Firstly, thank you.

Have a look at Leslie Hore-Belisha, and I would read how his biographer described his character.

By the end of 1939, the entire Army hated him, and they used the Pillbox Affair to make his position untenable. What really leaves a bad taste in all this was the antisemitism on display, and so Gort is tarred with that. Gort wasn't a brilliant mind like Wavell, but was prepared to continue to serve his country, taking lesser roles, and working hard in those roles.

Referring back to Ironside, if you think giving Gort the Far East, is a questionable choice, and I don't say it isn't, how would you justify Ironside as the choice, given the enemies he made, and the way he finished, effectively shutting the door on his career.
Firstly, thank you.

Have a look at Leslie Hore-Belisha, and I would read how his biographer described his character.

By the end of 1939, the entire Army hated him, and they used the Pillbox Affair to make his position untenable. What really leaves a bad taste in all this was the antisemitism on display, and so Gort is tarred with that. Gort wasn't a brilliant mind like Wavell, but was prepared to continue to serve his country, taking lesser roles, and working hard in those roles.

Referring back to Ironside, if you think giving Gort the Far East, is a questionable choice, and I don't say it isn't, how would you justify Ironside as the choice, given the enemies he made, and the way he finished, effectively shutting the door on his career.

Okay @Fatboy Coxy I see what you trying to say about Leslie Hore and well you are right. If only he didn't read that book that was given by Chamberlain maybe he would have gotten along with the army.

"Upon appointing Hore-Belisha as Secretary of State, Chamberlain advised him to read B. H. Liddell Hart's book Europe in Arms, which advocated that Britain should avoid becoming involved in a continental land war and rely on the Royal Air Force as its offensive arm.[8] Impressed by the book's arguments and under Cabinet pressure to control expenditure, Hore-Belisha formed a close partnership with Liddell Hart and sought to refocus the British Army away from the aim of raising a second British Expeditionary Force to fight in France." - Wikipedia

Chamberlain has many to blame for what happen to Leslie Hore and the Army. Chamberlain was caught with his pants down when WW2 started.

Now about Gen. Ironside and the enemies he made, is simple. Ironside knew that a war was coming and knew that the army was under man. In fact he told Chamberlain that the war would start in Poland and that Britain should send help but the politicians didn’t pay attention. When he found out that he wasn't going to be in command of BEF but Chief of the Imperial General Staff he knew that he was to raise Divisions to be used for defense of France. Now being a General he wasn't a defeatist like many other generals (French).

Quote "At a conference in Lens he clashed with the French Generals Billotte and Blanchard, whom he considered defeatists. He wrote: "I lost my temper and shook Billotte by the button of his tunic. The man is completely defeated."[49] Although Billotte was supposed to be co-ordinating the British, French and Belgian armies' operations in Belgium, Ironside took over the job himself, ordering Gort and Blanchard to launch a counter-attack against the Germans at Arras.[50] This attack achieved some local success, but the German onslaught proved unstoppable. The French Commander-in-Chief, General Maxime Weygand, so resented Ironside's actions that he said he would "like to box Ironside's ears."

Now the enemies at the homeland were mix of politicians and military. Ironside did build up the defenses of the Homeland but yes he wasn't perfect and did mistake like securing a defense line behind many airfields. Also many Generals were frustrated that the ay were building Pillbox and not training.

Quoted "Although Ironside managed to placate the Chiefs of Staff, discontent amongst his subordinates was growing; one divisional commander wrote "We have become pill-box mad".[69] There was widespread concern that troops were spending their time constructing defences rather than on the training which they desperately needed.[70] Another critic was Major-General Bernard Montgomery, who later wrote that he found himself "in complete disagreement with the general approach to the defence of Britain and refused to apply it."[71] When Churchill visited Montgomery's 3rd Infantry Division on 2 July, he described to the prime minister how his division, which was fully equipped except for transport, could be made into a mobile formation by the requisitioning of municipal buses, able to strike at the enemy beachheads rather than strung out along the coast as ordered." - Wikipedia

With all that he saw in the army and seeing that to win a war you need to go defense build up your military and then go offensive. That why I choose Ironside because it's the same scenario in the Far East. This timeline you doing is that right now there isn't any Division that can help out Singapore until the Mediterranean theater is resolved.
 
Last edited:
Having read the recommended entries, given the thinly-veiled hate between Gort and Hore-Belisha, I would be hesitant to assume either's description of the other accurate on its service and that perhaps looking to other service details may provide better insight. In that context when I compare Gort's distinguished service record (including anVC in WW1) to Hore-Belisha's later inability to even keep his own political party's nomination (which appears to have resulted in him changing political parties not once but twice), there appears nothing in his biography that would indicate Gort was wrong in his assessment (per the Pillbox Affair) that Hore-Belisha was unsuitable (due to his inability to lead/motivate teams of men) for his position. In stark contrast, after France, Gort's being awarded the Sword of Honour by the people there due to his leadership during the Seige of Malta appears to reinforce he was completely capable of motivation and leading teams of men.....

I'll gladly defer to others who have a more in-depth knowledge of either biographies.

Hello @CB13 hope you are doing well.

Okay I'll answer on what you posted.
Lord Gort got that sword during the siege of Malta but what many don't know is that when he became governor of Malta much of the siege had already pass. In fact you should read on William Dobbie who was the governor for 2 years and witness the battle. Due to his health he was transferred almost the end of the siege of Malta. If he had stay he would have maybe received the Sword of Honour. I have nothing against Lord Gort but he didn't witness those two years of war at Malta.

 
Last edited:
MWI 40101216 Japan Sets Her Goals
1940, 12 October

It had been shaped over a series of events, all helping to refine Japanese policy towards her nationalistic goals. The Cabinet decision of 26th July 1940, had started it, the decision of the Four Ministers' Conference of 4th September 1940, and the Liaison Conference of 19th September 1940, began to shape it, while the outline of Japanese foreign policy prepared in the Foreign Office on 28th September 1940, the day after the signing of the Tripartite Pact, gave it some solid ground. And then the decisions of the Cabinet meeting of 3rd October 1940, and the "Tentative Plan Towards the Southern Regions" prepared in the Foreign Office on 4th October 1940, formulated it completely.

It was breath-taking, aggressive, imperialistic, and if achieved, would make Japan into a world power. Simplistically, she would take control of the “Southern Region”, or “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” as she self-styled it, British Far Eastern colonial lands, and the Dutch East Indies. This would be achieved while avoiding war with the USSR and the USA, but should war be unavoidable with the Americans, then the Philippines, Guam and other American possessions would also be occupied. In more detail, the policy was

To place reliance on the Tripartite Pact

Seek a conclusion of a Non-Aggression Pact with the USSR

Reach a successful conclusion to the war in China

Creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, including French Indo-China, the Netherlands East Indies, the Straits Settlements, British Malaya, Thailand, the Philippines, British Borneo and Burma

Offer to mediate for settlement of the European War and in return obtain from Great Britain recognition of the Co-Prosperity Sphere

Conclude a Non-Aggression Pact with the United States, whereby the United States would recognize the Co-Prosperity Sphere in return for Japanese respect for the independence of the Philippines.

And to achieve those goals, Japan had to be single purposely committed, there could be no questioning of the goals now, no alternatives, no opposition. As a result, Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe declared the adoption of the “Imperial Rule Assistance Association”, moving to a one party state, aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan, in order to maximize the efficiency of Japan's total war effort. They’d already passed the National Mobilization Law, which effectively nationalized strategic industries, the news media, and labour unions. Japan was now clear on what she wanted, committed to her dream, she only had to work out how to get it.
 
Last edited:
Not sure what is scariest about the GACS: that people helped the Japanese while knowing how BS it was, that people actually used to believe it, or
 
Hello @CB13 hope you are doing well.

Okay I'll answer on what you posted.
Lord Gort got that sword during the siege of Malta but what many don't know is that when he became governor of Malta much of the siege had already pass. In fact you should read on William Dobbie who was the governor for 2 years and witness the battle. Due to his health he was transferred almost the end of the siege of Malta. If he had stay he would have maybe received the Sword of Honour. I have nothing against Lord Gort but he didn't witness those two years of war at Malta.


Thanks so much Logan! Excellent, excellent context!

Cheers, Matthew. 🍻
 
MWI 40101710 The Delicate Matter Of Hong Kong
1940, Thursday 17 October;

Dill sat there patiently, quietly rehearsing in his mind what he wanted to say. He’d had quite a good COS meeting so far, they were confident there would be no invasion this year, and despite the massive shortages in arms and equipment, the Army was getting into better shape every day. In Egypt the Italians had surprisingly, having just crossed the border, dug in, showing no real interest in wanting to go any further. And in East Africa they also showed no intent on taking the offensive, content to make small ingresses into British territory and then sit down and fortify.

But the Far East was another matter. If Japan attacked, and that was a big if, but if she did, Hong Kong, Borneo, Malaya and Singapore, and even Burma would collapse like a house of cards. They were so weak everywhere, but Churchill didn’t seem to realise that. Dudley had been quite clear the Navy would not be able to get there for at least six months, and the RAF, which supposedly was to be the defence until they did, wouldn’t be ready for a long time, despite Cyril’s crowing.

Well, the appreciation from the local commanders had been received, and it highlighted how weak they were. They were asking for a lot of aircraft, and until they had them, the Army needed about 40 battalions, along with a considerable sundry of other units to defend with. Dill’s mind was brought sharply round to focus, as he heard Dudley speak.

“Next on the Agenda is the Far East, Prime Minster. Have you had anymore thought to the suggestion that the Americans base a naval squadron in Singapore Prime Minister?”

“Ah yes Dudley, over a series of cables I have made representations to the President over the suggestion of a USN squadron paying a friendly visit to Singapore. The response is very clear, with the elections coming up there will be no talk of US Forces being deployed in any way that could drag the USA into, as he called it, a foreign war. The American public is extremely sensitive to any suggestion of propping up our Empire. The President’s focus is on material aid only, with the intent on supporting the UK. Any defensive measures for Singapore will have to be taken by us alone.”

The room was silent for a moment, as the news sunk in, clear disappointment on Pound’s face. He cleared his throat and spoke again. “I received the joint local tactical appreciation from Singapore, and have circulated it, I trust everyone has had time to read and digest it. Singapore was asking for 566 frontline aircraft, but we believe they could manage with a minimum of 336.”

Churchill turned to his right, where Pug Ismay was sitting, and took the offered papers. “Ah yes Dudley, the appreciation, yes I have looked at it. 366 is quite a considerable number of aircraft don’t you think, and over the last few nights the RAF has demonstrated it is incapable of protecting our capital at night, despite being at war of over a year now. More than 2000 casualties on Monday, the biggest raid yet, followed by Tuesday night when London had 900 separate fires, and severe disruption to the rail network”

Churchill was looking at Air Chief Marshal Newall as he spoke, clearly still angry at the inadequacies of London’s AA defence. Dill watched with interest as someone other than himself suffered Churchill ire. Just recently he’d noticed a change in Churchill’s behaviour to Newall, no longer the darling of the Battle of Britain, indeed if the rumours Dill had heard of Newall’s rows with Beaverbrook, he was on borrowed time. “Tell me Cyril, just where do you hope to find these aircraft from” Churchill stared at Newall.

“Well Prime Minister, the fact is we haven’t got much at the moment, however with the reasonable assumption that there is no invasion coming this year, I can release 226 Sqn RAF, equipped with Fairey Battles. For further reinforcements, I would suggest we build up our forces by deploying newly raised Article VX sqns from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, with the agreement of the Dominions. For now, we could send further Fairey Battles and some Vildebeest Torpedo aircraft, and then redirect the Brewster Buffalo’s we’ve purchased from the USA to there. We could hope to achieve our target number by possibly end of 41.

We do, however, need to keep developing the infrastructure to allow these aircraft to deploy, and that unfortunately takes considerable time, I hope your satisfied with the planned expansion of airfields, and the accompanying network of radar stations allowing us to maximise their use. We are struggling with airfield construction, lacking the specialist units required for this work, and to provide a radar network ready for the end of 1941, I am having to divert some units promised for other secondary theatres”.

Pound spoke up before Churchill could react “Prime Minister, if I may add, the Naval Staff have given some consideration to forming a FAA Training Wing, based at Singapore, we think it could be useful having a trained pool of aircrew available as replacements to our Eastern Mediterranean squadrons, as well as adding to the defence of the Far East. They could operate in support of the RAF in this theatre if it was so required. HMS Hermes would be able to provide carrier-based training, and the pilots would come from the Dominions, easing our training programme back here in the UK”.

That seemed to placate Churchill, who was clearly ready to jump all over Newall. Now it was Dill’s turn, he leaned forward. “Prime Minister until we have reached the required number of aircraft, it falls on the Army to defend Malaya. They estimate about 40 battalion’s worth of troops. With the planned arrival of two Indian Bde’s, and expansion of local forces we will have about 15 battalions. Longer term we can hope for more troops from India, but that won’t be enough.

As an interim measure could we not ask for the newly raised 8th Australian Division to be moved there, at least as cover until more forces are assembled, they could continue their training there, and they would be closer to the Middle East”.

Dill leaned back; here we go he thought. Churchill looked over his glasses and cleared his throat. “Training John? A temporary move, halfway to North Africa, so to speak. Err yes, I suppose I could ask that of the Australians”.

Dill continued, encouraged now. “Can we ask the Dominions to help out more? Supplies, equipment and particularly construction materials are in short supply. Could they help us raise more local forces where possible, some ECO’s for the new Indian Battalions?”

“Hmm, yes that could help John. I believe we have a conference planned in Singapore to discuss defence issues, with the Americans and Dutch and Australians invited. Invite representatives from the other Dominions. I will speak to their Prime Ministers to encourage their help. You can only expect voluntary help, and it mustn’t detract from our main efforts in Britain’s defence and the Middle East.”

Well, thought Dill, so good, so far, one last bit to debate.
“Prime Minister, we’ve been looking at the situation in Hong Kong again.” A frown formed on Churchill’s face, as Dill continued, “If war does come to the Far East, we couldn’t hope to hold Hong Kong, what we have there would be lost, I’d like to suggest we reduce the garrison to a level able to provide internal security, and able to offer resistance to any Japanese attack on Hong Kong Island itself. We would retain a British battalion, some of the coastal batteries, and with the newly forming Hong Kong Chinese Regt, it would allow us to withdraw a brigade’s worth of troops plus some artillery for Malaya. We would stage the withdrawals gradually, allowing the Chinese Regiment to take on some of the responsibilities as they form”.

Newall remained silent, in part because he had no forces of any consequences and in part to remain out of the firing line. But Pound was quick to follow Dill. “It would be most useful, Prime Minister, I would be able to withdraw some units to Singapore as well. We would still maintain patrols, be able to offer resistance to any attack, but not lose so much”.

Churchill didn’t answer for a moment, in deep thought. “And what British troops would be sacrificed for Hong Kong’s honour gentlemen” he softly asked.

Dill cleared his throat “Hmm, the Royal Scots Prime Minister”

They sat expectantly for several seconds, as Churchill turned the idea’s over in his head. He didn’t like it, but something had to be done. “Very well, Pug, take a note, I shall write to the Dominions requesting their attendance to a Singapore Conference and support with regards to war materials, forming new article XV Sqns in Malaya and the temporary deployment of the 8th Australian in assisting in its defence. With regard to Hong Kong, I accept your proposals, but Leslie, take note, General Dill has chosen the Royal Scots to have the honour of remaining as the garrison’s British battalion”.
 
1940, Thursday 17 October;

Well, thought Dill, so good, so far, one last bit to debate.
“Prime Minister, we’ve been looking at the situation in Hong Kong again.” A frown formed on Churchill’s face, as Dill continued, “If war does come to the Far East, we couldn’t hope to hold Hong Kong, what we have there would be lost, I’d like to suggest we reduce the garrison to a level able to provide internal security, and able to offer resistance to any Japanese attack on Hong Kong Island itself. We would retain a British battalion, some of the coastal batteries, and with the newly forming Hong Kong Chinese Regt, it would allow us to withdraw a brigade’s worth of troops plus some artillery for Malaya. We would stage the withdrawals gradually, allowing the Chinese Regiment to take on some of the responsibilities as they form”.

Newall remained silent, in part because he had no forces of any consequences and in part to remain out of the firing line. But Pound was quick to follow Dill. “It would be most useful, Prime Minister, I would be able to withdraw some units to Singapore as well. We would still maintain patrols, be able to offer resistance to any attack, but not lose so much”.

Churchill didn’t answer for a moment, in deep thought. “And what British troops would be sacrificed for Hong Kong’s honour gentlemen” he softly asked.

Dill cleared his throat “Hmm, the Royal Scots Prime Minister”

They sat expectantly for several seconds, as Churchill turned the idea’s over in his head. He didn’t like it, but something had to be done. “Very well, Pug, take a note, I shall write to the Dominions requesting their attendance to a Singapore Conference and support with regards to war materials, forming new article XV Sqns in Malaya and the temporary deployment of the 8th Australian in assisting in its defence. With regard to Hong Kong, I accept your proposals, but Leslie, take note, General Dill has chosen the Royal Scots to have the honour of remaining as the garrison’s British battalion”.
So +2 Canadian battalions (C-force), 1 UK battalion (1 Middlessex) and +2 Indian battalions (5/7 Rajput and 2/14 Punjab) with the Rajputs being a pre-war professional battalion and the Punjabs already formed and somewhat trained at this point (OTL arriving in Hong Kong November 1940). The three initial battalions are not a bad core at all to stiffen one of the Indian divisions that is being formed up at the moment.
 
It will be exceedingly interesting to see what war gaming and exercises with these additional forces leads to in terms of an alternatibe defensive scheme.

Great writing as usual by the way! Kudos!
 
It will be exceedingly interesting to see what war gaming and exercises with these additional forces leads to in terms of an alternatibe defensive scheme.

Great writing as usual by the way! Kudos!
I don't think a reinforced brigade does much to the wargames. I think the value will be stiffening very green units with at least 2 pre-war professional battalions and bringing more experience field grade staff to the theatre.
 
One of two places in the Pacific where Canadians served - Hong Kong and Australia (a SIGINT Squadron). They did very well in Hong Kong IIRC.
 
So +2 Canadian battalions (C-force), 1 UK battalion (1 Middlessex) and +2 Indian battalions (5/7 Rajput and 2/14 Punjab) with the Rajputs being a pre-war professional battalion and the Punjabs already formed and somewhat trained at this point (OTL arriving in Hong Kong November 1940). The three initial battalions are not a bad core at all to stiffen one of the Indian divisions that is being formed up at the moment.
Historically, C Force, the Canadian contingent wasn't even spoken about until September 1941, I think, so at this moment in time there is no consideration of Canadian troops going anywhere. Like all Indian battalions not serving in North Africa, both these battalions were 'milked' for cadres to form new units, however during the battle of Hong Kong, both performed well, indeed I think Maltby rated the 5/7 Rajput as his best battalion in the entire garrison. Note Dill is also suggesting withdrawing some artillery, while Pound intends to withdraw some units as well.
 
Last edited:
It will be exceedingly interesting to see what war gaming and exercises with these additional forces leads to in terms of an alternatibe defensive scheme.

Great writing as usual by the way! Kudos!
Thank you

At the moment General Bond CO of Malaya Command is just thankful he has a few more troops to help defend those blasted airfields, and they're only coming over gradually, with no timescale specified.
 
A lot of Canadians served in RAF radar units in India and Burma during WW2
And actual RAF squadrons

Also on Canada's west coast (although just garrisons) and also invasions in the Aleutians

After European war ended RCN ships were in the British Pacific fleet.

see https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/reme...s several other American bases in the Pacific.

Canada's involvement had now built up to the point where more than 10,000 Canadians had served or were serving in Asia and the Pacific. The RCAF alone had over 3,100 in the theatre in 1945.
 
So +2 Canadian battalions (C-force), 1 UK battalion (1 Middlessex) and +2 Indian battalions (5/7 Rajput and 2/14 Punjab) with the Rajputs being a pre-war professional battalion and the Punjabs already formed and somewhat trained at this point (OTL arriving in Hong Kong November 1940). The three initial battalions are not a bad core at all to stiffen one of the Indian divisions that is being formed up at the moment.
The 2 Canadian Battalions were not in such a good shape themselves - IIRC they were cat C and B respectively (they were picked from among the garrison forces in Canada and elsewhere due to political manoeuvring and not necessarily on merit)

One of the units had a large number of troops who had not even fired the Bren guns and this training was carried out on the boat - but that does suggest that the units would have lacked any real company and battalion level training.

Still they didn't do half bad OTL!

Sending them to Malaya instead is a good idea

A better one IMO is to send them to one of the barrier locations (Ambon, Rabaul, Timor etc) and take the burden off of 8th Australian Divisions 3rd Brigade and the Militia and handful of commando units who were split up among those locations.

I would add that 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was a Machine gun Battalion - with 9 platoons with a total of 48 Vickers MMGs and not an infantry Battalion.

The 2nd Argylls under Col Stewart (Top student at Sandhurst 1913 and the youngest - was the first British soldier of the BEF to land in France and the first to be mentioned in dispatches - just to give you a 'feel' for the man) became very proficient in jungle warfare and maybe a better senior army commander might recognise this and use them as a jungle training cadre and rotate Battalions and Brigades through it?

He escaped Malaya after Wavell ordered him to India and he soon was placed in charge of training for the Indian Army forces for the rest of the war

There is a quote on Wiki by Gen Wavell (which is obviously where I got the idea of his unit running a training school during 1941)

"If all units in Malaya had been led with the same foresight and imagination that Brigadier Stewart showed in the training of his battalion, the story of the campaign might have been different. It was the realization of this that led me to order Brigadier Stewart's return to India...to impart his knowledge and ideas to units preparing for the return match with the Japanese"
 
Sending them to Malaya instead is a good idea
At the mo, they are still on garrison duties elsewhere, nothing said about deploying any Canadian battalions anywhere.

I would add that 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was a Machine gun Battalion - with 9 platoons with a total of 48 Vickers MMGs and not an infantry Battalion.
I had it as 4 companies of 3 platoons each, total 12 platoons, each with 4 Vickers medium machine guns, giving a total of 48. Because it fought mostly static, they were able to raise a 5th company, Z I believe, using extra Vickers guns from their held stocks


The 2nd Argylls under Col Stewart (Top student at Sandhurst 1913 and the youngest - was the first British soldier of the BEF to land in France and the first to be mentioned in dispatches - just to give you a 'feel' for the man) became very proficient in jungle warfare and maybe a better senior army commander might recognise this and use them as a jungle training cadre and rotate Battalions and Brigades through it?

He escaped Malaya after Wavell ordered him to India and he soon was placed in charge of training for the Indian Army forces for the rest of the war

There is a quote on Wiki by Gen Wavell (which is obviously where I got the idea of his unit running a training school during 1941)

"If all units in Malaya had been led with the same foresight and imagination that Brigadier Stewart showed in the training of his battalion, the story of the campaign might have been different. It was the realization of this that led me to order Brigadier Stewart's return to India...to impart his knowledge and ideas to units preparing for the return match with the Japanese"
Thank you for this, I didn't know about Sandhurst or BEF. Won't comment too much on Stewart, but I share your thoughts and ideas.
 
I had it as 4 companies of 3 platoons each, total 12 platoons, each with 4 Vickers medium machine guns, giving a total of 48. Because it fought mostly static, they were able to raise a 5th company, Z I believe, using extra Vickers guns from their held stocks
I mis read part of the document there was indeed 12 platoons (my brain did a 'reeeeee' about 48 guns in to 9 but I ignored it!)

"Nine platoons in the battalion are commanded by warrant officers, Class III, who are equipped as officers. The allotment of warrant officers, Class III, is provisional pending further examination of the peace organization."

Not that there were nine platoons the other 3 would have been led by officers - the Warrant officer III class or Platoon Sgt Major was a short lived experiment in the British army and done away with in 1940 with most PSMs promoted to Lt
 
The British seem to have a clear understanding that Hong Kong is indefensible. Any additional forces sent there will be completely destroyed with no gain to show for it. As what happened in OTL. One would hope that the more pragmatic approach being indicated here will be adhered to. The best thing to do is raise and train as many Chinese militia units as can be managed. You'd have a large number of well motivated troops trained for the mostly urban fighting that the IJA would face invading Hong Kong island.
 
Last edited:
My story will be about whether Britain could have held Malaya/Singapore in 1941-42. There are or have been some storylines that flirt with the question, or paint it with a broad stroke, against a background of a much bigger picture. But I want to write in more detail about how things could have gone

My timeline will begin with some small changes, but without wholesale changes to the general direction of the war. But obviously, as a stone cast in a still pond spreads ripples, so my little changes will undoubtedly bring about changes in future events.

I’ve never written like this before, just posted on forums, or written reports in my real life, and so I wrote privately for myself originally, quite expecting this would just be a fad, a faze I’d quickly grow tired off. But it didn’t, and despite my very slow progress, I found I’ve had fun writing the stories, and want to share them with you.

I’ve struggled with a style, and looking at my stories see different styles, or just as worrying, the same formatted style. I’ve written them with my own enjoyment in mind, and readily concede they are at times very factual, or offer too much detail in the narrative, and may be quite boring, but I like detail. In addition, there are a lot of historical facts, which I hope I’ve got right and a lot of technical, tactical or even strategical points that I’m sure will offer up comment.

I take my hat off to Zheng He, Galveston Bay and Fester to name but three who inspired me to write, and I thank them for the enjoyable hours I’ve spent reading their storylines. If mine could be half as good I’d be happy.

Place names in Malaya and Singapore are historical, as is Burma (Myanmar) and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), however, I have used current names when writing about events in Thailand, simply so the reader has a better chance of following the narrative while looking at Google maps. There are a lot of characters, many real, some of whom will find themselves in very different theatres of war, but there are also quite a number of fictional ones too. I hope no one is offended about what happens to the historical people, I have no intention to give offence. Other events are written with a broad stroke of the pen, to give some timeline reference, forgive me if they appear over simplistic

Hopefully I will post a couple of times a week, I’m not a quick writer. I welcome comment and criticism, provided its constructive, and will readily accept the errors I have no doubted made, being pointed out, so without further to do, I will begin.
David Row, in The Whale Has Wings, Vol. 3: Holding the Barrier (self published at Createspace; copyright 2013), gives a detailed account of how a Britain better prepared during the 1930s for a carrier war is able to hold the line in Malaya. It is also based on the British having a better strategic position in the Mediterranean (see Vols. 1 and 2) and hence able to strengthen its air, naval and land forces in Malaya. This is the 2013 version of Vol. 3; there may be a later version that is kind of an Australia wank and less relevant. However the 2013 version has General Blamey of Australia commanding the land forces up the peninsula with Harold Alexander in charge in Singapore. The British have real carrier power in the region (under Somerville) and MacArthur can't interfere because he is not in charge of U.S. forces after his errors in the Philippines. The account is very detailed; you might find something useful in spite of a POD different from your own.
 
Last edited:
I do not know if there is any merit to this, but are there any native troops in the British African colonies who can be sent to Singapore? My understanding from this time line is that even a couple hundred soldiers would help.

The 81st (West African) Division[2] was formed under British control during the Second World War. It took part in the Burma Campaign.

he 82nd (West African) Division[2] was formed under British control during the Second World War. It took part in the later stages of the Burma Campaign and was disbanded in Burma between May and September 1946.[3]

There were other units listed but these were the ones that fought in Asia.
 
Top