As per wiki they had fixed undercarriage as brazen notes.


Under variants - Hawk 75N
RTAF-Hawk-75-1-of-1.jpg_backup
 
I think you are off on fighters, the Curtiss P-36 used by Thailand did have a retractable undercarriage, however, the P-26 "Peashooter" had a fixed undercarriage. In fact Philippine Air Force's 12 x P-26s shot down several Japanese aircraft, and damaged more. .
Lt Jose Kare of the PAF 6th Pursuit Squadron scored the P-26's only victory against the A6M when he shot down Tainan Ku's Petty Officer Toshio Kikuchi over Ragay Gulf on 24 December 1942.
 
Hi alspug, thank you for this. I'm only working with a 1,000lb payload because as you say I can use the performance figures that ae published. We digressed in conversation over the capabilities of the Fairey Battle.

And your right about the element of luck or skill to drop a railway bridge with a 500lb bomb. I introduced the idea of the Battle being used in a dive bombing role in https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/malaya-what-if.521982/post-23932863, but so as not to introduce spoilers, kept the target practice quite vague. So with considerable practice, and no opposition from either the air or ground, they could take their time on a non moving target. We'll take another look at the Battle when there is opposition later in the story.
Also as you say the attack is unopposed. Theoretically they could fly at low altitude say 1000 feet and just follow the tracks the bridge and drop. Although as someone else pointed out hitting the top of the tracks may not do the necessary damage.
 
How are they going to establish air supremacy when their closest air base is 300 miles away? Their naval forces will need someplace to base from in order ro establish a blockade.
They took Timor and then Bali in turn to do what you are saying and cut Java off from supply. If the Allies hold them the equation changes. Also you should note that I said the 18th would not be deployed to Timor in all likelihood. I am simply establishing the only way to hold Singapore is to stop the DEI pincer otherwise it will be cutoff and fall.
Once the Japanese have destroyed Force Z the IJNAF in Saigon can launch long range strikes and put a small number of Zero's over the landing area 2 light carriers would provide air support until airfields were secured. They don't need a huge air fleet to do it. The Japanese have many options once they establish naval dominance. The RAF forces in Malaya aren't that strong even in this TL.
 
Japanese ground forces in Malaya had no equivalent of the Flakvierling 38
Well...certainly not anything even that good, and maybe not anything beyond MGs.

The Japanese-mass-produced Type 96 autocannon was a design-license-purchased version of French Hotchkiss's 25mm AA autocannon.

The purchasing evaluation began in 1935. Japan bought a few units manufactured by Hotchkiss, with evolving design customizations, as the Types 94 and 95. The Type 96, built in Japan, began to be fielded in early 1937. These were all duals...the triple was first fielded in late 1941 and only for shipboard use, and the single was first fielded in 1943. The Type 96 is sometimes said to have been an IJN (naval) gun only, but in fact it was officially adopted by both the Army and Navy. There were two-wheel-carriage and truck-mount versions of the Type 96 dual and single mounts...but only about 100 of all those types combined in the entire war. There however were quite a few guns throughout the war that were installed in defensive fixed land locations, by both the Army and Navy.

t96_25aag_11.jpg


So were there any in Malaya? Maybe. The odds of mobile guns are iffy, just on the numbers. Regarding fixed installations, dual 25mms were pretty heavy, so they'd be most likely to be found around important infrastructure elements like ports, rail yards, engine maintenance facilities and key bridges, and only if there was a way to get the gun there and set it into its prepared position.

Note however that the Types 94, 95 (French Hotchkiss made) and 96 (Japanese made) superseded the Japanese version ("Model BI Type 91") of the Vickers Mark II LV two-pounder pom-pom, first adopted in 1925, which remained in service until replaced...and since that replacement tended to occur first in the most prestigious locations and units, perhaps pom-poms would be more likely than Type 96s to have found their way to Malaya. I know of no information regarding Model BI guns mounted on wheeled carriages or to trucks/other mobility means, but such was done by the British and also by the Thais, before WWII, so certainly it was possible.

Here's a Model BI dual in a fixed defensive installation in Thailand. It's unknown when this gun arrived...it might have been later in the war, not during the initial occupation. There was at least one Model BI single at this location too.

This gun was essentially identical to AA guns on many RN ships...especially those with older installations...and the single mounts were identical (gun-wise) to the pom-poms bought by Thailand directly from Vickers in the 1930s.

Model_BI_Type_91_25mm_Vickers_Mark_II_LV.png
 
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Once the Japanese have destroyed Force Z the IJNAF in Saigon can launch long range strikes and put a small number of Zero's over the landing area 2 light carriers would provide air support until airfields were secured. They don't need a huge air fleet to do it. The Japanese have many options once they establish naval dominance. The RAF forces in Malaya aren't that strong even in this TL.
With multiple needs are there Zeros available for this part of the campaign and a pair of light carriers would be pretty vulnerable especially as Timor could be reinforced fairly quickly by air from Australia. As for long range strikes that is 1800 miles one way which stretches even the Betty's. I am assuming you mean strikes from bases they secure closer to Timor. Either way this is pretty much pointless discussion unless the Allies decide to make a fight of Timor.
 

Fatboy Coxy

Monthly Donor
The battle did not have centre line bombs - it had 4 cells for 250 Ib bombs 2 in each wing just outboard of the undercarriage

These as I understand it had hydraulic bomb cradles (?) that after the bomb was loaded would be lifted into the cell - if dive bombing (or what we would call glide bombing as the RAF was not all that into "loss altitude bombing") then those bomb cradles would be left in the lowered position

It then had 4 hard points for bombs outboard of those on each wing which obviously needed no preparation - it is one of those that I understand is being used to mount a 500 Ib bomb under each wing ITTL.

You are correct in that the Battle had a floor bomb aimer position like the Devastator and Avenger and other single engine bomber aircraft of this period

world-war-ii-14th-may-1940-a-bomb-aimer-who-lies-prone-on-the-floor-of-the-plane-looking.jpg


TBD+Bombing+Doors+1505-1519.jpg

Ill find the avengers later

But very similar aircraft in terms of role etc as bombers
Hi Cryhavoc 101, thanks for the photos, nice find

Regarding the release of the bombs while dive bombing, Wikipedia entry says, "The bombs were mounted on hydraulic jacks and were normally released via trap doors; during a dive bombing attack, they were lowered below the surface of the wing.[13] The source being
  • Moyes, Philip, J. R. The Fairey Battle. Aircraft in Profile Number 34. Leatherhead, Surrey, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1967.
 
So with these bridges down, how screwed up will the IJA's advance and logistics be until they can get them up and running. And I assume The Ledge has been collapsed which will offer its own troubles.
 
So with these bridges down, how screwed up will the IJA's advance and logistics be until they can get them up and running. And I assume The Ledge has been collapsed which will offer its own troubles.
Just to check, from the *British* point of view, the Ledge doesn't need to be *fixed* until peacetime, right? Any actual future British invasion of Thailand will consist of the Royal Navy showing up in Bangkok harbor in force or across the border from Burma, I believe.
 

Errolwi

Monthly Donor
Without a sling at an 80-degree angle the centerline bomb will hit the propeller. Without dive breaks the plane will tend to overspeed and be more unstable in flight, making accurate bombing much harder
BTW for fighters like Spitfires at the dive angles they use, the aircraft accelerates in the dive with the engine throttled fully back so a centerline bomb can be used safely - drag slows the bomb down when dropped. Pilots took much convincing on this! A dive bomber is draggy (especially with dive brakes) for better accuracy so need the sling.
 

Driftless

Donor
So with these bridges down, how screwed up will the IJA's advance and logistics be until they can get them up and running. And I assume The Ledge has been collapsed which will offer its own troubles.
One thing comes to mind, but I don't know the impact. The Japanese military engineers and their worker troops would be kept busy for a few days working on restoring the bridge(s) and railbeds, when they would likely be usefully employed in other important early-days invasion support tasks. More gravel in the invasion works that potentially slows the advance
 

Ramp-Rat

Monthly Donor
How will the impending monsoon affect the conflict in Malaysia?

Unlike the campaign in Burma, where the monsoon was a significant factor up until the British forces under Slim and Mountbatten, made the conscious decision to fight on through the monsoon despite the difficulties. The two monsoon seasons in Malaysia are dependent on which one were a talking about and the year in which they occur, can and will have an effect less or more on the fighting on land and in the air, while fighting at sea will be a different story. None of the participants in WWII were set up to continue fighting during the monsoon, and it took a considerable time to develop the logistics and tactics to do so. Along with the medical support system to deal with the problems of fighting during the monsoon, such as fungal infections, especially the tropical equivalent of trench foot, caused by the troops feet being constantly immersed in water and not having the chance to dry out. Tracks that during the dry season were passable by troops and mules, became deep muddy rivers, with an overlaying covering of water. While the primitive unsealed roads became virtually un passable for wheeled vehicles, and very difficult for tracked vehicles. The can be little doubt that the first monsoon season will impose a significant burden on the fighting forces and possibly cause the conflict to be put on hold temporarily.

However if as I believe is probable the British manage to survive the initial Japanese onslaught, and the campaign descends into a semi static attritional conflict. The logistic advantage will lie with the British, who in addition to having a large modern by local standards port at their back. Have also a railway and coastal shipping that can use the west coast, to move their supplies. Along with numerous mechanical plant to assist in keeping their roads semi usable, and in reasonable repair. The British will also have a much greater access to the engineering stores required to build a maintain the roads, plus construct bridges across the numerous streams and rivers, swollen by the monsoon rains. In regard to the airforces the monsoon weather will cause problems both on the ground, and in the air. Airfields that don’t have solid runways and good drainage, plus taxiways and aircraft hard standings, will quickly become shallow lakes, and thus inoperative as aircraft and service vehicles bog down in the saturated soil. Also without hangers, ground crews will find working and maintaining aircraft a nightmare. In particular refuelling aircraft, which at this time involves pouring fuel into the plane, will only be possible if it’s not raining, or some sort of overhead cover is provided, water in your fuel tank is a recipe for disaster.

The British air force, will have problems in the border region, as will the Japanese, not only because they too are mostly operating from underdeveloped airfields. But also because the met service in Malaya is so underdeveloped so that during the monsoon season, it was difficult to get an accurate met forecast, before setting out on a mission. Note this problem persisted right up until the American involvement in Vietnam in the sixties, as it was only with the development of weather satellites that it became possible to get an accurate picture of the situation in areas without multiple met stations and observers. Whereas in and around Singapore the deployment of British radar will give the overwhelming advantage to the British, as the Japanese will not be able to sneak into the airspace behind a weather front. And they will find that the cloud cover due to the monsoon will make finding their targets, and trying to keep in formation, and meeting up with their defending fighters. Plus the British have the major advantage that they are operating from developed bases with good logistics links, ie fuel can be delivered in tanker trucks, not in drums and having to be hand pumped. Once the monsoon sets in the majority of the advantages will lie with the British, and by the end of the season they will have been able to import a significant number of newer, more modern aircraft from Britain and the United States.

At sea the RN which is used to operating in the North Sea and Atlantic, some of the most tempestuous waters in the world, will have little problem in operating during the monsoon. In fact the monsoon will have some advantages for the RN, in that it will restrict the ability of the Japanese to conduct aerial reconnaissance and surveillance missions. And during daylight and nighttime reduce the ability of Japanese surface ships and submarines to see the RN vessels, as they will be able to hide under clouds and behind rain storms. Whereas those British vessels equipped with radar, can see the Japanese through the rain and the darkest night, as long as their radar stays operational. This means that during the monsoon season ships not equipped with radar could pass within miles of one another without realising that they were there. And submarines which could detect ships using hydrophones, even if they surfaced wouldn’t be able to see their target if there was a major rainstorm or weather front about. While conversely small units like MTB’s could hide behind a weather front and suddenly burst out to attack, which will not give major units the time to respond before the torpedoes hit. I would expect the first monsoon season to be one of much reduced activity, given the weather situation, while by the onset of the next season, the British will have the majority of their ships equipped with radar, and be able to conduct operations at normal or enhanced levels.

The Fairey Battle was a well built aircraft, and a brilliant replacement for its predecessor the Hawker Hart, but it was built at a time of accelerating change in aircraft design and technology, to fore fill a role that was rapidly becoming obsolete. There can be no question that by the time it went to war in 1939 just three short years after its first introduction, it was functionally obsolete in Europe, and coming close to be in the East. The only role that it could fore fill was Imperial Air Policing in the backwaters of the Empire. Were it faced no aerial opposition, and only very limited anti aircraft fire, that at best was from machine guns, in the hands of tribes men who had very little training. It was also useful in the training role especially as a target tug, or for aircrews who were transitioning from basic trainers to more sophisticated aircraft. The ability of this aircraft to fore fill the role of a cheap strategic bomber during the opening weeks of the Malay campaign, provided it is able to conduct its missions against targets that have little to no air cover or anti aircraft capability. Will do much to replace its legend of being totally useless, and for a short time until the Japanese are able to devote the fighter resources needed, it will be able to conduct a number of vital strategic missions. However it’s use anywhere near the front lines, will be a complete disaster, resulting in very high casualties just like in Europe.

The 1000 lb and 500 lb bombs are more than adequate to cause major damage to any rail bridge in the region, providing the hit in the right spot. And the problem for the Japanese is that without the extensive engineering support that the British have, or the emergency bridge system that the Germans, British and Americans had developed. They are only going to be able to use locally available materials to enact repairs, and those will only enable foot traffic and possibly mule or bicycles. To completely repair these bridges, so that trains can be driven across linked to an engine, is going to require custom parts from Japan. Building a bridge that is capable of taking trains is very different from building a bridge that can accommodate basic trucks, in the Far East trucks with a gross weight above 10 tonnes were incredibly rare, while railroad wagons tended to start at 20 tonnes gross and went up to 50 tonnes or more, with locomotives topping out at 100 tonnes. While you can use bamboo or locally sourced timber for a bridge to carry foot traffic and the lighter trucks, you really need steel for anything heavier. And without the extensive temporary bridging equipment that the British had even in Malaya, the Japanese are going to be very much out of luck. And remember it’s not just one bridge that they have to replace, but a number of bridges and the British will be constantly trying to destroy the replacements.

RR.
 
The other thing that was involved with centerline sling/crutch/trapeze bomb mounts was design for positive separation. During flight prior to release, when the bomb was traveling at the same speed as the plane, the force that was expected to effectuate release was gravity. In a dive more steep than 45 degrees, per basic trigonometry, gravity was pushing the bomb more forward against whatever stop existed in that direction, than away from the bomber at right angles to its axis of travel. And, flight often involved turbulence-bumps, in addition to whatever diversions from a straight-line flight path the pilot might bring about. Sometimes shackles that worked fine in level flight didn't work fine in a dive. Bombs upon release could begin to move away from the shackle, then accelerate momentarily back toward it and hit the engagement-stop...presumably with the release pin still pulled, but what would happen in that circumstance did have to be considered in design.
 
How will the impending monsoon affect the conflict in Malaysia?

Unlike the campaign in Burma, where the monsoon was a significant factor up until the British forces under Slim and Mountbatten, made the conscious decision to fight on through the monsoon despite the difficulties. The two monsoon seasons in Malaysia are dependent on which one were a talking about and the year in which they occur, can and will have an effect less or more on the fighting on land and in the air, while fighting at sea will be a different story. None of the participants in WWII were set up to continue fighting during the monsoon, and it took a considerable time to develop the logistics and tactics to do so. Along with the medical support system to deal with the problems of fighting during the monsoon, such as fungal infections, especially the tropical equivalent of trench foot, caused by the troops feet being constantly immersed in water and not having the chance to dry out. Tracks that during the dry season were passable by troops and mules, became deep muddy rivers, with an overlaying covering of water. While the primitive unsealed roads became virtually un passable for wheeled vehicles, and very difficult for tracked vehicles. The can be little doubt that the first monsoon season will impose a significant burden on the fighting forces and possibly cause the conflict to be put on hold temporarily.

However if as I believe is probable the British manage to survive the initial Japanese onslaught, and the campaign descends into a semi static attritional conflict. The logistic advantage will lie with the British, who in addition to having a large modern by local standards port at their back. Have also a railway and coastal shipping that can use the west coast, to move their supplies. Along with numerous mechanical plant to assist in keeping their roads semi usable, and in reasonable repair. The British will also have a much greater access to the engineering stores required to build a maintain the roads, plus construct bridges across the numerous streams and rivers, swollen by the monsoon rains. In regard to the airforces the monsoon weather will cause problems both on the ground, and in the air. Airfields that don’t have solid runways and good drainage, plus taxiways and aircraft hard standings, will quickly become shallow lakes, and thus inoperative as aircraft and service vehicles bog down in the saturated soil. Also without hangers, ground crews will find working and maintaining aircraft a nightmare. In particular refuelling aircraft, which at this time involves pouring fuel into the plane, will only be possible if it’s not raining, or some sort of overhead cover is provided, water in your fuel tank is a recipe for disaster.

The British air force, will have problems in the border region, as will the Japanese, not only because they too are mostly operating from underdeveloped airfields. But also because the met service in Malaya is so underdeveloped so that during the monsoon season, it was difficult to get an accurate met forecast, before setting out on a mission. Note this problem persisted right up until the American involvement in Vietnam in the sixties, as it was only with the development of weather satellites that it became possible to get an accurate picture of the situation in areas without multiple met stations and observers. Whereas in and around Singapore the deployment of British radar will give the overwhelming advantage to the British, as the Japanese will not be able to sneak into the airspace behind a weather front. And they will find that the cloud cover due to the monsoon will make finding their targets, and trying to keep in formation, and meeting up with their defending fighters. Plus the British have the major advantage that they are operating from developed bases with good logistics links, ie fuel can be delivered in tanker trucks, not in drums and having to be hand pumped. Once the monsoon sets in the majority of the advantages will lie with the British, and by the end of the season they will have been able to import a significant number of newer, more modern aircraft from Britain and the United States.

At sea the RN which is used to operating in the North Sea and Atlantic, some of the most tempestuous waters in the world, will have little problem in operating during the monsoon. In fact the monsoon will have some advantages for the RN, in that it will restrict the ability of the Japanese to conduct aerial reconnaissance and surveillance missions. And during daylight and nighttime reduce the ability of Japanese surface ships and submarines to see the RN vessels, as they will be able to hide under clouds and behind rain storms. Whereas those British vessels equipped with radar, can see the Japanese through the rain and the darkest night, as long as their radar stays operational. This means that during the monsoon season ships not equipped with radar could pass within miles of one another without realising that they were there. And submarines which could detect ships using hydrophones, even if they surfaced wouldn’t be able to see their target if there was a major rainstorm or weather front about. While conversely small units like MTB’s could hide behind a weather front and suddenly burst out to attack, which will not give major units the time to respond before the torpedoes hit. I would expect the first monsoon season to be one of much reduced activity, given the weather situation, while by the onset of the next season, the British will have the majority of their ships equipped with radar, and be able to conduct operations at normal or enhanced levels.

The Fairey Battle was a well built aircraft, and a brilliant replacement for its predecessor the Hawker Hart, but it was built at a time of accelerating change in aircraft design and technology, to fore fill a role that was rapidly becoming obsolete. There can be no question that by the time it went to war in 1939 just three short years after its first introduction, it was functionally obsolete in Europe, and coming close to be in the East. The only role that it could fore fill was Imperial Air Policing in the backwaters of the Empire. Were it faced no aerial opposition, and only very limited anti aircraft fire, that at best was from machine guns, in the hands of tribes men who had very little training. It was also useful in the training role especially as a target tug, or for aircrews who were transitioning from basic trainers to more sophisticated aircraft. The ability of this aircraft to fore fill the role of a cheap strategic bomber during the opening weeks of the Malay campaign, provided it is able to conduct its missions against targets that have little to no air cover or anti aircraft capability. Will do much to replace its legend of being totally useless, and for a short time until the Japanese are able to devote the fighter resources needed, it will be able to conduct a number of vital strategic missions. However it’s use anywhere near the front lines, will be a complete disaster, resulting in very high casualties just like in Europe.

The 1000 lb and 500 lb bombs are more than adequate to cause major damage to any rail bridge in the region, providing the hit in the right spot. And the problem for the Japanese is that without the extensive engineering support that the British have, or the emergency bridge system that the Germans, British and Americans had developed. They are only going to be able to use locally available materials to enact repairs, and those will only enable foot traffic and possibly mule or bicycles. To completely repair these bridges, so that trains can be driven across linked to an engine, is going to require custom parts from Japan. Building a bridge that is capable of taking trains is very different from building a bridge that can accommodate basic trucks, in the Far East trucks with a gross weight above 10 tonnes were incredibly rare, while railroad wagons tended to start at 20 tonnes gross and went up to 50 tonnes or more, with locomotives topping out at 100 tonnes. While you can use bamboo or locally sourced timber for a bridge to carry foot traffic and the lighter trucks, you really need steel for anything heavier. And without the extensive temporary bridging equipment that the British had even in Malaya, the Japanese are going to be very much out of luck. And remember it’s not just one bridge that they have to replace, but a number of bridges and the British will be constantly trying to destroy the replacements.

RR.
As an ex combat engineer I totally agree with the bridging prospects. However, like the other powers they will have their own books of standard bridges, plans for them, and bill of material so they can replace anything that is destroyed, but do agree they will have to import materials other than locally sourced material like large timbers. One thing we were taught to do to a bridge is to blow up the abutments to the bridges themselves before you blow up the bridge. Eliminating the abutment on either end means that that end is dropped and the bridge has no place to be anchored to when they decide to rebuild the bridge. This also would take longer in the Monsoon season because of the need to have a solid place to anchor the end of the bridge whether it is concrete or other material you still have to have a solid place for it. You also can do this with just a cratering charge or two to destroy the ground behind it that would push the more solid parts away from their support and leave a big hole there.
 
With multiple needs are there Zeros available for this part of the campaign and a pair of light carriers would be pretty vulnerable especially as Timor could be reinforced fairly quickly by air from Australia. As for long range strikes that is 1800 miles one way which stretches even the Betty's. I am assuming you mean strikes from bases they secure closer to Timor. Either way this is pretty much pointless discussion unless the Allies decide to make a fight of Timor.
Sorry I wasn't talking about Timor; I was talking about landing on the east coast of Malaya.
 
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