The guns cover the front door into the Straits of Malacca, the back door channels you mapped out can easily be mined.
So the guns don't block access. Undefended minefields can be swept fairly quickly. Minefields covered by shore batteries are a very challenging obstacle (as demonstrated at Gallipoli). But these minefields would not be covered and could be swept if the Japanese wanted to pass that way.
 
Regarding the seizer of Penang, whilst wonderfully written I have a couple of nit picks. IMVHO the boarding parties to seize the Italian ships would historically be comprised of Royal Marines and Naval Ratings, men absolutely familiar with the inner working of ships. Also why are they using Eureka boats when the RN have been using the much better Landing Craft Assault since May 1940? The first ramped Eureka boat prototypes were not being tested until May 1941, IIRC.
 
So the guns don't block access. Undefended minefields can be swept fairly quickly. Minefields covered by shore batteries are a very challenging obstacle (as demonstrated at Gallipoli). But these minefields would not be covered and could be swept if the Japanese wanted to pass that way.
The British controlled the surrounding islands and could post small outposts that would let them know if minesweepers were operating in the area. Even if they are mining and minesweeping are a push pull in naval warfare. I'm sure the IJN could send in MTBs, or minelayers at minimum risk, but I don't know if they'd risk sending destroyers.
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
Could the British commitment to the Far East zone, have a significant effect on their campaign in North Africa and the Mediterranean, highly doubtful. Whereas North Africa and the Mediterranean are high intensity, requiring massive modern resources, the Far East is a low intensity zone that requires very little modern resources. For example the 2lb anti tank gun which is basically obsolete against the latest German tanks, is now a will be effective against all Japanese tanks until 1944, as is the Boys anti tank rifle. Much the same applies to a lot of equipment that is becoming fundamentally obsolete in the European theatre of war, but will remain fully functional in the Far East until the end of the conflict in this region. In the same way ground troops that are not fit to take part in the fighting in Europe, such as those from the British colonies in Africa, and some of those from India along with local forces. Are and will be viable in the region, and will in time become the principal source of reinforcements, particularly in the infantry role. Thus as equipment is replaced with newer and more capable units, such as the replacement of the 2lb anti tank gun with the 6lb gun, the older and less capable units will be transferred out East. The only service that is going to require the most modern equipment is the RN, who are facing in the IJN a service that has equipment every bit as modern as them, though slightly lacking in some areas. The IJN is deficient in Radar in comparison to the RN, and is definitely well behind the RN when it comes to anti submarine warfare, both tactics and sensing equipment.

The RAF in the Far East will struggle for some time in comparison to its Japanese opponents, but in the end it’s access to modern technology such as radar, along with an ever expanding number and range to aircraft, as good as or better than the Japanese have. Will eventually allow it to dominate the Japanese, before basically removing them from the skies. While at the same time learning new skills and techniques, such as aerial supply of troops in forward positions, or who had been surrounded by the Japanese. The army will eventually be supplied with more and better motor vehicles, armoured and unarmored, including construction plant, which will enable it to vastly improve the road network and construct temporary airfields. None of this will substantially detract from the efforts taking place in the North Africa or Mediterranean region, which along with the remainder of Europe will be the priority. The primary problem for the Axis forces in the Mediterranean was their lack of fuel in comparison to the British, who had a vertualy unlimited supply. Despite the problems with the two gallon fuel cans, aks the flimsy, which saw an incredible level of waste, the British were never as short of fuel as the Axis were. And unlike the Axis who had to transport at great risk everything that they needed across the Mediterranean in the face of constant attacks by the British. The British were able to source a large amount of their supplies, other than major weapons from their Empire and Dominions, that once Italian East Africa had been captured, could alongside supplies from North America, sail in relative safety through the Indian Ocean and Red Sea to the Suez Canal and the Port of Alexandria. Malta is going to be a problem in that keeping it supplied will be difficult and impose a significant strain on the RN. But any opportunity to carry out a successful invasion is past, as the Germans have used their airborne forces up and the aircraft to transport them during the Invasion of Crete. And neither they or the Italians have the amphibious forces to support an invasion, nor do the Italians have the fleet available.

1942 represented the lowest point of the war for the Allied nations, the Germans were deep into the Soviet Union, and had managed to recapture much of the territory that the Italians had lost in North Africa. In addition the entry of the Americans into the conflict and their declaration of war against America, had given their U-Boat fleet a new lease of life in the Atlantic. While the spectacle entry of the Japanese into the conflict in the Far East and Pacific region, had pushed the allies very much onto the back foot. However none of these successes had changed the essential factors of the conflict, three minor powers and their insignificant friends, were in a global conflict with what were at the time the three most powerful nations along with their allies on the planet. Between these three they had access to every resource that they could need in abundance, while the Axis were short of resources and in many cases desperate situations. The situation for the British in the Far East, provided they retain control over Malay and Singapore, will be much improved ITTL to the one that occurred IOTL. Holding on to Singapore ensures that they retain control over the Indian Ocean, and that any attempt to invade Australia is negated, as without control of Singapore the Japanese will always face the threat of a fleet at their back, anywhere south of Singapore. Nor do they have the resources available to conduct a successful invasion of Java or Sumatra, as long as they are tied up in a campaign in Malaya. And diverting naval resources away from the central Pacific region, not only relieves the pressure on the Americans, but could result in the Japanese fleet being divided into parts that the Anglo Americans can deal with with the resources available to them in any one area. The Axis powers have up until the end of 1942 to reach an accommodation with the Allies, as after that the only result will be their complete destruction.

RR.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
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.

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 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!
And
To be honest I have no idea on the exact reason for the torpedoes of that mark being used in Singapore almost exclusively. As far as why it was not produced more widely, I am wondering if the effort put into getting more speed out of the torpedo resulted in excessive wandering or other issues relating to depth keeping. The Mark XII stayed in use the entire war and is not as good in terms of performance if that was the only goal. The later torpedoes also never tried for such a high maximum speed which makes me wonder if the top speed caused the problems or the effort to get that extra 5knots of top speed setting caused weaknesses in other components.

As for why they ended up in Singapore that could itself have been administrative in nature. When stocks of the preferred weapon dropped below a certain number the less liked or less useful torpedo was swapped for stocks of the preferred weapon as Singapore was a backwater at the time. It is the kind of horse trading that would keep desired war stocks at the levels wanted while maintaining the number of weapons required in Singapore.

Again I have no actual information on why and can only speculate on reasons why. It is however interesting to note that the later Mark XV and XVII had the same 40 knot speed as the Mark XII .
Hi El Pip and alspug, thank you both for this. Re numbers, l guess I'll only get that if/when I stumble across an RAF doc in the National Archives in Kew. Thinking on what you have both said, yes there is probably a larger number than 100 torpedoes being stored at Singapore, being as the Vildebeest is the only aircraft type using them. Reading through 'Torpedo Airmen' by Roy Conyers Nesbit, he say 'by 1939, production of torpedoes of all types in Britain amounted to only eighty per month and, whilst this total had nearly doubled towards the end of the following year, it remained an intricate and expensive instrument to manufacture', page 46. But what percentage might have been taken up by the Mark XIV, I don't know. Navweaps, states 'Britain had a total of about 7,100 torpedoes in stock as of September 1939, but over 4,000 of these were of obsolescent types no longer in production.' see section headed Nomenclature, http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTBR_Main.php.

Clearly the British didn't have enough torpedoes, and had to carefully husband what they had. Now I can't find any examples of the Swordfish, a contemporary of the Vildebeest, using the Mark XIV, it would appear the FAA were still using the Mark XII, which suggests that the question of how robust might the Mark XIV be, might not just be about the vastly increased speed that the Beaufort, and subsequent torpedo bombers would be flying at when releasing their torpedoes. So perhaps the Mark XIV is prone to failures, the British realised that and sent the lot off to Singapore, providing the garrison with something, but yet another example of how far down the food chain the Far East was.

So going forward, I'll facture in a rate of failure, if/when I get an opportunity to stage a Vildebeest torpedo attack!
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
Regarding the seizer of Penang, whilst wonderfully written I have a couple of nit picks. IMVHO the boarding parties to seize the Italian ships would historically be comprised of Royal Marines and Naval Ratings, men absolutely familiar with the inner working of ships. Also why are they using Eureka boats when the RN have been using the much better Landing Craft Assault since May 1940? The first ramped Eureka boat prototypes were not being tested until May 1941, IIRC.
Hi Sonofpegasus, I'm assuming you mean Phuket when you write Penang. I'd only just recently brought out from the UK a Royal Marine company, so in theory I could have used Marines and naval ratings. However I chose the 2/2 Australian Independent Company, who I'm loosely calling Commandos, who had been training on amphibious operations, because I wanted to use them as the initial assault on Phuket. However you point about familiarity, as well as the later need to put a naval party on board, suggests to me that I got that one wrong.

Again with the landing craft I could have used a LCA, they had got as far as India by 1941, see section 'Manning the LCA' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Craft_Assault, and maybe I could find a reason why some might be sent onto Singapore. But I already had landing craft available in theatre. The landing craft I've used are the LCPL, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCPL, of which six had been sent to Singapore. I have kept to their historical arrival but teamed them up with HMCS Prince Henry which is a bit of a stretch, transforming it into part LSI, part Auxiliary Merchant Cruiser. So my Eureka landing craft do not have ramps in the bow.
 
Hi El Pip and alspug, thank you both for this. Re numbers, l guess I'll only get that if/when I stumble across an RAF doc in the National Archives in Kew. Thinking on what you have both said, yes there is probably a larger number than 100 torpedoes being stored at Singapore, being as the Vildebeest is the only aircraft type using them. Reading through 'Torpedo Airmen' by Roy Conyers Nesbit, he say 'by 1939, production of torpedoes of all types in Britain amounted to only eighty per month and, whilst this total had nearly doubled towards the end of the following year, it remained an intricate and expensive instrument to manufacture', page 46. But what percentage might have been taken up by the Mark XIV, I don't know.
I've seen a source that says during the war production was split 50/50 air-launched and surface/submarine. Assuming that was the same pre-war it's 40 a month as I understand there was only one aerial torpedo mark in production at any one time. The Mk.XIV was only in production 1935 to 1937, be harsh and say 18months effective production, finger in the air say total production of the Mk.XIV was 720. Assume a chunk were used in trials and training and a tiny handful in operations, stocks of a few hundred are entirely reasonable.

Clearly the British didn't have enough torpedoes, and had to carefully husband what they had.
Really? Now there absolutely was an issue about Admiralty/FAA and RAF not sharing stocks of torpedoes, but that was more distribution than supply.
Now I can't find any examples of the Swordfish, a contemporary of the Vildebeest, using the Mark XIV, it would appear the FAA were still using the Mark XII
No you've misunderstood this, though I accept the numbering system is confusing. The Mk.XIV entered service in 1935, the Mk.XII was 1937. I think this is because the Mark numbers were applied when development started, not when they entered service. The Mk.XII was the newer torpedo with the more modern engine, the decision had been that extra speed of the XIV was not worth the cost, complexity and weight.
So perhaps the Mark XIV is prone to failures,
The Mk.XIV was an older design with a complicated release system, no reason to put a lot of effort into modifying the Swordfish to cope with it when the FAA knew the better Mk.XII was coming. No mention anywhere of anything like that.
So going forward, I'll facture in a rate of failure, if/when I get an opportunity to stage a Vildebeest torpedo attack!
I don't think you should as there's really no reason to. I strongly suspect the safe drop speed for the Mk.XIV is lower than for the Mk.XII, hence why it was called less robust, but it will still be far higher than the absolute maximum speed of a late 1920s Vildebeest.
 
So the guns don't block access. Undefended minefields can be swept fairly quickly. Minefields covered by shore batteries are a very challenging obstacle (as demonstrated at Gallipoli). But these minefields would not be covered and could be swept if the Japanese wanted to pass that way.
Traditional, pre-WWI-design naval mines with integrated anchors, a preset subsurface flotation height off the bottom, and detonation via impact horns are readily swept. But, the Germans as early as 1940 had operational bottom-laying mines good for water depths of I think as much as two hundred feet, with magnetic sensing, and I think also a type with acoustical sensing. These were laid in British waters on many occasions, and at least some were defused and recovered by divers. Did the British have such mines in production early enough for stocks to have reached Singapore? For the Germans, these mine types were much more expensive but also much more reliably disruptive of British operations.

The German mines, at least, had actuation counters. There was no reliability to running a noisy barrel-filled hulk over waters suspected of holding acoustical mines as a way of assuredly exploding those mines before the passage of high value vessels. And, conventional minesweepers had no sweeping capability for bottom laying mines. If the waters surrounding Singapore could be mined with these mine types, and that information "leaked" to the Japanese, more deterrence of Japanese operations might be accomplished...depending on Japanese risk tolerance.

I don't know what operational capability the Japanese Navy had for detecting and defeating advanced mine types as of this timeline's date range. We know though that the Japanese were behind in antisubmarine technology. I have never heard of their possessing such mines of their own, and I don't know of any prior instances where they might have recovered someone else's mines that might serve as educational examples, both for manufacturing and operational development, and for detection and defeating. So, I would infer that they might have had no ability to assuredly deal with such mines.
 
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Awesom information El PIP, Torpedo production, testing and use was an example of building the weapons in limited numbers due to the cost and complexity of the weapons. It is also clear that German, British and American torpedoes had a lack of testing under operational conditions that resulted in some very poor performances at critical points.

I am also aware that the IJN suffered serious issues with the Long Lance due to the very secrecy of the program and from memory the pistol was adjusted in such a way early in the war that premature detonations occurred. Actual effectiveness across all uses was less than %5 again from memory.

The repeated testing of torpedoes since WW2 and the actual warshot tests are a lesson learned due to the failures from back in WW2
 
Awesom information El PIP, Torpedo production, testing and use was an example of building the weapons in limited numbers due to the cost and complexity of the weapons. It is also clear that German, British and American torpedoes had a lack of testing under operational conditions that resulted in some very poor performances at critical points.

I am also aware that the IJN suffered serious issues with the Long Lance due to the very secrecy of the program and from memory the pistol was adjusted in such a way early in the war that premature detonations occurred. Actual effectiveness across all uses was less than %5 again from memory.

The repeated testing of torpedoes since WW2 and the actual warshot tests are a lesson learned due to the failures from back in WW2

Yes, apparently the contact pistol sensitivity could be adjusted in the field by the ship's torpedo personnel and they had a bad habit of increasing the sensitivity in a misguided quest to assure the torpedo would detonate. It worked in that it increased the probability that it would detonate, but now they would detonate on ships' wakes or other disturbances that weren't the side of a ship.

from Navweaps
Many accounts of the 1942 battles describe these torpedoes prematurely detonating after running the arming distance or detonating once they crossed the target's wake. For example, it was estimated that about a third of the torpedoes launched at the Battle of the Java Sea (Sea Engagement off Surabaya) either prematured or detonated on wakes. An investigation by Cdr. Takedai Takashi of the Navy Technical Department, who was in charge of torpedoes at that time, found that approximately half of the torpedo fuzes returned for examination from warships involved in this battle would activate at pressures much lower than those specified. However, torpedo fuzes examined at the naval arsenals and at military supply departments worked properly. Further investigation found that the main cause for the self-destruction was that the torpedo crews on the ships themselves were resetting the fuzes to a lower level in a misguided effort to ensure detonation. Post-war, Rear Admiral of Engineering Ōyagi Shizuo, an authority on the Type 93 torpedoes (and whose report on British torpedoes initiated the development of the Japanese Oxygen-fueled torpedo), remarked in his recollections: "It was a matter of eternal regret that we had provided each vessel with a sensitivity adjuster for the fuzes."
 
Yes, apparently the contact pistol sensitivity could be adjusted in the field by the ship's torpedo personnel and they had a bad habit of increasing the sensitivity in a misguided quest to assure the torpedo would detonate. It worked in that it increased the probability that it would detonate, but now they would detonate on ships' wakes or other disturbances that weren't the side of a ship.

from Navweaps

So, in other words, the only way American torpedos worked, was if ships crews fixed them, and the only Japanese torpedos worked, was if the crews did not mess them up!
 
So, in other words, the only way American torpedos worked, was if ships crews fixed them, and the only Japanese torpedos worked, was if the crews did not mess them up!
Pretty close, although the only crew fixes for the US torpedoes IIRC were setting the torpedoes to run shallow to compensate for their tendency to run deeper than set and deactivating the magnetic portion of the exploder. The last fix, to make the contact pistols more reliable was done by the shore maintenance facilities at Pearl Harbor and Freemantle.

Thinking about it, I am not sure if the depth-keeping issue was actually fixed during the war or they just used the workaround of setting the torpedoes to run ten feet shallower than the actual desired depth. I doubt any real fix so the torpedoes actually ran at the set depth could be done by the crew or the base workshops. That IMHO needed to happen in the factories.
 
Pretty close, although the only crew fixes for the US torpedoes IIRC were setting the torpedoes to run shallow to compensate for their tendency to run deeper than set and deactivating the magnetic portion of the exploder. The last fix, to make the contact pistols more reliable was done by the shore maintenance facilities at Pearl Harbor and Freemantle.

Thinking about it, I am not sure if the depth-keeping issue was actually fixed during the war or they just used the workaround of setting the torpedoes to run ten feet shallower than the actual desired depth. I doubt any real fix so the torpedoes actually ran at the set depth could be done by the crew or the base workshops. That IMHO needed to happen in the factories.


NTS Newport apparently refused to involve USN submariners in the MK XIV process, before and initially during the war.
There is an interesting monograph by Dr. Victor Alpher, PhD at Researchgate.net .

The hackaday website displays the firing mechanism for the MK XIV. It was a CCW mechanism that drives a pawl that drives the firing ring. It's interesting.
Not so sure that it will have a direct influence in the 72 hours in Malayan history
 
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So, in other words, the only way American torpedos worked, was if ships crews fixed them, and the only Japanese torpedos worked, was if the crews did not mess them up!
Apparently there were several workarounds.

There is the depth setting, which may be mechanically turning further CCW, a rachet wheel. This may effect the firing ring on the MK XIV. There may be
a thyratron which affects the magnetic sensor for under hull explosions. A third solution was to replace the firing pins from available aluminum stock. The best
part of this solution, is the modifications at SubBase Pearl, maybe the IM shop, is the Al came from scrapping out downed Japanese aircraft. Revenge served
cold...

The links are in my later post.
 
Guess it's a couple of years before the commandos get silenced STENs. Looking forward to the rest of the operation
 
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Pretty close, although the only crew fixes for the US torpedoes IIRC were setting the torpedoes to run shallow to compensate for their tendency to run deeper than set and deactivating the magnetic portion of the exploder. The last fix, to make the contact pistols more reliable was done by the shore maintenance facilities at Pearl Harbor and Freemantle.

Thinking about it, I am not sure if the depth-keeping issue was actually fixed during the war or they just used the workaround of setting the torpedoes to run ten feet shallower than the actual desired depth. I doubt any real fix so the torpedoes actually ran at the set depth could be done by the crew or the base workshops. That IMHO needed to happen in the factories.
I understand the Mk-15 torpedo used by destroyers were ordered to set them to run at 6ft unless the target was a battleship. They also set the speed setting lower giving them longer range. Like other U.S. torpedoes they needed stronger firing pins, and the Mk-13 air dropped torpedo had the same problems and needed a plywood shroud over the warhead to protect it from the impact with the water, drag rings to slow it's fall and a ring to protect the propeller, and rudder. The problems with the sub launched Mk-14 are well known.

Once they made all these changes U.S. torpedoes became reasonable reliable. Torpex warheads with much greater explosive power didn't hurt ether. That it took 2 years to make these corrections is the Scandalous part of the story.
 
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I understand the Mk-15 torpedo used by destroyers were ordered to set them to run at 6ft unless the target was a battleship. They also changed the speed setting slower giving them longer range. Like other U.S. torpedoes they needed stronger firing pins, and the Mk-13 air dropped torpedo had the same problems and needed a plywood shroud over the warhead to protect it from the impact with the water. Once they made all these changes U.S. torpedoes became reasonable reliable. That it took 2 years to make these corrections is the Scandalous part of the story.
It is part of the scandal. IMHO the real scandal is there was no actual live fire testing in the entire decade of the 1930s as the US started to get out of the depression and prepared for war. I don't even think there were non-destructive tests where a torpedo with a weighted inert warhead was fired under a target ship to see if the exploder started to initiate properly.
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
While contemplating the latest post and its implications by our author, I thought I might do a piece about the difference in availability of basic resources ITTL and ours for both the Axis and Allied powers.

What do I mean by basic resources, materials animal, vegetable and mineral in their raw or unprocessed state, as opposed to their refined or manufactured products. However in the case of animals I differentiate between food and transport stock, in the case of food animals I am referring to the carcass before further processing for preservation, and in the case of transport animals I am referring to animals that haven’t been broken and trained. But first let us start with two of the most vital resources that vary much came to prominence in WWII. Oil and rubber, none of the prominent axis powers had either oil or rubber available internally except in minuscule quantities, all were reliant on imports of abroad. Whereas two of the major allied powers had extensive oil reserves in country and Britain had access to oil from within its empire and friendly nations. While Britain and America had either their own overseas sources of rubber or were again able to draw from the world supply, and the Soviet Union was able to draw from the Anglo Americans. Here I would like to remark on what was probably one of the greatest war winning weapons that often gets totally overlooked. The British and later American blockades which effectively cut off the axis from all trade outside those regions that they directly or indirectly controlled. How much this contributed to the eventual collapse of the axis and success of the allies, is debatable, but to my mind it was the greatest weapon of the war that cost the least. This weapon which the British had deployed during the First World War, was rapidly re instituted on the outbreak of the war against Germany, and was subsequently put in place when Italy joined in, and along with the Americans, started against the Japanese prior to their involvement in the war. Germany which had been reliant on imported rubber pre war, as were Italy and Japan, quickly found itself running out of rubber and reliant on homemade artificial rubber. Which was very expensive in comparison to the natural product, and unless fortified with natural rubber, decidedly inferior.

All of the allied powers had domestic supplies of coal, which was still a major component of their power supply and motive power, plus being necessary for a number of industrial operations. Of the axis powers, Italy had very little coal, and Japan a limited supply, while Germany did have extensive coal supplies, a lot of it was the inferior brown coal, and not the far superior black coal. And even with the conquest of Poland, Belgium and France, they were still struggling to get adequate supplies. When it came to mineral ores the axis were generally either short or had none, being reliant on external nations for their supplies. This is one of the reasons that despite the Germans having a technically more advanced jet engine design, one that is the basis to this day of all jet engines. There engines were at the time inferior to the British, as they lacked the vital minerals to add to their steel alloys. And much the same could be said across the board of axis powers, all of them with chronically short of vital minerals throughout the war and had to use inferior materials in their production processes. Funny thing is the one vital strategic metal that the Germans had in abundance, and the allies were desperate for was uranium, but thanks to German incompetence and possible interference by some of the scientists involved in the German atomic bomb project. The Germans never really realised what they had, nor did they use uranium as a substitute for tungsten as a penetration anti tank round, which would have given the allies a major problem. The only one of the allied powers that did have problems with access to minerals was the Soviet Union, but it was able to source the majority of what it needed from the Anglo Americans, via leaned lease. Germany couldn’t build a German equivalent to the British Mosquito high speed bomber, not because it lacked the skilled woodworker or aircraft design teams. But because it couldn’t get its hands on balsa wood which came from South America.

When it came to food, Germany while it didn’t suffer major shortages, that only happened post war, it did suffer from shortages in some vital food stuffs, especially fats and oils. Unlike the British who were able to import vegetable and animal fats and oils, from around the world, so that Britain imported cattle feed cake from Canada, rather than growing it in Britain. The Germans were forced to develop artificial foods, in a way that was completely unknown in Britain, Britain only used one artificial food product, saccharine as a substitute for sugar. And unlike the Germans who had to develop substitutes for coffee, the British were able to supply their population with a consistent rationed amount of tea throughout the war. The Americans were only rationed in a minimum way and were able to get hold of fruits that were not seen in Britain until the post war period. The Soviets did have problems and were reliant on leaned lease for some of their food requirements, famously they imported millions of tonnes of Spam. As the Americans had a surplus of Spam and in addition to supplying it to the British, along with powder eggs and milk. The Americans were also able to supplement the British grain requirements, so that along with grain from Canada and Argentina, Britain alone of all the European nations wasn’t required to ration bread during the war. In fact off all the European nations Britain had the best rations during the war and there was no hunger or starvation, unlike a number of countries, were because the Germans were stripping all the available food they could to feed their own people, shortages and hunger were common. Italy and Japan also suffered significant food shortages during the war, and in the case of Japan the population were very close to starving by the end.

Much the same could be said to happen with some animal and vegetable products, all of the axis nations struggled to source basic animal and vegetable products, such as wool, leather, cotton, hemp, etc. And were forced to replace them with substitutes, or drastically reduced their consumption, hence the German switch from their distinctive Jack boot to the British style ankle boot in the closing years of the war. Whereas the allies, while they made serious efforts to reduce their consumption of these materials, such as changing the design of their uniforms, to reduce the amount of cloth used. Only had to find one substitute for an animal product that they weren’t able to source anymore, they replaced silk with nylon in parachutes and women’s stockings, as the supply of silk was cut off by the Japanese conquests in China. And the British used jute for cargo parachutes in India because of the shortage of silk. The fact that the Anglo Americans had sufficient oil to switch some of it to the production of nylon, and that nylon was in a number of cases superior to the natural product it replaced, is just another example of how much better the allied supply situation was. From the very start of the war and in many cases the Germans were in a bad position in respect to the British. Germany was due to its foolish economic policies since the Nazis had taken control, was effectively broke with little to no foreign reserves, whereas the British had serious foreign reserves and were the centre of an extensive international trade empire. The British imposed a blockade of Germany, while the Germans tried to do the same and implement a blockade of Britain. The British were able despite limited push back especially from the Americas to impose their blockade effectively, and it extended to all of Germanys neighbours. So that they fixed the amount of rubber that Denmark could import at the same level as they had in 1938. Thus the Germans were not able to establish a front company in Denmark and use it to import rubber then transfer it to German. Once the Americans entered the war, the blockade of the axis powers became nearly total, while their efforts to blockade the primary allied powers were totally unsuccessful. And should the British retain control of Malaya, Singapore and Burma, not only will they have access to virtually all the rubber and rice they need, they will also have access to some vital resources out of China, as reverse leaned lease via the Burma Road.

As much as professional military officers tend to talk logistics more than tactics, so too the professional civilian authorities tend to take finance and resources more than grand strategic. And in the case of WWII, finance and resources were from the beginning a major advantage of the allies, who had much stronger economies and access to raw materials. Neither of the big two America and the British Empire were ever truly short of the finances or basic resources to fight the war, unlike all of the axis powers, who from before the beginning were struggling financially and resources availability.

RR.
 
Germany couldn’t build a German equivalent to the British Mosquito high speed bomber, not because it lacked the skilled woodworker or aircraft design teams. But because it couldn’t get its hands on balsa wood which came from South America.
The problem for the German effort at building a Mosquito was the lack of glue. The Allies had bombed the major factory that produced it Their substitute proved to lack the required strength and the Ta154 failed in mid-flight on it's tests so they decided to abandon it. If they had concentrated on the He219 they would have had a Mosquito killer at least 12 months before the end of the war. However politics and personal animosity between Ernst Heinkel and Erhard Milch interfered.
 


NTS Newport apparently refused to involve USN submariners in the MK XIV process, before and initially during the war.
There is an interesting monograph by Dr. Victor Alpher, PhD at Researchgate.net .

The hackaday website displays the firing mechanism for the MK XIV. It was a CCW mechanism that drives a pawl that drives the firing ring. It's interesting.
Not so sure that it will have a direct influence in the 72 hours in Malayan history

There is a terrific level of irony here. The man, who most needed American Torpedoes to work, Adm. Thomas Hart CinCAF, had twice been assigned to the Newport Torpedo factory, but reassigned both times due to political pressure from Rhode Island politicians. Reason, Hart's official complaints and reports in defencies of torpedo design, testing, or sufficient lack there of, quality control, and production numbers.
Tests that were done, were overseen by technicians, rather then naval personnel. Only Torpedoes deigned proper to test were brought out for tests, rather then random ones taken from production runs.
I will leave it at this point. There are several very good AHs based on the torpedo scandal on the board.
 
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