Disaster in Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore

Kaushik Roy

in India and World War II

Published in print August 2016 | ISBN: 9780199463534
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199087181 | DOI:
Disaster in Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore

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Several managerial and technical factors were responsible for the disaster at Malaya. The failure of the Indian troops was because they were preparing for the wrong war. They were trained for desert warfare when suddenly they had to confront jungle warfare techniques by the Nipponese soldiers in Malaya. Moreover, because of rapid expansion of the Indian Army, ‘milking’ of the various units and indiscriminate mixing of different ethnic communities within the regiments/battalions destroyed the coherence of the Indian units. It resulted in presence of raw recruits and absence of trained jawans and NCOs in the units. After every exodus of trained personnel, training had to start from scratch in each unit. This vicious cycle went on till the Japanese invaded Malaya. Inadequate anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and shortage of aircraft debilitated the Commonwealth units against the Japanese advance. In Singapore, complete paralysis of command, control, communications, and intelligence occurred at the divisional, brigade, and even regimental levels. Deficiency in the latter sphere combined with bad generalship resulted in disintegration of the forces, culminating in final surrender at Singapore.

Keywords: jungle warfare; Malaya; desert warfare; Nipponese soldiers; Commonwealth units; surrender at Singapore

Chapter.  21252 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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