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British involvement in the pacific island hopping towards japan.

In all the many episodes of the pacific war, narrated by a very sombre American voice, no mention what so ever is made of British involvement, To any young student of military history watching the episodes, it conveys America as the sole liberators of the many islands , and totally ignores Britain's involvement, its the Errol Flynn, and john Wayne syndrome, only on a much greater scale.
The Pacific was a predominant American campaign.

That’s where their main focus was. The were involved in Burma and Guinea as well alongside other allied troops, but the Americans give those areas less mention as it wasn’t the main focus.

It’s a bit like the Italian campaign. It’s often forgotten about as the main focus was Europe for the U.K.

I don’t think it’s dismissing the involvement of other troops in those theatres . It was such a mammoth undertaking that you couldn’t cover the whole thing in detail from all perspectives.

The world at war tried, but even that fell short. It hardly touched on the Hungarian involvement in Stalingrad, or the Syrian campaign with Vichy.

Many documentary’s these days are commissioned to keep a certain target audience aware of a certain part in history. Not necessarily to teach.

It’s t same with the Holocaust. The Red Sea pedestrians will never let the world forget about what happened to its people. Other groupings such as the LGBTQ brigade get upset that others aren’t pushing their history.
 
This pretty much sums up how crucial the campaign on the Asian mainland was to the Japanese. Its easy 75 years down the line to lose the important facts that the Japs attack on PH was a final resort due to its increasing economic isolation. The invasion of China, the subsequent taking of Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya etc & the attempts to take India were almost singly focussed on the need to secure resources for Japan. The occupation of many of the island archipelagos, especially, provided nothing but a resource drain on Japan & was an extension of their sphere of 'influence' & creating defence in depth rather than a major factor in the war for Japan.
A couple of words about the Japanese 'taking' of Thailand (Siam at the time) with a British connection. The Japs came ashore at the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) base at Prachuapkirikhan, an hour or so south of where we live. On Ao Manao beach in fact. They were surprised by a forceful resistance by the RTAF (see, it can be done) but when the base rang the PM's office they got the order "STOP STOP STOP". The PM then invited the Japs in on certain provisos; this is from memory and I can't remember what those provisos were, in fact the PM may have been expecting them to turn up. Siam then declared war on the allies.

In his book Thailand's Secret War during WW2, E. Bruce Reynolds describes the activities of SOE, OSS and the Free Thai Underground in Thailand. One thing I learned from the book was that the areas which are now pineapple fields just west if where we live were DZs for SOE. Another thing I learned was how the current insurgency in the south of Thailand could have been avoided if the British had got their demands granted that the southern provinces of Thailand (Yala,Pattani and Narathiwat) be incorporated into Malaya post war.

To quote from the book's foreword: This book is an absorbing account of secret operations and political intrigue in wartime Thailand. During World War II, Free Thai organizations cooperated with Allied intelligence agencies in an effort to rescue their nation from the consequences of its 1941 alliance with Japan. They largely succeeded despite internal differences and the conflicting interests and policies of their would-be allies, China, Great Britain, and the United States. London’s determination to punish Thailand placed the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) at a serious disadvantage in its rivalry with the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The US State Department, in contrast, strongly supported OSS operations in Thailand, viewing them as a vehicle for promoting American political and economic influence in mainland Southeast Asia. Declassification of the records of the OSS and the SOE now permits full revelation of this complex story of heroic action and political intrigue.

Not all Thais were in favour of the alliance with Japan and the book also relates how allied covert personnel captured by the Thais were moved around Bangkok to avoid them having to be handed over to the Japs.

E2A: apparently, and to quote from the book, "At the end of World War II, in part to please the British, the government of Thailand changed the country’s international designation back to its pre1939 name, Siam. In 1949, the government restored the name Thailand."
 
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It’s t same with the Holocaust. The Red Sea pedestrians will never let the world forget about what happened to its people. Other groupings such as the LGBTQ brigade get upset that others aren’t pushing their history.
And quite right too.

I'm tempted to spoil this excellent thread by wondering if the LGBTQ Brigade were involved in deep penetration ops. But I won't.
 
I remember watching a documentary yonks ago that touched on this but can’t for the life of me find it anywhere.

It was about 25 years plus ago. Maybe timewatch.

I give you SOEs man in south east Asia responsible for economic warfare who ended up funding most of the British activities through illegal smuggling and currency swaps.

 
Arthur "Bull"Simons 3rd from viewers left front row kneeling
Arthur 'Bull' Simons. quite a legend. Also lead the Son Tay Read in North Vietnam in 1970 while serving with US Special Forces. Sorry for the thread drift.

Arthur D Simmons

SimonsPortraitlowres-e1280329385936.jpg
 
HMAS Shropshire

HMS Shropshire, a county class heavy cruiser was transferred to the RAN after the loss of her sister ship HMAS Canberra at Guadacanel in 1942. As HMAS Shropshire she retained most of her British crew while serving in the RAN. She served at Leyte gulf , the battle of Surigato Strait, battle of Luzon with other RAN ships and fired her guns in anger for the last time in the Corrigidor landings.She was present for the surrender of Japanese forces in the Phillipines and in Tokyo bay.

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HMAS Shropshire

HMS Shropshire, a county class heavy cruiser was transferred to the RAN after the loss of her sister ship HMAS Canberra at Guadacanel in 1942. As HMAS Shropshire she retained most of her British crew while serving in the RAN. She served at Leyte gulf , the battle of Surigato Strait, battle of Luzon with other RAN ships and fired her guns in anger for the last time in the Corrigidor landings.She was present for the surrender of Japanese forces in the Phillipines and in Tokyo bay.

View attachment 510417View attachment 510419
Captain John Augustine Collins successfully argued to have the ship recognised administratively as a commissioned Australian warship from 17 April, in order to keep Australian personnel (arriving that day) away from the RN rum issue


What a Sweetheart
 
Victor Crutchley

Battle of Salvo Island

Sinking of HMAS Canberra

Rear Admiral Victor Crutchley RN. Serving on loan to the RAN, in command of HMAS Canberra and HMAS Australia and three American heavy cruisers at the Battle of Salvo Island. A disaster for the allied side a Japanese naval force suprised them at night and sank HMAS Canberra and two American cruisers. Crutchley was heaviy criticized for the poor disposition of his force, but remained in command of a RAN Task Force for the next three months in the SW Pacific.

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Many 'routine' submarine operations as well. Along with the dutch east indies submarines.
More in bay of bengal and malacca straits though, not in the islands
Three decades or so after the war, I had a work colleague who had been bosun on one of the British submarines operating in these waters.
It was HMS Tantalus and wiki gives her story thus:

<<Tantalus served in the Far East for much of her wartime career. She sank the Malaysian tug Kampung Besar, and the Malaysian Pulo Salanama in April 1944; she went on to sink the Japanese army cargo ships Amagi Maru and Hiyoshi Maru, the Japanese cargo ship Hachijin Maru, the Japanese coaster Palang Maru, the Japanese fishing vessel Taisei Maru No. 12, a Japanese tug and three barges, an unknown Japanese vessel, and a Siamese sailing vessel, whilst claiming to have damaged a second. Tantalus also damaged a tug and the Japanese submarine chaser Ch 1. She also attacked, but missed the Japanese submarine I-166, which was sunk later that day by HMS Telemachus.
Tantalus survived the war and continued in service with the Royal Navy, finally being scrapped at Milford Haven in November 1950
>>
What wiki omits but ex-Bosun Bruce mentioned, was the clandestine missions that Tantalus went on.
This involved landing and embarking personnel off the Malay coast.
Naturally, as he recounted, the passengers were pretty tight-lipped although that it's now known that it's probable that these were Force 136 members.

Additionally, Tantalus was the intended rescue boat for those on Operation Rimau and landed and re-embarked two members of a search party on Merapas Island, part of the Dutch East Indies, across the narrow strait from Singapore but further into the South China Sea

This is the (allegedly ) actual 'Jolly Roger' ensign from HMS Tantalus, which in addition to enemy sinkings, minelaying operations and surface actions, shows the two 'Cloak and Dagger' knives.

Tantalus.png

Photo source (Usual Daily Mail caveats apply): Jolly Roger
 
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st bruno

War Hero
This is the story of the secret 'Black Lancasters', a specially trained RAF unit that was to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Why? Because the American B-29 Superfortress couldn't do it! Find out how this extraordinary situation arose and how the Americans managed to perform the mission in the end.

 
This is the story of the secret 'Black Lancasters', a specially trained RAF unit that was to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Why? Because the American B-29 Superfortress couldn't do it! Find out how this extraordinary situation arose and how the Americans managed to perform the mission in the end.
I'm afraid that I gave up on Mark Felton a good while back. I found him just a bit too 'creative'.

Yes, of course the Lancaster was briefly mooted in the early stages of the A bomb production but I've not seen any credible evidence that it went any further than that.
 
In all the documentary's on the TV, specifically The PBS American channel, on freeview, there is no mention of British involvement, did the Royal Navy have any imput in the liberation of the islands, as the Americans got closer and closer island hopping towards Japan, ditto the RAF.
It doesn't detract from what you are saying but in the documentary below, aired this week by NHK World (similar to the BBC World Service), it's a curiosity, nothing more, that at 5:22, it states that the allies, mainly American forces, took control of the strategic islands one by one.
Link:
Civilians Caught in the Crossfire
 
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In his book*, John Cross DCM, writes of another clandestine submarine operation on 30th May 1945. This was by HMS Thule commanded by the legendary LtCdr Alastair Mars DSO, DSC and was off the south east coast of Johore.
"She had made this passage before in January [1945] but this time it was the biggest special operation
ever undertaken by a British submarine. Aboard was a ferry party of twenty Royal Marines, sixteen rubber outboard
motorboats and masses of arms, equipment and masses of stores for the Europeans and the Chinese guerrillas ashore"

The submarine also picked up:
WO2 Cross DCM, who had been in charge of a 'stay behind' operation for intelligence gathering when Malaya had been over-run and Signalman Morter MM, L/Cpl Wagstaff MM, RSigs; who had all been secreted in the Jungle for over three years.
Privates Brian Smith, 2nd Loyals and Jim Wright, 6th R.Norfolks, both cut off from their units in the fighting in Malaya
and who had survived in the Jungle (with the guerrillas ) for three years.
Major Harvey Wilson, USAAF, a downed B29 pilot and Sgt Roberts USAAF Radio Operator from a raid on Singapore on 17th Jan 1945 who had evaded the Japanese.

*Red Jungle
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Perhaps the oddest thing, actually not odd at all merely ironic for the Japanese, was the utter indifference the Allies showed for the Dutch East Indies, which were after all the entire purpose of the Japanese thrust south.

The vast resources of oil, rice, rubber, iron ore, coal, bauxite etc that attracted the Japanese and which led them to attack Pearl Harbour and sweep south through SE Asia ended up being of no use to them as Allied submarines cut them off and then the huge Japanese garrison was simply left to wither on the vine as the US ignored them and swept up through the Philippines and the Pacific islands.

The Japanese need never have bothered starting the war with the West after all.
Thanks for that incisive and wholly original post, it's made me look at the Pacific War in a totally new light.

No, wait: it's more uninformed platitudes from the permasend bog-trotting idiot. I'm only surprised you haven't managed to get a dig in about the British Army on this post.
 
This is the story of the secret 'Black Lancasters', a specially trained RAF unit that was to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Why? Because the American B-29 Superfortress couldn't do it! Find out how this extraordinary situation arose and how the Americans managed to perform the mission in the end.

EXCEPT, the B-29 was modified starting in November 1943 not bad considering First B-29 Delivered to USAAF in July 43

65 "Silverplate" B-29's modified to carry Atomic weapons by wars end and 45 were ready for use by July 1945

remember their were different types of Atomic bomb in 45

Fat man
Little boy

Both having different sizes

And Hiroshima was not decided upon until April 1945 as a target so someone's telling porkies
 
Bit of a thread drift but probably not worth starting another thread.

For those with SKY HD and an interest in the subject there is documentary going out tomorrow
on NHK World. NHKW is the overseas service of Japan's public broadcasting corporation.
Titled Poisonous Secrets, it's about:
<<
At the end of WWII both Japan and the US were prepared to use chemical weapons on each other - newly unearthed documents and personal accounts have finally cast light on this dark legacy
>>
NHK documentaries tend to be well-made and well-researched and usually made originally for domestic transmission.
NHK HD is on SKY channel 507 ( or near the bottom of the first page of the NEWS menu)
and is being shown at the following times, although I shall be recording it.
Sat 1.10 am
Sat 7.10 am
Sat 1.10 pm
Sat 7.10 pm
Gas stocks among the warring powers should come as no surprise though.
Britain and Germany were obviously prepared for the possibility as the widespread issue of both military and civilian mask shows.
Montgomery, I understand could have called up chemical shells if they were needed in retaliation for Germany's first used.
According to a book by Russian authors, published in the mid thirties*- Japan's war industry was already turning out: Poison Gases, smoke substances, neutralising substances, chemical mine throwers, gas masks for humans and horses, gas protection costumes, gas cylinders. gas detectors and gas alarm sirens.

And of course, there was Italy's pre-war use of mustard gas upon the Ethiopians.

*When Japan Goes to War O. Tanin & E. Yohan
 
The Japanese head shed was convinced that we would use chemical weapons to defend India so their formations committed to the fighting at Imphal, Kohima and the Kabaw valley were issued with gas masks and antidotes (mainly camphor). Many of the corpses found on the way back to the Chindwin were carrying both when they didn't have the strength to carry themselves.
 
For those with SKY HD and an interest in the subject there is documentary going out tomorrow
on NHK World. NHKW is the overseas service of Japan's public broadcasting corporation.
Titled Poisonous Secrets, it's about:
<<
At the end of WWII both Japan and the US were prepared to use chemical weapons on each other - newly unearthed documents and personal accounts have finally cast light on this dark legacy
>>
I found this a worthwhile watch and, as I have come to expect with Japanese documentaries, was well balanced and interesting-there was a lot of detail so I shall watch it again when it is repeated tomorrow (Friday) at 20.00.

A couple of curious items I took away with me;
That the U.S. in addition to normal testing of Caucasian troop, used Nisei volunteers in the US Army in order to see whether Japanese skin reacted differently to mustard gas (not so far-fetched as it sounds, non-Caucasians are more likely to develop keloids due to skin trauma)
One Japanese old boy on the program worked in a factory producing poison gas- he now lectures to school children about Japan's gas production and use to elementary school children (so much for schools in Japan not being taught anything about the war)
It didn't mention it on the programme but a large number of Australian troops took part in US poison gas experiments and and island off the coast of Oz was used to train for the capture of a Pacific island
 
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