemy in men, motor transport and artillery. Their better prepared for a conventional land battle with secure flanks. They have the advantage of being on the strategic defense. The heavy guns in Singapore will keep the IJN out of the Straits of Malacca securing sea communications with the outside world. The leaders of the UK & Australia have made an outsized commitment to saving Malaya even at the risk of endangering more important theaters in a global war.

If the British can stall the Japanese in north Malaya for maybe a month and keep funneling aircraft and men in that would otherwise be in the ME, they may hold Malaya for an extended period of time. The downside is they may lose Egypt or Malta. Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that will suck in an endless flow of men and material in a place that the Japanese can more easily reinforce in the midterm. Just try to imagine each month how many men will be needed as replacements, how many aircraft, how much fuel, and ammo, and how many ships will have to carry it all?
Actually if we are talking about replacements etc we have to recognise that the war in Malyaya will essentially be fought between light infantry and to a lesser extent artillery. Without a victory in Malaya the Japanese will struggle to open up the Burma front. Which means the the forgotten 14th Army may not be fighting in Impahl and Kohima in 1944 but in Central and Northern Malaya (and possibly in other DEI islands as well.

Manpower is not a huge issue for the Empire in DEI / Malaya with the Indian Army. Equipping them is more of an issue but the Japanese can't bring all their resources to bear on Malaya without denuding other fronts in Burma, China and Pacific Islands (including Philippines in short term).

Holding some of the DEI and Malaya also improves the Empire strategic resource issues in the theatre and elsewhere.
 
On what planet? This is 1942, Malta is already too heavily defended to fall to an assault. As for North Africa, unless Rommel has the infinite logistics cheat enabled, all a diversion of some resources will change is where in Libya the Front line is. The Axis simply cannot sustain operations in Egypt. The UK actually has more troops than it has places to deploy them ( Logistics in North Africa are better for the Allies but still have hard limits ) so the men are there.
So you might butterfly Dieppe and Torch might be all American but that's about it. Japanese logistics are crippling in the limits, so if they stall in Malaya , they pretty much stay stalled.
@cardcarrier
What are the chances of a diversion of resources to Malaya resulting in a loss of Egypt? (By this i mean allowing Rommel to reach and capture Alexandria, turning the Mediterranean into an Axis lake and denying use of Suez to the Allies? I assume that Malta would probably hold since there weren’t any concrete plans for an amphibious assault on Malta)
 
@cardcarrier
What are the chances of a diversion of resources to Malaya resulting in a loss of Egypt? (By this i mean allowing Rommel to reach and capture Alexandria, turning the Mediterranean into an Axis lake and denying use of Suez to the Allies? I assume that Malta would probably hold since there weren’t any concrete plans for an amphibious assault on Malta)
Highly unlikely. The Axis limitation in North Africa was their logistics. The port facilities weren't good enough and could only unload so many ships at one time. Then they had to truck the supplies to the front and if the distance was far enough, the trucks couldn't carry much cargo, since most of what the could carry was fuel to make the trip and return to the port.
 
Highly unlikely. The Axis limitation in North Africa was their logistics. The port facilities weren't good enough and could only unload so many ships at one time. Then they had to truck the supplies to the front and if the distance was far enough, the trucks couldn't carry much cargo, since most of what the could carry was fuel to make the trip and return to the port.
Not to mention the RN in the Med making PQ17 look like a tea party. That didn't take a huge commitment of forces, so it's hard to see them being withdrawn.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor

Scroll down to the Mark XIV torpedo. states entire stock was in Singapore, this should be the torpedo used in theatre. Mark VIII is also likely to be present. details for this are on pre WW2 page.

I remembered reading this page several years ago and it struck me as odd that a particular Mark of 18in Torpedo would be almost exclusively in Singapore. I am guessing it was simply a case of sending the production run to Singapore and then finding out it was not as good followed by new Mark of torpedo. release limitations are pretty strict on these torpedo's.
Hi alspug, yes I was aware that the 18-inch torpedoes used in Singapore/Malaya were the Mark XIV, but not that they were the only place that had them. Torpedoes are expensive things to manufacture, quite different to bombs and depth charges, and they don't tend to get used a lot, so I wonder how many of this Mark might be in Singapore, would a 100 seem a lot?

The second question I pose is, the article on the Mark XIV says it was considered less robust that the Mark XII (my italics), what might we conclude from that? More likely to fail on launch, possibly diving to the bottom, or engine fails?
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
I agree with the thought that neither Malta nor Egypt could be taken, the Italians and Germans haven't the necessary troops, ships and equipment to invade Malta, it's a very difficult island to take geographically by amphibious assault, and I think by 1942, there's not going to be another 'Crete'. Egypt is just too far logistically for the Axis.

But the consequences of the British Empire forces holding Japan in Malaya, and stalling the collapse of the Dutch East Indies, would mean a sucking up of resources. Malta can be neutralised, her air force wiped out and ships driven away, left on a starvation level. And the British let sitting on the Egyptian border at best, unable to move forward. All this while the battles in South East Asia move into an attritional period, something akin to what happened later in the Solomon's. The British Empire may be able to hold on in the Far East, but the cost is going to be very heavy, and the cry, 'where are the Americans' getting progressively louder.

If you can follow my line of thought on that, you'll understand why I periodically question what more can the USA do to help, especially her navy, and at what cost to her, committing forces unprepared and piecemeal?
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Re Editing

I think there is a line not to cross re editing, generally you can't progress down a TL, only to realise with hindsight that you maybe should have said/done something different. so changes other that grammatical must always be questioned.

And hands up, I've been editing.

The Hong Kong OOB post, has had a little edit, I can't let go on working on the historical OOB, it's far from perfect. I've put all the coastal artillery units into the two commands, Eastern and Western, which all sounds very nice, except the keen eyed and knowledgeable among you might notice that I have the 4th HKVDC Battery in the Western Command, but its location is very much in the east. Far from perfect for me!

So apologies, the OOB is meant to help you follow the battle as it unfolds, but despite my best efforts, I know the historical OOB is still left wanting. It's a rabbit hole for me, I can lose hours with some aspect of the Hong Kong campaign. So if there are any Hong Kong aficionado's out there who know more, I'd love to hear from you.

But a more difficult edit is the one regarding Royal Artillery or RAA batteries being equipped with 3-inch mortars. Both my https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-24689444 and https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-24907229 post have batteries of 16 mortars. The problem is I'd originally thought that was Ok, but later, when I was outlining or writing some of my combat stories, my research had me leaning towards what the British did in Burma, using 12 mortars to a battery rather than what they did in North Africa/Italy, using 16, so my later writing has 12 per battery. I could just change them to 16, and You're none the wiser, but even though a 3-inch mortar is a lot easier to manufacture than an artillery gun/howitzer, nevertheless, the British were short of them, and that extra 4 per battery is an extravagance that I didn't think was right. So executive decision, I've gone back and edited them to 12, and beg you forgiveness.

My best sources of info are https://nigelef.tripod.com/otherfp.htm, the Mortars section, and https://indiaburmasoldiers.co.uk/Indian-aa-atk-regiments.htm
 
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On what planet? This is 1942, Malta is already too heavily defended to fall to an assault. As for North Africa, unless Rommel has the infinite logistics cheat enabled, all a diversion of some resources will change is where in Libya the Front line is. The Axis simply cannot sustain operations in Egypt. The UK actually has more troops than it has places to deploy them ( Logistics in North Africa are better for the Allies but still have hard limits ) so the men are there.
So you might butterfly Dieppe and Torch might be all American but that's about it. Japanese logistics are crippling in the limits, so if they stall in Malaya , they pretty much stay stalled.
Everything comes from somewhere. No Malta wasn't safe for the whole of 1942. It needed a steady reinforcement of aircraft for both defense & attacking Axis shipping to North Africa. If more aircraft are going to Malaya they're not going to Malta. Since Park's in Malaya, he's not in Malta improving the air defense of the Island. Malta was at maximum danger of being starved out or invaded in the late spring and summer of 1942. Submarines that were attacking Axis supply convoys in the Med are in Singapore so, more supplies are getting to Rommel. If I remember from about 50 pages back some units that went to Egypt OTL instead went to Malaya & Burma. Crusader may fail.

If the Battle for Malaya is still hot and heavy in the spring of 1942 fewer aircraft, men, and equipment would go to Egypt. With the ongoing scramble to find reinforcement for Malaya Australia may insist on moving its 9th Division from Syria to Singapore. Without the 9th Division Alexandria would probably fall in July 1942. This would trigger a pro-Axis military coup in Egypt endangering the Suez Canal. Allied victory in NA wasn't pre-ordained, it took hard fighting and heavy material superiority to defeat Rommel.

Dieppe will still happen because the logic of a division sized raid in France is still there, and the Canadians are in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they still get burned. The Americans can't carry out Torch by themselves, they don't have the troops or shipping for that. The Japanese aren't stalled in Malaya indefinitely. After the fall of Java, Sumatra will be invaded. If Sumatra falls the Straits of Malacca will be closed and Malaya will fall with whatever forces the Commonwealth has there being forced to surrender.

Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that's strategically very hard to hold and may drag down a lot more with it when it goes. The hinge of the war isn't in Malaya in early 1942 it's the ME. Malaya isn't the place to defend Australia from, it's New Guinea. Focusing on Malaya is a strategic mistake in a global war dependent primarily on the proper allocation of limited shipping resources.
 
MWI 41120705 Operation Betty

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
1941, Sunday 07 December, 04.30 – 15.00 Hrs Singapore Time:

They came out of the sea mist under cover of the night, with dawn still another 30 minutes away. The three ex-customs launches puttered towards their goals, gently rolling along. On board each, the tension was high, a dozen or so Australian soldiers were cramped below in the cabin or under a tarpaulin cover, kneeling or bent over standing. They listened to the quiet commentary of the coxswains steering the boats towards their goals. On deck, Malay sailors stood forward and aft, boat hooks in their hands, picked for the few words of Thai they knew.

Objectives in the harbour were now being identified as they grew closer. Each launch headed for the anchored dark hull of its assigned merchant ship. The ships' Italian flags were still undistinguishable in the darkness. The launches slowed as they neared the ships, and edged towards the accommodation rope ladders, each with a small wooden floating platform attached at the bottom. Just before each launch kissed the platform, its sailors silently sprang into action, securing her with their boathooks.

On the Volpi, a 5292-ton cargo-liner, an Italian lookout leant over the side and called out. A Malay sailor replied in Thai. He was nervous at first, but as he spoke, confidence grew. The answer, just as he'd practiced countless times, flowed sweetly from his lips, while his companions steadied the launch. The Italian, whose Thai was poor, recognised the language, but didn't fully understand. "Wait there," he called back. "I will get the officer of the watch." As soon as the Italian's head disappeared, the coxswain quietly called to the soldiers "Go, go, go!"

On the other two ships, there was no challenge. On all three boats, the tarpaulins were thrown back and the Commandos quietly stepped onto the floating platform. They were all in canvas shoes, faces blackened, with knives and pistols about them, some with tommy guns strapped across their backs. They climbed the rope ladders with well-practised efficiency. On the Volpi, and on the Sumatra (another cargo-liner, of 6,126 tons), it was done in 15 minutes; both ships secured, and the launches waved off.

But on the Ottobre XXVIII, a cargo ship of nearly 5,000 tons, things didn't go as well. The bridge was quickly secured, and two men headed down to the engine room, where the scuttling charges were likely to be. They met a stoker coming up, who recognised what was going on and had the presence of mind to try to close a hatch from the inside. The barrel of a tommy gun was thrust into the jamb, stopping the door from closing, and a pushing match ensured, while the Italian screamed a warning for all he was worth. The Australians won the tussle, pushed the door open and shot dead the unknown hero, but the warning was taken. As they entered the engine room less than two minutes later, they saw a second stoker running from one sea cock to another. A burst of gunfire cut him down, and the Australians raced to the sea cocks. Four sea cocks and two Australians, meant two detonators were pulled out. A third hadn't been set, but the last one exploded. It shattered the sea cock, leaving the big pipe jetting water into the engine room. The Commandoes were unfamiliar with the ship, and could see no immediate way of stopping the flow. So while one Commando looked to see if there were any other hatches needed closing, the first headed back up to the bridge to report.

Five minutes later, HMS Moth glided into view, with her 6-inch guns manned and pointing to shore. She quickly anchored out in the jaws of Tonkan Bay. By now all three Italian ships wore the White Ensign, and lamps flickered the message 'ship secured'. A fourth ex-customs launch had already motored into Phuket harbour. Its crew made contact with the small Australian Commando party which had secured the town, and signalled 'town secured'.

With all the Italian ships and the town secure, a small flotilla of ships began arriving. There were two ocean tugs, HMS St Sampson and HMS St Dominic, each towing three wooden lighters along with the coastal tanker HMS Tien Kwang. The harbour tug RFA Yin Ping, who, along with HMS Moth had each towed two of the ex-custom launches. Last to arrive was the big troopship SS Ellenga with HMS Larut, acting as the convoy's escort. The launches and ship's boats began transferring men from the ships to shore, where a Navy beach party managed the unloading. British and Indian soldiers from the trooper, Australian Commandos, the RAF radar unit, and Indian Pioneers all came ashore. The ocean tugs dropped a buoy each and secured their lighters to them, while Yin Ping began taking the lighters from the coastal tanker over to Ellenga's starboard side. In time vehicles and equipment would be unloaded onto the lighters, while troops were already being disembarked off the port side.

A naval working party was transferred to the Ottobre XXVIII as the struggle to save the ship began. Unable as yet to get the engines running, they cut the anchor. With HMS St Sampson towing and HMS St Dominic pushing, they headed towards the beach on the northern side of the bay. By 9 AM Ottobre XXVIII was grounded, ten feet of water in her engine room at low tide. They had bought time to assess the damage. Naval parties were also carried over to the other two Italian ships, and work began on making them ready to sail.

By midday Acting Brigadier Charles Lane had set up his ad hoc brigade HQ in a Chinese-owned Penang-style mansion on Ranong Rd, borrowing officers and men from the units under his command. He also had a number of the British and Australian resident tin miners present. They were invaluable, with knowledge of the town and island, and fluent in Thai. Where possible he would allow the Thai populace to continue to manage their day-to-day affairs, although the police and paramilitary force had been disarmed. A single Indian infantry company would remain here as a garrison, guarding the radio station and other important installations, relieving the Australian Commandos.

A company of Indian Auxiliary Pioneers landed and began working as stevedores. Small detachments of RASC, RAOC, RAMC, and Royal Signals commandeered suitable buildings and sites for their own use. Great care was taken to pay reasonable prices for the use of these, and for local stores, food, and water. The general plan was 'to make every effort to get on' with the local Thai populace.

By mid-afternoon Commodore Edmund Abbott, commander of Force W, on board HMS Moth, was satisfied with the outcome of the initial operation. Signals received told him of the success of two other operations. HMS Mata Hari, with two platoons of Indian infantry on board, had sailed directly for the Pak Phra Straits, and seized the ferry operations at Tha Chat Chai and Tha Nun. Secondly, in a much bigger operation, HMCS Prince Henry, after dropping the Australian Commandos off Rawai beach, had continued sailing around the western coast of Phuket, rendezvousing with the troopship SS Erinpura, escorted by HMS Kamper.

By 8 AM, they had arrived opposite Mai Khao beach, with the airfield inland. Under the watchful guns of Prince Henry, and with Kamper undertaking ASDIC sweeps further out, the six Eureka boats and other ship's boats began landing the troops on board Erinpura onto the beach. First ashore was an Indian infantry company tasked with improving the small jungle path that meandered through the undergrowth to the small airfield. There they would relieve the few Australian Commandos. Hacking back the foliage with parangs, they improved the path to a decent metre-wide track. This track would need further improvement, but time was the essence as they needed to push on and make contact with the Australians.

Close behind was a mixed party of RCAF airfield construction, Indian Field Engineers, and RAAF 450 Sqn officers, tasked with planning out the expansion and use of the small airfield. Landing with them were the first two of four Vickers machine guns, one platoon of the Manchester Machine Gun company, which quickly set up high on the sands covering the beachhead. Painfully slowly, the troops landed on the beach. The company of Indian Auxiliary Pioneers began the back-breaking task of shifting landed stores along the jungle path to the airfield. By mid-afternoon, the airfield was planned out, with areas demarcated, troop camps established, and nearly everyone landed. The landing of troops and stores would be completed by nightfall, or just after.

Commodore Abbott reflected that with Phuket Island taken and secured, the major part of his mission was completed, much to his relief. The voyage from Penang had taken a long time. When Admiral Phillips sailed with Force Z, he'd also agreed to Force W sailing, allowing it to be in position if Gort authorised MATADOR. That time had been needed to cover the nearly 200 nautical miles at a crawling 8 knots, hampered by the launches and wooden lighters on tow.

Later tonight, HMCS Prince Henry, with her valuable Eureka landing craft, would return to Penang. escorting the troopship SS Erinpura, and then go onwards to Singapore. A small motor column from Phuket Town would drive to Tha Chat Chai to relieve HMS Kamper and HMS Mata Hari, which would move to Phuket harbour. But as Commodore Abbott's operational stress was beginning to reduce, so Brigadier Lane's stress was quickly growing as the responsibilities of developing the airfield and constructing defences for the island unfolded.
 
Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that's strategically very hard to hold and may drag down a lot more with it when it goes. The hinge of the war isn't in Malaya in early 1942 it's the ME. Malaya isn't the place to defend Australia from, it's New Guinea. Focusing on Malaya is a strategic mistake in a global war dependent primarily on the proper allocation of limited shipping resources.
I can more or less agree on most of what you say Belisarius, but on this I'm not sold. Yes, if ABDACOM allows Java and then Sumatra to fall, they will lose Malaya and all will be for nought. However, if they manage to keep a hold of Malaya and (Northern) Sumatra, the Allies will be in prime position to keep the Japanese from exploiting the natural resources of SEA. Which is the raison d'etre of the Japanese campaign. If anything, Australia was of profound unimportance, especially the parts that the Japanese might be able to control.
 
Hi alspug, yes I was aware that the 18-inch torpedoes used in Singapore/Malaya were the Mark XIV, but not that they were the only place that had them.
I understand that Mk.XIV was pretty much solely used by the Vickers Vildebeest, so the stocks followed that aircraft. By this point the Vildebeest had been replace everywhere except Singapore.
Torpedoes are expensive things to manufacture, quite different to bombs and depth charges, and they don't tend to get used a lot, so I wonder how many of this Mark might be in Singapore, would a 100 seem a lot?
I've not got any hard numbers but seems rather low if anything. Mk. XIV was the only airborne torpedo in production from 1935 to 1937 and they originally equipped 5 squadrons of Vildebeest so a few hundred being produced seems about right. Very few got fired in anger and trials can't use up that many, so I suspect stocks were fairly large.

To a certain extent I don't think it matters, they will run out of Vildebeest to fly before they run out of Mk.XIV torpedoes.

The second question I pose is, the article on the Mark XIV says it was considered less robust that the Mark XII (my italics), what might we conclude from that? More likely to fail on launch, possibly diving to the bottom, or engine fails?
The Mk XIVs were slightly old tech, they had the wet-heater engine and not the much better burner-cycle ones in the Mk XII (the delay in getting the burner cycle to work from an air launched torpedo is, I think, the reason the XIV was in service before the XII). Both engines were reliable so I don't think it's that.

The XIVs also had a fairly complex launching fitting, some details in the RAF Historical Society Journal 45. The 'Bull Gear' was only fitted to the Mk XIV to aid accurate launching and honestly does look a bit fiddly, certainly it did not get used again. The Mk XII had a far simpler MAT tail and then got improved from there on, so it could be a reference to that. However the source says that made the XIV disliked for it's complexity, not that it wasn't robust.

While I have no source for this, I think it is probably a reference to launch speed/drop height, a more robust torpedo could be dropped from a greater height and faster speed without failing. The XII is described as having a stronger balance chamber and was generally newer, so could be launched at greater speeds, not really an issue on a Vildebeest though!
 
If anything, Australia was of profound unimportance, especially the parts that the Japanese might be able to control.
Australia had to be neutralised in some shape or form. Most of the American submarines that wound up sinking thousands of tonnes of Japanese merchant shipping were based out of Fremantle.
 
Everything comes from somewhere. No Malta wasn't safe for the whole of 1942. It needed a steady reinforcement of aircraft for both defense & attacking Axis shipping to North Africa. If more aircraft are going to Malaya they're not going to Malta. Since Park's in Malaya, he's not in Malta improving the air defense of the Island. Malta was at maximum danger of being starved out or invaded in the late spring and summer of 1942. Submarines that were attacking Axis supply convoys in the Med are in Singapore so, more supplies are getting to Rommel. If I remember from about 50 pages back some units that went to Egypt OTL instead went to Malaya & Burma. Crusader may fail.

If the Battle for Malaya is still hot and heavy in the spring of 1942 fewer aircraft, men, and equipment would go to Egypt. With the ongoing scramble to find reinforcement for Malaya Australia may insist on moving its 9th Division from Syria to Singapore. Without the 9th Division Alexandria would probably fall in July 1942. This would trigger a pro-Axis military coup in Egypt endangering the Suez Canal. Allied victory in NA wasn't pre-ordained, it took hard fighting and heavy material superiority to defeat Rommel.

Dieppe will still happen because the logic of a division sized raid in France is still there, and the Canadians are in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they still get burned. The Americans can't carry out Torch by themselves, they don't have the troops or shipping for that. The Japanese aren't stalled in Malaya indefinitely. After the fall of Java, Sumatra will be invaded. If Sumatra falls the Straits of Malacca will be closed and Malaya will fall with whatever forces the Commonwealth has there being forced to surrender.

Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that's strategically very hard to hold and may drag down a lot more with it when it goes. The hinge of the war isn't in Malaya in early 1942 it's the ME. Malaya isn't the place to defend Australia from, it's New Guinea. Focusing on Malaya is a strategic mistake in a global war dependent primarily on the proper allocation of limited shipping resources.

This is my own opinion. Only @Fatboy Coxy knows what he has plans for this time line but maybe Dieppe Raid won't happen and instead the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division could end up in Singapore to give support as well the 14th Army Tank Regiment. Maybe the first amphibious landing for the British.
 
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I can more or less agree on most of what you say Belisarius, but on this I'm not sold. Yes, if ABDACOM allows Java and then Sumatra to fall, they will lose Malaya and all will be for nought. However, if they manage to keep a hold of Malaya and (Northern) Sumatra, the Allies will be in prime position to keep the Japanese from exploiting the natural resources of SEA. Which is the raison d'etre of the Japanese campaign.
Can the RN keeping control of the Malacca Straits impede the IJA from crossing over to Sumatra. Do the 18th Div UK and two Div AUS provide enough to hold Java? Perhaps the 34th Div US trickles in to Java, instead of No. Ireland?
It's all just speculation
If anything, Australia was of profound unimportance, especially the parts that the Japanese might be able to control.
Made even less important if ABDA is still extant in April. The long and arduous climb through Papua and the Solomons back to the PI by the Australians and the US is of less importance. There are two offensives; one through the Central Pacific and the other through the NEI?
 
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This is my own opinion. Only @Fatboy Coxy knows what he has plans for this time line but maybe Dieppe Raid won't happen and instead the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division could end up in Singapore to give support as well the 14th Army Tank Regiment. Maybe the first amphibious
It's not entirely non-plausible for Dieppe to be cancelled and Torch to be delayed, if SE Asia is salvageable.

Maybe the Germany first angle takes a back seat to PM Churchill's successful defense of The Empire in SE Asia? 1942 is Indo-Pac. 1943 is MENA instead?

Of course this is all dependent upon what our author has in mind.
 
Everything comes from somewhere. No Malta wasn't safe for the whole of 1942. It needed a steady reinforcement of aircraft for both defense & attacking Axis shipping to North Africa. If more aircraft are going to Malaya they're not going to Malta. Since Park's in Malaya, he's not in Malta improving the air defense of the Island. Malta was at maximum danger of being starved out or invaded in the late spring and summer of 1942. Submarines that were attacking Axis supply convoys in the Med are in Singapore so, more supplies are getting to Rommel. If I remember from about 50 pages back some units that went to Egypt OTL instead went to Malaya & Burma. Crusader may fail.

If the Battle for Malaya is still hot and heavy in the spring of 1942 fewer aircraft, men, and equipment would go to Egypt. With the ongoing scramble to find reinforcement for Malaya Australia may insist on moving its 9th Division from Syria to Singapore. Without the 9th Division Alexandria would probably fall in July 1942. This would trigger a pro-Axis military coup in Egypt endangering the Suez Canal. Allied victory in NA wasn't pre-ordained, it took hard fighting and heavy material superiority to defeat Rommel.

Dieppe will still happen because the logic of a division sized raid in France is still there, and the Canadians are in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they still get burned. The Americans can't carry out Torch by themselves, they don't have the troops or shipping for that. The Japanese aren't stalled in Malaya indefinitely. After the fall of Java, Sumatra will be invaded. If Sumatra falls the Straits of Malacca will be closed and Malaya will fall with whatever forces the Commonwealth has there being forced to surrender.

Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that's strategically very hard to hold and may drag down a lot more with it when it goes. The hinge of the war isn't in Malaya in early 1942 it's the ME. Malaya isn't the place to defend Australia from, it's New Guinea. Focusing on Malaya is a strategic mistake in a global war dependent primarily on the proper allocation of limited shipping resources.
Horses for courses, North Africa was ideal for armoured formations, units not very useful in Malaya which needs infantry. So a lot of tanks will stay in NA and frustrate Rommel. You still seem to have no clue on Axis logistics, they simply don't have the fuel to fight their way to Alexandria. Rommel was good at mobile warfare, not at all good if a position could not be flanked and frankly rubbish at anything resembling supply. As long as the British stay defensive Rommel just has to pull back.

Malta, well the planes get sent there rather than wasted on rhubarb sweeps over Europe ( which did more damage to the RAF than the Germans ), Airborne attack is out post Crete and seaborne assault is laughable given what the Axis had to do it.

You belief that would Dieppe happen if the Allies were short of troops makes no sense, why risk defeat in North Africa for something that can be delayed. Have not got a clue where your belief on Torch is coming from either, all those OTL LCT's, LST's etc are not usable elsewhere so would be available.

Same with Sumatra, the bulk of the troops that attacked OTL came from Malaya after it fell. The Allies are not drinking lead paint, Sumatra and Western Java will not just be forgotten as they are needed to stop Malaya being cut off. The Japanese forces in Java were not that big in the scheme of things and if more is needed in Malaya would be raided for supplies/transports etc ( logistics say the OTL Burma stuff would be first, followed by DEI then China due to timescales and politics )
 
Malaya is a prestige sinkhole that's strategically very hard to hold and may drag down a lot more with it when it goes. The hinge of the war isn't in Malaya in early 1942 it's the ME. Malaya isn't the place to defend Australia from, it's New Guinea. Focusing on Malaya is a strategic mistake in a global war dependent primarily on the proper allocation of limited shipping resources.

I can more or less agree on most of what you say Belisarius, but on this I'm not sold. Yes, if ABDACOM allows Java and then Sumatra to fall, they will lose Malaya and all will be for nought. However, if they manage to keep a hold of Malaya and (Northern) Sumatra, the Allies will be in prime position to keep the Japanese from exploiting the natural resources of SEA. Which is the raison d'etre of the Japanese campaign. If anything, Australia was of profound unimportance, especially the parts that the Japanese might be able to control.

Pretty sure efforts to heavily defend Australia are more or less a waste of resources. The Japanese cannot invade or seriously threaten Australia. The most I could see them manage is possibly invading Port Darwin, and that doesn't really get them anything useful. It just puts another Japanese garrison where they Allies can bomb it and interdict efforts to supply it.

I am not saying Australia will not be defended. There will be a military build-up there to support offensive operations, with the side effect of defending Australia. I am saying that efforts to build up defenses around Sydney are not as pointless as those around San Francisco, but there is no serious Japanese threat to either.


Australia had to be neutralised in some shape or form. Most of the American submarines that wound up sinking thousands of tonnes of Japanese merchant shipping were based out of Fremantle.
No, Fremantle was a submarine base, but most US subs operated from Pearl Harbor. Fremantle was the fall back base for the subs in the Asiatic fleet, but it was not the US main submarine base in the Pacific.

from wiki (all three quotes)
The submarine base was second only to Pearl Harbor in the Pacific theatre, with US, British and Dutch submarines operating from Fremantle during the war. US submarines operating from Fremantle accounted for approximately one quarter of all US submarine patrols in the Pacific.

Fremantle provided a safe, large harbour but had the disadvantage of being far away from the submarines' patrol areas and being difficult to reinforce should a Japanese attack take place.

During the war, 127 US submarines operated from Fremantle, carrying out 353 patrols. Additionally, ten Dutch submarines also operated out of Fremantle and, from August 1944, British submarines also started operating from the base.[7] Altogether, submarines based in Fremantle accounted for 416 patrols during the war.
 
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