Who was the worst Brit general of WW II

With the talk of Malaya and Singapore, just what A/Tank capability was there, the image of under equipped units is offset by the reinforcements disembarking straight into the surrender.
Typical Japanese Tanks armor plating
Type 89 Chi-Ro 6-17mm
Type 95 ha-Go 12mm (25mm Mantlet)
Type 97 Chi-Ha 25mm
 
With the talk of Malaya and Singapore, just what A/Tank capability was there, the image of under equipped units is offset by the reinforcements disembarking straight into the surrender.
The standard AT weapon in Malaya at the time was the 2pdr, although some units were apparently equipped with captured Italian guns. Although the 2pdr was effectively obsolete in Europe and North Africa, in Malaya at close quarters against the Japanese (see @Goldbricker post above) it was still quite effective, as the Australians showed at Gemas - Battle of Gemas - Wikipedia.

Also from Wiki, on the Ordnance QF 2pdr AT Gun:
Armour penetration table (in millimeters)[9][note 1]
Distance100 yd (91 m)500 yd (457 m)1,000 yd (914 m)1,499 yd (1,371 m)
AP (meet angle 60°)49372717
APHV (meet angle 60°)62573828
APCBC (meet angle 60°)73655749
 
The standard AT weapon in Malaya at the time was the 2pdr, although some units were apparently equipped with captured Italian guns. Although the 2pdr was effectively obsolete in Europe and North Africa, in Malaya at close quarters against the Japanese (see @Goldbricker post above) it was still quite effective, as the Australians showed at Gemas - Battle of Gemas - Wikipedia.

Also from Wiki, on the Ordnance QF 2pdr AT Gun:
Armour penetration table (in millimeters)[9][note 1]
Distance100 yd (91 m)500 yd (457 m)1,000 yd (914 m)1,499 yd (1,371 m)
AP (meet angle 60°)49372717
APHV (meet angle 60°)62573828
APCBC (meet angle 60°)73655749
Indeed even the Boys A/T rifle could penetrate the 2 most common Japanese tanks, of the campaign- the type 89 and type 95 at close range (500yd/460m)
 

skeetstar

Old-Salt
Interesting, messervy inspired sappers, cooks and clerks to fight like veteran infantry, but percival couldnt or wouldn't do
it must be remembered, that while the RAF wasnt terrible effective in 1939-44, by 1945, they had the tools and experience to become masters of their trade and could smash cities at will.
Any city that became The RAFs ‘Target for Tonight’ in 1945 died.

until Enola Gay paid a visit to Hiroshima in August 1945, the RAF was the preeminent weapon of mass destruction in the allies hands.
It was even after mrs tibbetts son dropped the bomb. US inspection teams who looked at both sites after the war said that thrcRAFs raid on Hamburg did more damage than the raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 

skeetstar

Old-Salt
I appreciate the morale point there comes a point where such things are no longer cost-effective.

Most of the million or so military and civil defence personnel (except for the night-fighter force) were unfit for front-line service, just like a lot of ours. It would also have been possible to have provoked their defence build up and disrupted production with much less effort.

We (as the Allies) came lost a considerable number of ships and men across the breadth of the Atlantic. The big air gap in the middle could, and should, have been closed sooner and more effort put into ship-borne radar, amongst a lot of other things. As to bombing U-boat pens, when they were at the best stage to bomb, Harris had something else for the bombers to do.
You may be right about the AA troops a CD folks being unfit for the front line, but if they don't need to defend against bombing, there are lots of other productive things they can do which would have a positive impact on getmanys ability to fight.,
Also those A A troops took up (I think) around 8000 88mm aa guns, these could have had a huge impact in russia if they were not needed to defend the skies over germany.
 
Interesting, messervy inspired sappers, cooks and clerks to fight like veteran infantry, but percival couldnt or wouldn't do

It was even after mrs tibbetts son dropped the bomb. US inspection teams who looked at both sites after the war said that thrcRAFs raid on Hamburg did more damage than the raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Technically 20th USAAF killed more Japanese in one night(100K+ dead) over Tokyo March 9-10th, 1945 with incendiaries than in Hiroshima (not counting later radiation deaths), Hamburg, Dresden or Nagasaki
 

skeetstar

Old-Salt
They did, yes. But I think the Americans were referring to physical damage rather than deaths.
 
You may be right about the AA troops a CD folks being unfit for the front line, but if they don't need to defend against bombing, there are lots of other productive things they can do which would have a positive impact on getmanys ability to fight.,
Also those A A troops took up (I think) around 8000 88mm aa guns, these could have had a huge impact in russia if they were not needed to defend the skies over germany.
Considering the Standard soviet offensive tactic was a MASSIVE artillery bombardment prior to crossing the LD those 88's might have been victims just like the rest of the troops in the impact areas and with less physical capable troops manning them less likely to move those guns to safety and alternate firing points
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Considering the Standard soviet offensive tactic was a MASSIVE artillery bombardment prior to crossing the LD those 88's MIGHT have been victims just like the rest of the troops in the impact areas and with less physical capable troops manning them less likely to move those guns to safety and alternate firing points
And they might not.
 
Percival was not well served by his subordinates..
Lt Gen Heath- commander of III Indian Corp was actually senior to Percival in the seniority list, although Heath was Indian Army. This caused a few problems. Together with Bennet, Percival didn't have the easiest subordinates to work with.
 
Interesting, messervy inspired sappers, cooks and clerks to fight like veteran infantry, but percival couldnt or wouldn't do
He had no choice, they were about to over run his HQ. Percival didn't have that problem, but there were plenty of cases of that happening in the fighting on the mainland in Malaya. See the post about Brigadier Duncan 45 Indian Infantry Brigade in the fighting in Johore in January 1942.
 
Lt Gen Heath- commander of III Indian Corp was actually senior to Percival in the seniority list, although Heath was Indian Army. This caused a few problems. Together with Bennet, Percival didn't have the easiest subordinates to work with.
Heath is a very interesting character, he performed well prior to malaya. But seemed in a general disagreement with percival about how to defend malaya. He wanted to fall back onto a prepared position and Percival as per his orders to delay the enemy for as long as possible.

If you note, both men may well have acted wrongly, but decisions are made with a superior breathing down your neck(london).. When you consider all the worst instances of command in the british army WW2, most were actually the fault of the politicians and london.

Take crete, or malaya... In both cases, the amateur quite rightly highlights the neccessity for some armour and decent fighter cover, then imagine they're could do better.. In reality, neither existed and those on the ground did what they could to mitigate the absence of those two critical weapons.
 
Indeed even the Boys A/T rifle could penetrate the 2 most common Japanese tanks, of the campaign- the type 89 and type 95 at close range (500yd/460m)
I was reading last night where the Australian 2pdr AT crews in action at Bakri apparently switched to using HE because the AP rounds were going in one side of the Japanese tanks and exiting out the other!
 
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There were six anti-tank regiments in the theatre, each nominally of 48 2pdrs and, as noted above perfectly capable of seeing off any Japanese tank at ranges up to 1,000yds. How many they actually had is a moot point but at anywhere near establishment there would have been more guns than invading tanks. As well as the Boys rifles of infantry battalions ordinary field artillery was also used in the anti-tank role, 4.5in howitzers firing HE certainly being used at least once.

ETA My error, checking another reference there were four regiments: 80th for 11th Indian Division, 85th for 18th (EA) Division but attached to 11th Indian, 125th (Northumbrian) arrived with 18th (EA) Division, 2/4th Australian. So 196 guns at establishment. The Japanese tank strength was 79 medium and 100 light so guns and tanks about equal.
 
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Interesting, messervy inspired sappers, cooks and clerks to fight like veteran infantry, but percival couldnt or wouldn't do
Agree, but... (and I'm not defending Percival here) that's apples and oranges. I think there's a world of difference between surrendering in a big city in early 1942 and surrendering in the Admin Box in 44. Not least, by that stage, that you know exactly what's coming to you if you don't fight to the death.

But yes, Messervy was objectively better than Percival.
 
Also, at Admin Box there was the prospect of a relief force, plus a *lot* of air support. As someone mentions up thread, had they beaten off the assault on Singapore, what would the follow-up be, from either side?
 
Also, at Admin Box there was the prospect of a relief force, plus a *lot* of air support. As someone mentions up thread, had they beaten off the assault on Singapore, what would the follow-up be, from either side?
India and Australia would have forwarded supplies, be it aircraft munitions and of course manpower. The lack of carriers meant that any air superiority would have been near impossible to achieve. Hurricanes did take over from the outclassed buffalos, roughly a hundred hurries should have made a difference. Arriving in two tranches meant that losses prevented them from gaining superiority.

Aircraft that should have went to the RAF in Malaya ended up being diverted to the middle east and to the ussr where they kept the Germans and Italians occupied. Blenhems Buffalos Vildebeest all aircraft that were obsolete against anything the Japanese. Flew on until lost. DAP Beauforts built in Australia for the RAF + RAAF were destined for Singapore
The first 58 aircraft were constructed with British serial numbers for delivery to the RAF for use by RAF 100 Torpedo Squadron at Singapore, however only six aircraft ever left Australia for Singapore, with one crashing on the way, and the remaining five hurriedly returned to Australia following the Japanese invasion.

T9552 joined Q Flight of the RAF 100 Torpedo Squadron at Point Cook on 21 January 1942 as the 8th aircraft on strength, and being allocated the RAF squadron codes NK-B. By the end of January the squadron relocated to Richmond RAAF Base in NSW.

On 9th of April T9552 was involved in a five hour escort duty of a large RAN Convoy, and in late April 1942 was transferred to Number 1 Operational Training Unit at Nhill.

All former RAF Beuaforts were transferred to the RAAF in May 1942 following the fall of Singapore, along with all other Australian RAF Beauforts and a new RAAF 100 Squadron was formed to operate Beauforts, adopting the number and many aircrew from the RAF 100 Squadron attachment already in Australia along with those who escaped from Singapore.
souce
 
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India and Australia would have forwarded supplies, be it aircraft munitions and of course manpower. The lack of carriers meant that any air superiority would have been near impossible to achieve.
Which at that point would have ensured Singapore couldn't be supplied - Running the Gauntlet between Subs surface raiders and air attacks would have built a bridge from wrecked hulls.

Malta was not only further from the mainland but the Pedestal convoys at least had carriers - with nearby friendly bases and RN ships and subs to run interference.
 

skeetstar

Old-Salt
Considering the Standard soviet offensive tactic was a MASSIVE artillery bombardment prior to crossing the LD those 88's might have been victims just like the rest of the troops in the impact areas and with less physical capable troops manning them less likely to move those guns to safety and alternate firing points
I guess there is some truth in that, but didn't we get Harris to use heavy bombers to soften up the Ted's before Goodwood, the advance was stalled because despite the fast amount of HE, far more than any artillery barrage could deliver enough guns and tanks survived to stop the advance dead.. after that Harris refused to allow the bombers to be diverted to supporting the army.

Anyway the Germans got very adept at avoiding being targets for Soviet artillery, which in any case wasnt as effective as its western counterpart. Lots of banging, a bit less buck.
 

skeetstar

Old-Salt
He had no choice, they were about to over run his HQ. Percival didn't have that problem, but there were plenty of cases of that happening in the fighting on the mainland in Malaya. See the post about Brigadier Duncan 45 Indian Infantry Brigade in the fighting in Johore in January 1942.
Sorry I didn't mean to post that, I started a longer post and then thought the better of it, I forgot to delete this bit.
 
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