Respectfully I think the Australians placed a very high value on the defense of Australia and so did the Americans.
They certainly did, even if (with hindsight) their fears were somewhat overblown. But the OTL invasion panic was at least partly driven by the rapid collapse of ABDAcom and the rising myth of the "Invincible Japanese soldier." If the Malay Barrier is still being defended, then abandoning Malaya/Java and falling back to Papua - giving the Japanese a free pass hundreds of miles closer to Australia - would likely be seen as making the situation worse rather than better.

To defend Northern Sumatra one of the divisions in Malaya needs to be ferried over to reinforce the Dutch.
If the Allies are worrying about defending Northern Sumatra then - barring a complete Japanese failure in Northern Malaya which leaves Penang/Georgetown in British hands - the campaign is already lost and the priority should be to save as many troops as possible from being trapped in Singapore. The Japanese invasion of Malaya was very supply-constricted - Yamashita OTL left units home because he didn't think he could supply them - and if there's still serious fighting going on in Central Malaya it's IMHO unlikely that they will be able to spare troops or supplies for an invasion across the Malacca Straight.

Java surrendered on March 12, 1942, freeing up the 2nd & 48th Divisions for a late March invasion of Sumatra. OTL the 2nd Division stayed on Java until it was transferred to Rabaul in September, and got sucked into the Battle for Guadalcanal, but that's way past the near term. The 48th Division was sent to Timor, but that operation can wait till the far more important objective of Sumatra is secured.
And now we get back to the discussion of how long the Dutch East Indies can be expected to hold. If the Japanese are in Batavia then it doesn't much matter how well the British have been doing in Malaya - Lord Gort would would be well advised to start organising another evacuation before the door is locked behind him.
But is it written in stone that Java is fated to fall in March? The Dutch (KNIL) land forces are weak, the East Indies are hard to defend and ABDA naval forces may prove as ineffectual as they did OTL. But would the Japanese really run invasion convoys north of Java to Bandung and Palembang if there were still significant Allied air/naval forces operating out of Singapore? There were reinforcements on the way, though the OTL collapse came too soon for them to reach the theatre.

With fighting going on in the Malay Barrier into April there would be no Ceylon raid as we know it, but the February 19th raid on Darwin would go ahead. That raid ended the ability of the Allies to carry out any significant resupply of Java or the Southern Philippines. On the way back home via the Sunda Straight back to the Java Sea the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu could launch a similar massive raid on Singapore. That could leave the port and airfields in the same mess as they just left Darwin. Then they can finally get back to Japan for a period of at least a month of rest, refit, and bringing their air groups back up to strength.
Darwin was never a more than a staging post for resupply of the East Indies, never mind the Philippines. Not only was the port very underdeveloped, but it had no rail connection to the rest of Australia. Supplies came from either Perth/Fremantle or the east coast. The real loss at Darwin was the transports sunk in the harbour, not the damage to the facilities ashore.

A major IJN raid against Singapore is a real possibility and could do a lot of damage (though Singapore is likely to be a tougher target than Darwin). But like the IJA, the IJN do not have infinite resources they can redeploy anywhere at a moment's notice. Would they risk their carriers in the Gulf of Siam within range of Allied land-based aircraft from Malaya and Java? They certainly won't be sending them through the Sunda Straight while the Dutch control both sides of it. (OTL the carriers that hit Darwin was based out the Celebes and returned the same way).

Ultimately it all comes down to our esteemed author's decision of how the wider campaign plays out.
For my money I would be disappointed if after all this well-researched build up, it amounted to "The British made a decent effort of resisting the IJA's invasion, but it counted for very little in the progress of the war, because Dutch weakness, Australian fears and American unwillingness to commit resources meant that the defence of Malaya was doomed before the campaign even began. "
 
If they had concentrated on the He219
Not really, despite some dubious claims, it was not that good unless you are going on supposed performance from paper concepts. The ones that actually saw service were better than Me-110's but not spectacular. All the concepts, from memory, required engine updates/replacements ( for more power ) that never actually worked in any plane. So pretty much vapourware like a lot of Luftwaffe 46 stuff.
 
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.
Sure, NA is where the big tank battles will be fought. Having tanks for infantry support is always good. Yes, I have a good idea about Axis logistics. Rommel was dependent on captured fuel and was very grateful to the British for providing him with most of his trucks. So, Rommel couldn't get to Alexandria for lack of supplies. He got withing 70 miles of it and was stopped by fighting, not because he ran out of gas and sat there in the desert. Rommel always knew his supplies were short, so he had to attack to drive the British back and capture the supplies he needed.

I'm always amazed by people who can explain in detail why an event in history was impossible but fail to see that it actually happened. At 1st El Alamein Rommel was stopped mostly by determined infantry units, not primarily by armor. The Australian 9th Division played an important part. If they get sent to SEA, the battle might go badly for the Allies. It's easy to say Rommel was stupid for trying to take Alexandria because he didn't have enough supplies. That ignores the fact that he almost won.
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.
It isn't a matter of not wasting Spitfire's over France it's getting planes to Malta. The "None Stop Offensive" was a tactical defeat, but it was the only offensive action that the RAF could mount against Nazi occupied Europe at the time. Bomber & Coastal Commands were just warming up. Fighter Command couldn't sit out the war waiting for D-Day. Despite their loses FC was growing stronger as the battles over France unfolded. It's easier for the Germans to send air units from Europe to attack Malta than it is to send fighters to Malta from the UK. The danger for Malta was starvation, or being bombed so badly that it couldn't be used as an operational base.
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.
You're missing the key point; the Allies weren't short of troops they were short on shipping to get them where they were needed and keep them supplied once they got there. The Canadian division was sitting in the UK waiting for an invasion that was never going to come. A short hop across the Channel for a day on the Iron Coast seemed a reasonable tactical risk. The problem was the Allies didn't know what they didn't know. Dieppe was a lesson in how difficult a division level amphibious operation can be.

Torch isn't just about landing craft. I believe Torch and it's follow up amounted to 9 divisions. In late 1942 the U.S. didn't have 9 divisions they could commit to French North Africa. They also didn't have the aircraft to replace the RAF contribution. Even with the full support of the RN the American couldn't do Torch by themselves.
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 )
The Japanese wouldn't need to take anything away from Burma. As I posted earlier when Java surrendered on March 12, 1942, the Japanese 2nd & 48th divisions would become available for a late March invasion of Sumatra. The British would have to take one of the divisions defending Malaya and ferry it over to help the Dutch. That's assuming the IJN lets them do it, and if they do land the IJN doesn't block ongoing resupply operations. We're talking about fighting on islands where the Japanese dominate the air & water around them. Holding Northern Malaya is still a long shot, but even if they do the whole ABDA theater is still coming down around them.
 
Not really, despite some dubious claims, it was not that good unless you are going on supposed performance from paper concepts. The ones that actually saw service were better than Me-110's but not spectacular. All the concepts, from memory, required engine updates/replacements ( for more power ) that never actually worked in any plane. So pretty much vapourware like a lot of Luftwaffe 46 stuff.
The He 219 was produced in excess of 300 craft and performed quite well in the nightfighter roll with the Luftwaffe. It was capable of over 400 mph and had a cruise speed of 340 in normal flight. The problems with the airframe was when they wanted to use a Jumo 222 in place of the DB 603 engines and they the Jumo 222 was a problem engine to begin with.
 
Not really, despite some dubious claims, it was not that good unless you are going on supposed performance from paper concepts. The ones that actually saw service were better than Me-110's but not spectacular. All the concepts, from memory, required engine updates/replacements ( for more power ) that never actually worked in any plane. So pretty much vapourware like a lot of Luftwaffe 46 stuff.
The Uhu was the only Luftwaffe nightfighter that could catch the Mosquito. If you were flying a 110, you hadn't a hope in hell of even keeping a Mosquito within effective firing range.
 
The He 219 was produced in excess of 300 craft and performed quite well in the nightfighter roll with the Luftwaffe. It was capable of over 400 mph and had a cruise speed of 340 in normal flight. The problems with the airframe was when they wanted to use a Jumo 222 in place of the DB 603 engines and they the Jumo 222 was a problem engine to begin with.
That's because the He219 was only able to reach the top speed of 400 mph by removing all excess weight, including some weapons and radio systems, it had reached its operational limit. That's why they needed the Jumo 222
 
With regards to Northern Sumatra, it is important to note that from the 23th of February 1942, Atjeh (the northern tip of the island) was in a state of revolt. This was triggered by the capitulation of Singapore and/or the Japanese landings at Palembang. I think it's safe to say that if the Japanese land in force at Southern Sumatra, the North will be hard to hold without a significant increase of the garrison.
 
The Uhu was the only Luftwaffe nightfighter that could catch the Mosquito. If you were flying a 110, you hadn't a hope in hell of even keeping a Mosquito within effective firing range.
Only if they removed the radar which sort of was a problem with it being a night fighter and all.
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
The successful capture of Phuket Island by the British forces with presumably no Commonwealth casualties, is a significant success. Simply the capture of two of the three Italian ships intact, and the successful grounding of the third prior to its engine room being pumped dry and the damage to one of its seacocks being sealed off and the ship subsequently refloated. Makes the whole operation worth while, and added to the capture of the island, and the successful evacuation of the European mining personnel, plus the capture of the airfield. Will make this operation much studded in future years, as a prime example of amphibious operations. However it does present the British with a significant quandary, do they A assume that the local authorities were totally unable to get the information of this operation out to their superiors, and thus both the Thai and Japanese authorities are for the moment completely ignorant of the situation. Or do they B assume that the Thai and Japanese authorities have been informed, and therefore known of the situation. If they go with option A, do they refaine from broadcasting their success, in the meantime, thus giving them a longer period of time to prepare for the eventual Thai/Japanese response. Or do they believe that the broadcast locally in Thailand, Malaya, Singapore and the DEI, will be enough of a flip to moral to justify the release of the information to their enemies. I for one believe that keeping the knowledge of this operation secret for at least 24 hours is by far the better option. Not only does this give the units on the Island more time to prepare for the inevitable counterattack and complete their missions. It will come as a significant shock to the Thais and Japanese, causing the Japanese especially to have to revise their plans, as they definitely do not want the British establishing a base including an airfield behind the Border. And it will cause some within the Thai establishment to question whether they picked the wrong horse to back, as the old Lion might just have the ability to fight. And the announcement of this successful operation combined with the other successes of Operation Matador, after the news of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbour, is bound to be a major flip to the overall morale of the colony. And when announced internationally will stand in stark contrast to the news coming out of America.

RR.
 
The successful capture of Phuket Island by the British forces with presumably no Commonwealth casualties, is a significant success. Simply the capture of two of the three Italian ships intact, and the successful grounding of the third prior to its engine room being pumped dry and the damage to one of its seacocks being sealed off and the ship subsequently refloated.
Also muddies the waters on British intentions - "it wasn't an invasion, we just needed to seize the Italian ships as we had intelligence that they were preparing to support a Japanese attack on Thailand. Just give us a few days to refloat the ship, make repairs and we'll be off..."
 
Only if they removed the radar which sort of was a problem with it being a night fighter and all.
You can always use "Wild Boar" Tactics. Day fighters operating at night with ground control directions to get into bomber streams were very effective.
 
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The successful capture of Phuket Island by the British forces with presumably no Commonwealth casualties, is a significant success. Simply the capture of two of the three Italian ships intact, and the successful grounding of the third prior to its engine room being pumped dry and the damage to one of its seacocks being sealed off and the ship subsequently refloated. Makes the whole operation worth while, and added to the capture of the island, and the successful evacuation of the European mining personnel, plus the capture of the airfield. Will make this operation much studded in future years, as a prime example of amphibious operations. However it does present the British with a significant quandary, do they A assume that the local authorities were totally unable to get the information of this operation out to their superiors, and thus both the Thai and Japanese authorities are for the moment completely ignorant of the situation. Or do they B assume that the Thai and Japanese authorities have been informed, and therefore known of the situation. If they go with option A, do they refaine from broadcasting their success, in the meantime, thus giving them a longer period of time to prepare for the eventual Thai/Japanese response. Or do they believe that the broadcast locally in Thailand, Malaya, Singapore and the DEI, will be enough of a flip to moral to justify the release of the information to their enemies. I for one believe that keeping the knowledge of this operation secret for at least 24 hours is by far the better option. Not only does this give the units on the Island more time to prepare for the inevitable counterattack and complete their missions. It will come as a significant shock to the Thais and Japanese, causing the Japanese especially to have to revise their plans, as they definitely do not want the British establishing a base including an airfield behind the Border. And it will cause some within the Thai establishment to question whether they picked the wrong horse to back, as the old Lion might just have the ability to fight. And the announcement of this successful operation combined with the other successes of Operation Matador, after the news of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbour, is bound to be a major flip to the overall morale of the colony. And when announced internationally will stand in stark contrast to the news coming out of America.

RR.
Capturing the airfield might be more significant if they could put some decent aircraft on it. By now or very soon there will be Japanese recon flights over the area so they may soon find out something is happening on the Island. Since the Old Lion can't occupy the heartland of the country the Thais know they backed the right horse.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
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.

Really? Now there absolutely was an issue about Admiralty/FAA and RAF not sharing stocks of torpedoes, but that was more distribution than supply.

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.
Hi El Pip, Ah as Johnny Nash sang it 'I can see clearly now!'

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.

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 with the Vildebeest using the older Mark XIV ok, the Swordfish using the newer Mark XII, and the R class submarines using the Mark VIII**, its safe to say I can cry 'Torpedoes away'
 
MWI 41120705a Operation Betty OOB

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
PhuForce
Act Brig Charles Malet Lane

2 Bn 15 Punjab Regt, Lt Col Ross-Thompson (loaned from Penang garrison)
2/2 Australian Independent Company, Maj Alexander Spence (273 men)
D Coy, 1 Bn Manchester Regt, Machine Gun Bn (loaned from 11th Indian Div)
21 Bty, 22 Mountain Artillery Regt (loaned from 11th Indian Div)
7 Btty, 2 Indian HAA Regt (loaned from Penang Garrison)
3 Field Coy, Bengal S&M, IE (loaned from 15th Indian Inf Bde)
B & C Coys, 29 Aux Bn, Indian Pioneer Corps (labour companies, loaned from III Indian Corps, employed as stevedores & labourers; non-combatants)

RASC, RAOC, and RAMC parties


RAF Phuket
Wing Cmdr Peter Jeffery RAAF
AAF 450 Squadron ground party
RAF 307 AMES MRU
8th RCAF Airfield Construction Company party (80 men)


Force W
(For ship details see MWI 41120514d Royal Navy Eastern Fleet OOB)
Commodore (Capt) Edmund Abbott
HMS Moth - towing 2 ex-customs launches
RFA Tien Kwang - acting as tanker, towing 3 wooden lighters
HMS St Sampson - towing 3 wooden lighters
HMS St Dominic - towing 3 wooden lighters
RFA Yin Ping – towing 2 ex-customs launches
HMS Larut - ASW Patrol
HMS Kampar - ASW Patrol
HMS Mata Hari - captures the ferries in the north. then ASW Patrol
HMCS Prince Henry - carrying LCPLs No 180-185 and 2/2 Aust Ind Coy
SS Erinpura - 5,143t, b1911, 16kts, troopship, carrying various troops for the airfield
SS Ellenga - 5,196t, b1911, 16kts, troopship, carrying various troops
Elizabeth, Rhoda, Sylvia, Heather - ex-customs launches, 2x1 Lewis MGs, towed and used for assaults on Italian ships, and later for inshore patrols
 
It occurs to me that because of all the butterflies created by a stronger Malaya, The Canadians could be moved to North Africa and the landing craft to SEA, if required. An action this day memo might initiate this. Currently, Monty is busy training the Canadians and evaluating their officers. They could follow him to North Africa.
 
Capturing the airfield might be more significant if they could put some decent aircraft on it. By now or very soon there will be Japanese recon flights over the area so they may soon find out something is happening on the Island. Since the Old Lion can't occupy the heartland of the country the Thais know they backed the right horse.
Operation MATADOR could be explained away by the British, as scratch forces hastily assembled and rush deployed into Southern Thailand. Presumably to pre-deal with near term Japanese perfidy.

PhuForce is an invasion (meticulously pre-planned) of a sovereign neutral. This is not overlooked by the Pentagon or White House. It will take weeks to build or improve an airbase at Phuket. Perhaps the Imperial Guards Division IJA will now have to deal with this flanking threat. The IJA now has casus belli to do as they wish. The defense of Thai Sovereignty. The British Empire has just granted them that right.

Imperial intent was always to expand the British Empire to include Thailand and now French Indochina. Befuddle the Americans on intent and then accomplish the opposite? This is now revealed. The British word on respecting Thai neutrality was not worth the paper it was printed on or the conversation it was spoken in.

The outcome may not be as planned in British minds. The long term effect is that the American establishment sees the British Empire is up to it's old tricks. The US efforts to reinforce the PI were partially to provide the appearance of a united Western front to the Japanese Empire. There was always a fear of American diplomats, that they were being played, both by the Japanese and the British. Now it is confirmed. The Americans were played by the British on Thai neutrality. The Japanese on pursuing peace.

Why subordinate American efforts to enfeebled and treacherous self serving imperialist interests? The US is certainly not lacking in petroleum resources. The Japanese needs for NEI petroleum. Only it adds to their death totals, debts and destruction. The rubber resources from Malaya are unnecessary once "Boots" Adams and Phillips Petroleum get going with 1,3-Butadienne. Sorry Prescott Bush about your many rubber plantations sprinkled throughout Malaya.

It appears, at least on paper, the British Far East Fleet is strong enough to engage the IJN locally. There is no obligation for the US Asiatic Fleet to remain in theater any further. DesRon 29 can be used elsewhere for an American purpose. The US submarines have diminished capacity with the MK XIV torpedoes anyways. There is no reason for the Pensacola Convoy to continue on to Australia. The troops can return Stateside. Or not.

The Navy Central Pacific campaign was the War Plan. Not some Army extravaganza pulling off scarce, valuable resources from the pre-chosen area of conflict. It's better to keep those resources where they can do some good. Maybe for TORCH in 1943, after Stalingrad.
If necessary.

The Asiatic Fleet departs. The Yanks aren't coming. Asia for the Asiatics. Australia for The Australian's. North Africa for the Germans or Commonwealth whoever accomplishes it. Stark gets canned for Kimmel. Marshall gets canned for MacArthur and Short. VP Wallace
and the Dems gets Churchill disinvited from appearing before Congress. There is no interoperable Combined Chiefs. Every nation for their own interests.
 
Operation MATADOR could be explained away by the British, as scratch forces hastily assembled and rush deployed into Southern Thailand. Presumably to pre-deal with near term Japanese perfidy.

PhuForce is an invasion (meticulously pre-planned) of a sovereign neutral. This is not overlooked by the Pentagon or White House. It will take weeks to build or improve an airbase at Phuket. Perhaps the Imperial Guards Division IJA will now have to deal with this flanking threat. The IJA now has casus belli to do as they wish. The defense of Thai Sovereignty. The British Empire has just granted them that right.

Imperial intent was always to expand the British Empire to include Thailand and now French Indochina. Befuddle the Americans on intent and then accomplish the opposite? This is now revealed. The British word on respecting Thai neutrality was not worth the paper it was printed on or the conversation it was spoken in.

The outcome may not be as planned in British minds. The long term effect is that the American establishment sees the British Empire is up to it's old tricks. The US efforts to reinforce the PI were partially to provide the appearance of a united Western front to the Japanese Empire. There was always a fear of American diplomats, that they were being played, both by the Japanese and the British. Now it is confirmed. The Americans were played by the British on Thai neutrality. The Japanese on pursuing peace.

Why subordinate American efforts to enfeebled and treacherous self serving imperialist interests? The US is certainly not lacking in petroleum resources. The Japanese needs for NEI petroleum. Only it adds to their death totals, debts and destruction. The rubber resources from Malaya are unnecessary once "Boots" Adams and Phillips Petroleum get going with 1,3-Butadienne. Sorry Prescott Bush about your many rubber plantations sprinkled throughout Malaya.

It appears, at least on paper, the British Far East Fleet is strong enough to engage the IJN locally. There is no obligation for the US Asiatic Fleet to remain in theater any further. DesRon 29 can be used elsewhere for an American purpose. The US submarines have diminished capacity with the MK XIV torpedoes anyways. There is no reason for the Pensacola Convoy to continue on to Australia. The troops can return Stateside. Or not.

The Navy Central Pacific campaign was the War Plan. Not some Army extravaganza pulling off scarce, valuable resources from the pre-chosen area of conflict. It's better to keep those resources where they can do some good. Maybe for TORCH in 1943, after Stalingrad.
If necessary.

The Asiatic Fleet departs. The Yanks aren't coming. Asia for the Asiatics. Australia for The Australian's. North Africa for the Germans or Commonwealth whoever accomplishes it. Stark gets canned for Kimmel. Marshall gets canned for MacArthur and Short. VP Wallace
and the Dems gets Churchill disinvited from appearing before Congress. There is no interoperable Combined Chiefs. Every nation for their own interests.
Sorry, the Americans didn't break with the British & French for violating the neutrality of Norway which was a European country why would they split with them over Thailand? After the Atlantic Charter the Americans were drawing up war plans with the British, so now that the war is here, they're not going to go it alone.
 
Plus with Pearl Harbor up and coming, no American will give a damn about Thai neutrality, if they even would have in the first place.
 
Sorry, the Americans didn't break with the British & French for violating the neutrality of Norway which was a European country why would they split with them over Thailand? After the Atlantic Charter the Americans were drawing up war plans with the British, so now that the war is here, they're not going to go it alone.
The Norwegian Campaign. Another British loss. But one coming closer to home than Malaya. The purpose was to cover a flank. This makes sense.

PhuFor's Thailand invasion is simply another Imperial British invasion and conquest. A long time in coming maybe, but strike while the iron is hot.

Did the US break with Britain or France, after they delivered those Pacific islands to Japan in the Treaty of Versailles? Or the League of Nations granting the Mandates to Japan? We even stayed in touch after both nations reneged on their repayment of WW1 loans.

What was The Atlantic Charter? It was a declaration. The President of the USA cannot unilaterally declare as Public Law, a Statement of Principles. So there is no legal obligation for either the UK or US to follow through. PM Churchill began hedging on Principle #4 almost immediately anyways. This Principle would threaten The Empire and London's financial influences.

The Atlantic Charter is an Statement in Principle that neither the British FO, nor The City of London had any intention for adherence. A expedient for the moment. The US
used it as a cover for future maneuverings.

That the meeting took place at Argentia amongst subterfuge is not an auspicious sign. That the President of the (neutral) US meets with the war PM of a belligerent could raise eyebrows. Plus, it serves as combined joint war planning. That's a bit different than the campaign platform promising not to send American Boys to fight foreign wars. Or American dollars borrowed to pay for it all. And to think General Secretary Stalin was gravely suspicious that this was an attempt to divide the post-war world into American and British control. Some people's nerve.

I hope that Papua New Guinea, The Admiralties, New Ireland, New Britain, The Solomons, et al. can remain solely in a Commonwealth sphere. Keep the USA out of the SWPA as much as possible. It's Australia, UK and NZ's fight after all.
 
USN was actively fighting against U boats
And given ROE around Pearl in the days leading up to the attack
America had technically already committed to the war, it was just matter of time till it kicks off. When news of Philippines and Pearl Harbor is heard… the Americans won’t care about Thailand. There still be no shortage of men lining up at recruiters
 
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