WI the British Force Z not been in Singapore

What if on Dec 8 1941 Force Z had been visting Sidney instead of being in Singapore .
What if instead of being sunk in April of 1941 the Ark Royal was with Force Z and the Indomdabale had not grounded on her way to join force Z
You would now have a Senior British Naval Officer in the Pacific with 2 fast capital Ships and 2 CV .

How would this change the war for the first 6 mo in the Pacific ?
 
Ward said:
What if on Dec 8 1941 Force Z had been visting Sidney instead of being in Singapore .
What if instead of being sunk in April of 1941 the Ark Royal was with Force Z and the Indomdabale had not grounded on her way to join force Z
You would now have a Senior British Naval Officer in the Pacific with 2 fast capital Ships and 2 CV .

How would this change the war for the first 6 mo in the Pacific ?
Undoubtedly, then the Force Z warships would have not been sunk, tho exactly why they would be in Sydney, and thereby nowhere near the most likely theater of operations is questionable. From recent readings another WI to be added would be WI HMS Renown, rather than her sistership HMS Repulse had been sent to the Far East. While Repulse had been recently modernized, Renown had the better anti-aircraft system. Or even WI the Prince of Wales' boilers were all working in good order. One was out of service being repaired, so she wouldn't have made full speed.

Take a look at:

http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk

An interesting site.

There is still the possibility that the warships could be lost in the opening months, rather than opening days of the war. Allied operations were understandabled disjointed then.
 
Ward said:
What if on Dec 8 1941 Force Z had been visting Sidney instead of being in Singapore .
What if instead of being sunk in April of 1941 the Ark Royal was with Force Z and the Indomdabale had not grounded on her way to join force Z
You would now have a Senior British Naval Officer in the Pacific with 2 fast capital Ships and 2 CV .

How would this change the war for the first 6 mo in the Pacific ?
I don't think it was Ark Royal - wasn't it an Illustrious-class? If the carrier had been present, its fighters would have been able to break up the Japanese attack, but I'm sure they would have subsequently sent a much larger strike.

If Force Z had for some reason been at Sydney, this would have been great news for the Allies, as it would provide an extra bit of strength when most needed - but long term, I'm not sure how much difference it would make; the US & British Empire were just so overwhelmingly more powerful.
 
Repulse and Prince of Wales, along with possible other ships, could have made a significant difference by joining the ABDA flotilla in early 1942. Without them the most powerful ships were two 'paper' heavy cruisers with 8" guns, USS Houston and HMS Exeter. If Japan had not realized that these two heavies, with several destroyers at least, had arrived, the invasion of Indonesia might have been severely disrupted. I believe the invasion force of Java had a total of 43 destroyers, 11 cruisers, ONE light carrier and a substantial portion of Japan's merchant marine, DIVIDED INTO THREE SEPARATE FORCES. Take existing forces of cruisers(2 heavy, 4-6 light at different times) and destroyers, add capital ships, and we could have anything from a quick and dirty victory over the Eastern Covering force(3 Japanese cruisers and 7 destroyers) to a major victory and subsequent replacing of Guadalcanal with Java a year earlier.
 

Redbeard

Banned
Force Z is surrounded by grim realities, the first being that it wasn’t needed at all. The British had realistically concluded that in case of the RN being engaged in a major European war the defence of Malaya and Singapore should rely on army and air force units (40-50 battalions, 350-500 fighters). The Imperial General Staff recommended the necessary forces being deployed, but Churchill refused, he would rather concentrate all army and air force resources on new offensives in the Med. and fighter sweeps over France. Instead he sent Force Z which was thought to be able to scare off the Japanese from attacking, but the next reality was that instead of being strong at least somewhere, the British defences were inadequate everywhere - land, air and sea - and everything was lost.

If Force Z is in Sydney 8th of December I believe it must require a PoD of the British giving up defending Singapore before PH. I find that unlikely, and it will require its own PoD.

If Indomitable had been present as scheduled I believe there is a chance that the attack would have been disturbed enough for at least one of the ships surviving. If Ark Royal is to be present too she would have to be ordered out of the Med. before she historically was sunk 13th of November 1941. Not only to save her, but in order to have her arrive in Singapore in time. But ordering Ark Royal out of the Med. would IMO require a PoD in the Med. too. The X. Fliegerkorps being withdrawn suddenly to the East Front because a soothsayer paid by the British says so to Hitler?

With two carriers present we are closing to a situation were the majority of the ships will return, but Force Z surviving will not save Malaya and Singapore and I think it would be more effective to send the extra 10 (trained) battalions and 200 fighters needed to put up an effective defence of Malaya.

I doubt the Japanese could send a larger attack force than the 80+ from OTL and I have even heard a claim that there wasn’t torpedoes in the area for a second attack (but I don’t recall exact references).

Regards

Steffen Redbeard
 
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