Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

Yeah thats why im thinking singapore is very unrealistic especially with this narrow of a pod where the butterflies have finally started happening . Thats why im thinking a more extensive burma campaign is possible and the british might reconquer it instead wich could help with imperial prestige.
 
Not really eraser is in common usage in the UK. What I think you mean is that the US usage of rubber differs from the British usage
Sorry for being a bit behind but I had to follow up with photos.

In Britain we show rubbers outside Infant schools

IMG_2599.jpeg


Sorry the school is to the right and I got the wrong angle.
 
When Brigadier Harold Charrington looked over the reconnaissance report with General Wilson, the British commander of the Greek operation, it became clear that there was a lot of wishful thinking and not a great deal of actual planning going on. Charrington had been hearing whispers from General Wavell’s staff that there was a team working on a plan for evacuating the British force, almost alongside the team planning the arrival of the same forces.
Ouch. See regulations under "Chalice, Poisoned, Receipt of". At least the people on the ground are working out just what sort of bear-trap they're being asked to stick their hands in. But Britain must, politically, be seen to be Doing Something so a bunch of poor sods are still going to get the opportunity to win posthumous VCs.

Regarding future plans, I'll note that if an invasion of Rhodes is not considered practical in the near-term, then an invasion of Sicily is not likely to be practical any time in the foreseeable future.

Regarding the Far East, the Japanese attack on Malaya (unlike the German attack on Greece) was not some overwhelming assault with massive materiel superiority and succeeded largely due to the poor training, equipment and organisation of the third-string units opposing it. In the short term, a viable armoured force, even if it's just a couple of battalions of older tanks, has the potential to to significantly affect the campaign (consider that many of the Japanese mobile forces were relying on bicycles, and their tanks made the Italians look good).

But in the wider picture I'm with @GrahamB - the only way Malaya/the East Indies are going to get significant reinforcements above and beyond OTL is if the British get credible warning in advance or if they've already wrapped up operations in Africa, Greece and the Aegean (and Syria/Iraq if those go off) to the point where they have units sitting around in Egypt doing nothing. Otherwise the active front will take priority and Singapore will get whatever/whoever is considered not fit to face the Axis but "good enough for Malaya".
 
Ouch. See regulations under "Chalice, Poisoned, Receipt of". At least the people on the ground are working out just what sort of bear-trap they're being asked to stick their hands in. But Britain must, politically, be seen to be Doing Something so a bunch of poor sods are still going to get the opportunity to win posthumous VCs.

Regarding future plans, I'll note that if an invasion of Rhodes is not considered practical in the near-term, then an invasion of Sicily is not likely to be practical any time in the foreseeable future.

Regarding the Far East, the Japanese attack on Malaya (unlike the German attack on Greece) was not some overwhelming assault with massive materiel superiority and succeeded largely due to the poor training, equipment and organisation of the third-string units opposing it. In the short term, a viable armoured force, even if it's just a couple of battalions of older tanks, has the potential to to significantly affect the campaign (consider that many of the Japanese mobile forces were relying on bicycles, and their tanks made the Italians look good).

But in the wider picture I'm with @GrahamB - the only way Malaya/the East Indies are going to get significant reinforcements above and beyond OTL is if the British get credible warning in advance or if they've already wrapped up operations in Africa, Greece and the Aegean (and Syria/Iraq if those go off) to the point where they have units sitting around in Egypt doing nothing. Otherwise the active front will take priority and Singapore will get whatever/whoever is considered not fit to face the Axis but "good enough for Malaya".
Well here's hoping the not quite jungles of Malaya become home to the now second line Matildas of both marks.
 
Singapore probably is doomed (it might last longer than OTL--which would throw off Japanese timetables a bit), but the Burmese front is the more interesting one--if Burma is not conquered as much as OTL, it'll affect the Bengal famine, which was caused by the Japanese occupying Burma...
 
How many tanks do the Australian 7th Division have? Because they saw service both in North Africa, and then the Pacific, and there's a few places in the latter where even just a handful of extra tanks could have done a lot of damage to the Japanese.
 
How many tanks do the Australian 7th Division have? Because they saw service both in North Africa, and then the Pacific, and there's a few places in the latter where even just a handful of extra tanks could have done a lot of damage to the Japanese.
Slim River comes to mind.
 
I know Asia keeps coming up before its time but I think the only way Britain improves its performance in Asia against the Japanese is if they know the attack is coming well in advance, like during the initial planning stages. Given that Asia was supposed to be the 'quiet theatre' because Japan was already invested in China, forces over there were only expected to 'hold the fort down' while the 'real action' happened in Europe and Africa. Nobody expected Japan to attack virtually every other nation in the Asian Pacific, all at the same time.

I am extremely skeptical how improved armoured vehicle production in the UK could possibly help the situation in Asia before the 'Japanese Supernova' has already gone off, given the weaknesses of Allied performance had little to do with equipment availability. It would require either some sort of intelligence coup that didn't happen OTL (and would be a POD in its own right), or for someone with command authority to be damn near prescient and just assume the Japanese would attack beyond China before finishing there (which seems to be the preferred option from commenters), lurching this timeline into Britwank territory.

As it stand the British forces in North Africa are substantially stronger, better equipped, better motivated and have a better doctrine than OTL. One example of this is that there are more Valiant I infantry tanks being sent to equip one part of XIII corps than Rommel will have tanks total. The disparity is noticeable, as to how a better tank can change this much, we are 6 years on from the POD now and a lot of small changes have had time to take affect including starting larger tank production sooner.
The question is not can Britain win in North Africa, they can, in fact Britain could likely steamroller the Axis in North Africa ITTL. The real question is does Britain have the Logistics to beat the Axis forces fast enough for their to be an impact in the Far East. The answer to that is harder to figure out but Britain does have some advantages and I suspect the answer is yes.

As for why Britain would send troops East that is easy, as soon as Japan invaded French Indochina Britain knows Japan is a threat. In OTL Britain was seriously planning what Naval Forces to send out east as early as March 41 IIRC, that gives some indication that the threat Japan posed was at least being considered. In addition Australia has the option and right to recall it's troops should it feel the need and in a scenario where they are not fighting in North Africa they will due to home politics.

As for approaching Britwank territory we all have our own definitions for that. I will say however that the potential (and likely) scenario of Britain saving Singapore and parts of Malaya is hardly a Britwank. Borneo will at best be touch and go for Britain and at worst fall as OTL, the Philippines will still fall and large parts of the Malay Barrier will still fall. Britain will in this scenario spend the first 6-9 months of 1942 fighting fires in the Far East while America can get it's act together. The fighting that happened in North Africa in OTL will instead take place in Malaya, Timor and New Guinea with the possibility of Borneo and even Sumatra being thrown into the mix. That is before you even get to the Naval side of things. In my book that is hardly a "Wank".

Now I will agree if things are still happening in an active way in North Africa then non of that happens. The issue is I find it harder to see the fight in North Africa lasting long enough to prevent it as things currently stand. That is not to say things can't change, obviously they can but right now the odds favour the British.

The problem really comes down to what can Britain do after North Africa and the answer is not a lot right away, at least not in terms of a major military endeavour. Any operation's in the Mediterranean will either be smaller scale like Iraq and Syria if they happen as OTL or much larger amphibious operations targeting Rhodes and Sicily. Those large scale operations will need a lot of planning and preparation and that will take time. Britain has more to loose by trying to keep hold of Australian and New Zealand troops who are trying to be recalled than letting them go. It is probably worth it from a politics point of view to send British troops East as well as they can be recalled when needed with no issues. In addition their is an argument that if you are going to have troops sitting about waiting for the next big fight they are better off sitting around out east as a deterrent to Japan than milling about in North Africa tanning and letting the sand get everywhere. It also isn't as though Britain did not see Japan as a threat, talks were happening in late 1940 with the Americans about basing Naval Units in Singapore in the event of war and further discussions were being had by the Admiralty. Then you have the Japanese moves against southern Indochina in June 41 as the final nail. At that point Japan is a threat and with Germany involved in a small skirmish in Russia they are out of the picture, Italy won't be able to pull off anything major by itself so Britain is safe (relatively) at home and in Europe.
 
Hm, if Britain puts enough into Burma could they eventually push into Thailand? I imagine that would change things?
 
Hm, if Britain puts enough into Burma could they eventually push into Thailand? I imagine that would change things?
In theory yes but I doubt Britain has that many troops to spare. You are either going into Burma as Malaya has fallen so the Japanese are there or just enough to hold the line in case the Japanese head there.
In even the best scenario for Britain most of the Far East still falls to Japan as OTL with Malaya, Burma, Sumatra and possibly Borneo Saved over OTL. Even then that comes with a lot of fighting. Britain will likely have the resources to commit to one area in sufficient strength to hold and that will be Malaya given how close Japan is. Burma will get a look in but not the same level of priority.
If Malaya has fallen then Burma Gets more than OTL yes but you still have so much of the Malay Barrier in Japanese hands that you are going to be fighting all over the place.
 
How many tanks do the Australian 7th Division have? Because they saw service both in North Africa, and then the Pacific, and there's a few places in the latter where even just a handful of extra tanks could have done a lot of damage to the Japanese.
At the moment approximately none. Australian divisions had a single divisional cavalry regiment, which was nominally 3 squadrons of light tanks, but OTL they seem to have been equipped with Bren carriers until they got some old Vickers Lights at some point in 1941. The first Australian tank units were equipped with captured Italian vehicles post-Compass (consider how desperate you have to be to operate a second-hand M11/39).

This brings up an important point - the British are better off TTL than OTL, but they're still very short of tanks simply to keep active units up to strength, never mind equip and train the new armoured units being raised in the UK. That means that anything still viable on the front line, like the A13 and Matilda I/II, is going to get used on the front line. Even worn-out A9/10s and obsolete Vickers Lights are likely to find themselves bulking out the reconnaissance units, or standing around airfields in Crete or Cyrenaica or assigned to occupation forces in Iraq or Palestine or Ethiopia on the grounds that any tank is better than none.

Those of you cheerleading for the A15 to fail should remember that without a sizable Crusader build run in early-mid 1941 we're likely to see British tank crews going into battle in Stuarts and Grants because there won't be enough Valiants to fill the slots, never mind any ambitions about sending armour to the Far East...
 
At the moment approximately none. Australian divisions had a single divisional cavalry regiment, which was nominally 3 squadrons of light tanks, but OTL they seem to have been equipped with Bren carriers until they got some old Vickers Lights at some point in 1941. The first Australian tank units were equipped with captured Italian vehicles post-Compass (consider how desperate you have to be to operate a second-hand M11/39).

This brings up an important point - the British are better off TTL than OTL, but they're still very short of tanks simply to keep active units up to strength, never mind equip and train the new armoured units being raised in the UK. That means that anything still viable on the front line, like the A13 and Matilda I/II, is going to get used on the front line. Even worn-out A9/10s and obsolete Vickers Lights are likely to find themselves bulking out the reconnaissance units, or standing around airfields in Crete or Cyrenaica or assigned to occupation forces in Iraq or Palestine or Ethiopia on the grounds that any tank is better than none.

Those of you cheerleading for the A15 to fail should remember that without a sizable Crusader build run in early-mid 1941 we're likely to see British tank crews going into battle in Stuarts and Grants because there won't be enough Valiants to fill the slots, never mind any ambitions about sending armour to the Far East...
With a victory in North Africa in 1941, Britain is going to be rather bereft of fronts to operate on until the Far East kicks off, which should reduce losses.
 
@MarcH raises a good point about Australian + New Zealand troops I hadn't considered, that if the British win fast enough in North Africa, all the best troops Oz and NZ sent off to Egypt could start filtering back before Japan kicks things off in December.

Of course, a counter-possibility is that if North Africa is wrapped up so quickly, what's stopping Churchill and Parliament from asking 'well, why stop now and not just go for Sicily? We're practically right there anyway...'
Methinks the Desert Rats are going to hang around for a while seeking Churchill's 'vulnerable underbelly' of the Axis crocodile.
 
But the issue is that butterflys have been rather minor sofar compared to otl and there isnt a very big driver for sending troops east early before the japanese attack without hindsight helping alot . There is a slight chance if the north africa campaign is ended before the end of september and the australian pm visits london and begs for reinforcements with the main idea being the AIF force of 3 divisons maybe being sent to singapore as people have mentioned but this is a rather small chance for this timeline.

Instead im thinking a more succesful defense of burma in 42 and counterattack in 43 to drive them out of burma and then late 43/early 44 they invade malaya and thailand hopefully . The idea for a succesful burma campaign is that it will be the main place the british can fight their enemys for most 1942 and the indian army is available for much manpower if the british equip them .
 
@MarcH raises a good point about Australian + New Zealand troops I hadn't considered, that if the British win fast enough in North Africa, all the best troops Oz and NZ sent off to Egypt could start filtering back before Japan kicks things off in December.

Of course, a counter-possibility is that if North Africa is wrapped up so quickly, what's stopping Churchill and Parliament from asking 'well, why stop now and not just go for Sicily? We're practically right there anyway...'
Methinks the Desert Rats are going to hang around for a while seeking Churchill's 'vulnerable underbelly' of the Axis crocodile.
Well for one thing, there's a significant lack of other essential equipment, such as landing-craft.
 
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GarethC

Donor
On the Far East, one interesting possibility is where Thailand fits in both sides' plans.

Was there an ITTL Franco-Thai war as OTL? If so, the peace conference didn't finish until May OTL - if an ur-Sonnenblume is not as successful as OTL, is the outcome of that conference going to be different if it looks like O'Connor is going to achieve a successful outcome against Rommel?
 
How many tanks do the Australian 7th Division have? Because they saw service both in North Africa, and then the Pacific, and there's a few places in the latter where even just a handful of extra tanks could have done a lot of damage to the Japanese.
The 7 Division AIF had officially, no tanks as it was an infantry division. However, it had a reconnaissance regiment, equipped with carriers. After Compass it was equipped with Italian tanks. I doubt they would have taken them with them when they left North Africa. in OTL they were intended to redeploy to the NEI and a brigade under Brigadier Blackburn as the commander of "Blackforce" fought there while the remainder of the Division instead was called home. Churchill however attempted to force the AIF units to Burma and actively diverted the convoy, without telling the Australian Government and this results in the "battle of the telegrams" between Canberra and London. London had agreed in 1939 that the 2nd AIF could return to Australia if demanded to do so. Churchill felt that by presenting a feint accompli he'd get his way. Canberra however insisted that the AIF return. Their reasons were that the Japanese were an imminent threat and also 'cause the AIF units had not been "tactically loaded" in the Middle East. Churchill had to concur and gave in. The AIF convoy returned to Ceylon and thence onto Australia after refueling.
 
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But the issue is that butterflys have been rather minor sofar compared to otl and there isnt a very big driver for sending troops east early before the japanese attack without hindsight helping alot . There is a slight chance if the north africa campaign is ended before the end of september and the australian pm visits london and begs for reinforcements with the main idea being the AIF force of 3 divisons maybe being sent to singapore as people have mentioned but this is a rather small chance for this timeline.

Instead im thinking a more succesful defense of burma in 42 and counterattack in 43 to drive them out of burma and then late 43/early 44 they invade malaya and thailand hopefully . The idea for a succesful burma campaign is that it will be the main place the british can fight their enemys for most 1942 and the indian army is available for much manpower if the british equip them .

Although as soon as the Japanese annex FIC in the Summer of 1941 British positions in the Far East become much more vulnerable to a country that is aligned if not allied to Germany. The British knew they where running risks but OTL the see saw North African campaign ate so much resources that there was little left for the Far East.

The best Britain could do OTL was Force Z. ITTL with less resources used and lost in North Africa more can be spared for he Far East. I don't think this would be a flood of modern equipment to deal with at the time only a possible threat. However, any modernish equipment would be superior to what the forces in the Far East.

The two reasons for the collapse of the British in Malaya was due to the Japanese use of tanks and Japanese light infantry infiltrating around British positions and creating road blocks in the British rear that the Indian troups couldn't break through. These reasons could be drastically reduced if the British deployed even small numbers of (the ITTL second line) Matilda 2's to Malaya as they would be largely impervious to Japanese weapons, could engage the enemy tanks and smash through the Japanese road blocks (also pretty relevant given the POD of TTL). A few dozen 2 pounders and a somewhat greater number of 25 pounders would also help enormously (OTL the divisions in Malaya lacked all types of artillery).

Such small deployments of above OTL equipment would not defeat the Japanese in Malaya but would slow them down enough for reinforcements to arrive and deploy. Similar deployments would also help with the island campaigns and the battle for Burma.

I know Allen has indicated that the Far East is a long way off, but the decisions to reinforce will need to be taken pretty soon in the story to have a major effect.
 
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