japs invaded

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by chip, Apr 20, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. hello,

    im looking for some help and this seems like a good place!
    my grandad was a sgt major in the wiltshires serving in india in the 1930`s. he didnt talk much about his army life but one story he did mention was when the japs invaded and the british were called in to action to repel them. im unsure of the location but it could have been singapore and was probably before WW2.
    does anybody have any ideas?

    many thanks.
     
  2. try "The fall of singapore," into google, It was under threat we rushed troops there to defend it, they didnt get there in enough numbers compared to the Japanese and were jsut in time to get rounded up as POW's.
     
  3. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I cannot be arrsed to Google it, but I do believe that something like 130,000 British troops surrendered to a force of 30,000 Japs.

    Whatever the figures, they did indeed get there just in time to surrender.

    Right ballpark. Google took me to:

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/fall_of_singapore.htm

     
  4. I understand the jap was all but out of ammo when Percival surenderd.
    I know he was at the end of the supply chain but he never trained his army for a modern fight.
    The 2nd Battalion of the Argylls where properly trained by their CO and put up an outstanding fight as the rest of the Army could have done with Proper leadership.
    john
     
  5. Not quite as simple as that.

    Malaya Command was a triple affair with Percival having to consult with the Governor as well as India and Britain.

    Our troops had not done jungle training and were told the forests were too thick to walk through so only set up road blocks on the route down through Malaya, which the japs cut around and forced our blokes to fall back further.

    On falling back to the island of Singapore, the distance from the mainland is 1 mile. We had no aircraft and the Japs were sinking most ships that left the port with families, wounded etc for Java (which fell next). AA guns were few and we had no tanks (as they can't drive in the jungle) but the Japs did.

    Yamashita had enough Arty rounds for 48 hrs and knew that the Brits outnumbered him but couldn't cover the whole of the island perimeter. Gave the order for non-stop bombardment which destroyed water supplies and electric then called Percival and said if he didn't surrender he would continue to bombard the island then invade and give no quarter. Over a million civvies were still on the island and Percival did not realise the real weakness of the Jap position so surrendered.

    The difference with the American defence of Corregidor in the Philippines was that there it was military units mainly and they didn't have to worry about all the civvies to supply so held out longer. The end result was the same though, and they had superior forces to the Japs too, but not as well trained. :wink:
     
  6. thanks for the info chaps!
    ill run this by my dad to see if he can fill in any gaps.

    all the best, john
     
  7. The Wiltshire regiment did not serve in Singapore during WWII. The Japanese invaded India in 1944 (Imphal & Kohima) I suspect this is the action your relative was involved in.

    edit
    found it.

    4 Brigade 26 Indian Division India 1944

    1 Wiltshire
    2/13 Frontier Force Regt
    2/17 Rajput

    Regarding the fall of Singapore, the figures are misleading, the British, Indian & Australian figures include everyone non combatents as well, while the Japanese figures include only "teeth arm" troops.

    2 reasons why there was never a public enquiry into the fall of Singapore, (there was one within months of the fall of Crete).

    1.Churchill knew he was responsible for stopping the Chiefs of Staffs from boosting force levels at Singapore during 1941 before the Japanese attack and so was more guilty than any other single individual for the diaster.

    2. To hide the shame and avoid confrontation with the Australians regarding one of the main reasons resistence on Singapore Island was so short lived,,DESERTION.

    Desertion was rife in Singapore after the mainland was abandoned. British & Indian troops were involved but evidence abounds to show the "Australian troops" were by far the worst offenders. Many Australian units suffered from serious undermanning even as the Japs stormed ashore (because a great many were in Singapore City, drunk, roaming the Streets and looking for a boat out of danger. A huge shortage of Military Police did not help matters.
     
  8. There was a lot of fighting in Hong Kong, before the Japanese captured it then declared it an open city for five days so that their troops could have five days of rape and pillage. The Japanese ordered that all doors should be left unlocked and their troops could come in and help them selfs to any thing that took their fancy, this covered goods and women and if any one objected they could be shot dead on the spot. There was also fighting in Burma and around that area.
     
  9. There was a lot of fighting in Hong Kong, before the Japanese captured it then declared it an open city for five days so that their troops could have five days of rape and pillage. The Japanese ordered that all doors should be left unlocked and their troops could come in and help them selfs to any thing that took their fancy, this covered goods and women and if any one objected they could be shot dead on the spot. There was also fighting in Burma and around that area.
     
  10. John,

    Spot on with the Argylls - must have been their prior experience with the Battle of Lavender St. :D

    Just finished reading the "Naked Island"book by Russell Braddon (Oz POW) - good description of the Argylls there as is the following link I came across recently by accident when trying to find out more detail on my old man in the 1st Bn Loyals in the Malayan Emergency:

    http://www.cofepow.org.uk/pages/armedforces_2nd_argylls.htm

    cheers

    lancslad

    PS - For anybody in the neighbourhood the Singaporeans have just turned the remains of the old Ford factory on Bukit Timah Rd (where the surrender was signed) into a museum. Haven't had chance to visit yet but when I do I'll post some pics for folk.
     
  11. The Argell and Bolton Wanders.
    john
    First Bolton Home game I saw as a kid had reputedly an Argyll Piper on Duty.
     
  12. I have bought & read "Moon over Malaya" an excellent account of the Argyll's in Malaya before & during the fighting. Had all the British & Indian battalions been as well prepared as this I doubt if the Japanese would ever have reached Singapore never mind taken the place.
     
  13. I am much of the opinion that the jap was a gambler above all.
    They where prepared to risk ALL on a single throw of the dice.
    Allied commanders at first could not allow that the jap had plans of such depth for no 'western' army could be so contemptus of use of it troops.
    Had British Forces in Malaya been trained to a high standard, as the Arglly's where and with a resoute commander, Slim comes to mind, then the outcome would have been different.
    john
    Percival was a disgrace, it is not often that any General gets his chance at the Big event, Percival had his and was found lacking.
     
  14. John Toland wroite a very good history of the Seconmd World War from the Japanese point of view. It was a massive desperate gamble on US reactions to a Japanese attack. The US placed huge economic pressure on Japane through oil sanctions over Japanese policy in China.
     
  15. Never ceases to amaze me just how forgotten the "Forgotten Army" (as Slim's 14th Army referred to themselves) were and are. The campaign in Burma and India (the Americans called it the CBI (China-Burma-India) theater) fought in the main by 14th Army included the longest withdrawal and advance of WW2. Historians have called it the most arduous campaign of WW2 fought by servicemen and women from Britain, India (pre-independence) West and East Africa, Nepal (Gurkhas of the Indian army) the United States and Burma.

    14th Army under Bill Slim's brilliant leadership despite being denied the resources given the armies fighting in North Africa, Italy and North West Europe went on to eject the Japanese from India and Burma. A seaborne invasion of Malaya by 14th Army was imminent only preempted by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which forced the unconditional surrender of Japan. Elements of 14th Army were despatched to French Indo-China (Viet Nam, Laos etc) and Thailand to disarm the Japanese and also to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) where they were involved in bitter campaign against the Indonesians fighting to prevent the Dutch colonialists from returning (which they did-albeit temporarily).

    BTW Chip your Grandpa may have been referring to service in Shanghai in the 1930s, way prior to WW2 (1WILTS were there), where an international force garrisoned the free port of Shanghai while the Japanese were raping and pillaging their way around China including areas in close proximity to Shanghai.