When Singapore fell to the Japanese in February 1942, Churchill called it the alargest capitulation in British history.a Till today, the myth persists that this was due to the British forcesa being caught off-guard, with their guns facing the wrong directionatowards the sea. This book offers an alternative insight into why Malaya and Singapore were captured by the Japanese. The question of the landward defence of Singapore and Malaya was first raised as early as 1918, eventually taking the form of Operation Matador, the elaborate planning and preparations for which amply demonstrate that the British fully expected the Japanese to attack Singapore from the rear, and had formulated a plan to stop the Japanese at the Kra Isthmus. Yet, when the Japanese forces landed, they found Malaya and Singapore defended by an emasculated fleet, obsolescent aircraft, inadequate artillery and no tanks. The battle for Malaya and Singapore was lost even before the first shot was firedain the corridors of power at Whitehall. Churchillas half-hearted support for Operation Matador meant that Malaya was starved of the necessary reinforcements, and the commanders on the spot were expected to amake bricks without straw.a The question that remains: If implemented, might Operation Matador have stopped the Japanese?CAB 96 CAB 99 CAB 100 CAB 101 CAB 104 CAB 105 CAB 106 CAB 107 CAB 119 CAB 120 CAB 122 CAB 127 CAB 140 CO 273 CO 323 CO ... War Diaries, Southeast Asia Command and Allied Land Forces, Southeast Asia, 1939a1946.
|Author||:||Ong Chit Chung|
|Publisher||:||Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd - 2011-08-15|