British View on Japanese Army

British View on Japanese Army


So, what did the British think about the Japanese
Army from around 1919 to 1941? This is of particular interest, since the
British suffered a humiliating defeat by the Japanese Army in the Malayan Campaign (1941-1942),
which lead to the fall of Singapore (1942). To give you a very brief overview of the importance
of the Malayan campaign, here some crucial numbers:
“The Japanese forces gathered to attack the British Empire in the Far East were not,
by any standard, overwhelmingly strong. […] The Japanese armada that approached
the shores of Siam (modern-day Thailand) and Malaya, contained no more than 26,640 men,
of whom 17,230 were combat troops. By comparison, Lieutenant-General Arthur E.
Percival, who was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) Malaya Command in May 1941,
had 88,600 men available in December 1941, including 19,600 British, 15,200 Australians,
37,000 Indians and some 16,800 locally enlisted Asians.” Despite this numerical superiority the British
Forces suffered a string of defeats, whereas the Japanese suffered minor losses and captured
a lot of equipment and supplies intact. “For a cost of 4,500 casualties, the equivalent
of a regiment, the Japanese had taken Malaya along with more than 300 guns, 50 carriers,
large quantities of supplies of all kinds, some 3,600 vehicles, 800 items of rolling
stock and about 35,000 prisoners.” Commonwealth forces were a staggering 138
000 of which more than 130 000 (94 %) were Prisoners of War. Whereas the Japanese had a total of around
12 255 losses of which about 5500 were killed in action. How is this related to the topic of this video,
well the defeated commanders noted that the intelligence about the Imperial Japanese Army
was an issue. Now, generally there were a lot of reports
and assessments produced by the British about Imperial Japanese Army, some were very accurate,
some less so and a few were mostly racist babble. There were three main providers of intelligence
to the Commanders in Asia, namely the Military Intelligence Department of the War Office. Then observers in China, which Ferris calls
“the old China hands”, so basically people that spent a lot of time in China in various
roles and thus be rather familiar with the region or basically observers in China. And then British observers in Japan, which
provided the most accurate assessments. Now, it is very important here to mention
that this is an assessment of the Imperial Japanese Army by British Army standards. This is important, since Armies look at different
aspects that Navies and Air Forces. This becomes more apparent if we factor in
the so called “national character” ascribed to the Japanese at the time:
“For a combination of genetic and environmental factors, Japanese were regarded as lacking
aptitude for machines, an effective sense of balance, and the capacity for innovation;
and yet as having high thresholds of pain, great endurance, and obedience to hierarchy. Air and naval officers prized the first set
of qualities far above the second; hence, these ideas led them to underrate Japanese
pilots and sailors. Army officers respected the qualities in both
categories; hence, these concepts led them both to praise and to bury the I.J.A. – [namely]
to respect its infantry but to criticise its more technical combat arms particularly armour.” Now, there were several important events that
had a major influence on the British view of Imperial Japanese Army, some of them positively
and some of them negatively. Let’s begin with a baseline, namely before
the First World War and the early Interwar years:
“In 1914 the I.J.A. was regarded as a formidable and modern army. Since it missed the military revolution forced
by the First World War, its reputation declined. In 1923 the British embassy reported that
‘the Japanese army to-day [sic!] is in essentials the same as in pre-war days, as regards moral,
discipline, endurance and military qualities generally; on the other hand, tactics are
still out of date.’” Although the Japanese encountered the strength
of defensive machine gun fire in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) it had a less crucial influence
than the experiences of the Western Front of the First World War. As such the Japanese failed to improve their
tactics considerably in comparison to other forces, as such this assessment was spot on:
“[…] between 1919-32 the tactics of the I.J.A. were obsolete even by the standards
of east Asia.” Now what happened in 1932? The first Shanghai incident in which the Japanese
incited disturbances via agent provocateurs. And following the outbreak of violence, the
Imperial Japanese Navy sent in infantry, which was heavily outnumbered by the Chinese and
thus the Japanese called for reinforcements. The Chinese put up some stiff resistance that
was not expected by the Japanese. Further Japanese reinforcements were sent
in, which underestimated the Chinese and took heavy losses, ultimately the Chinese withdrew,
yet the reputation of the IJA was tarnished, except inside of Japan:
“The emotional sensationalism shielded the army from criticism of its incompetence that
had needlessly wasted soldiers’ lives.” Although the public image was not tarnished,
the Japanese learned their lessons from this. And this was also reported by one British
observer. Yet, few shared his view. The Second Sino-Japanese War, which in traditional
historiography started in 1937, further lead to a decline of the British views on the Imperial
Japanese Army: “The bulk of the material emanated from
the IJA’s operations in the Sino-Japanese conflict that began in July 1937, and gave
rise to the conclusion that its fighting spirit was questionable. From the onset of hostilities, British observers
emphasized that because the war was unpopular among the Japanese populace, conscripts were
openly expressing war-weariness and a disapproval of the government’s policies.” Nevertheless, there were reassessments that
indicated that the Japanese learned and improved their capabilities, for instance the observers
in London: “In that year [1938], the M.I.D. [Military Intelligence Department] adopted
a formula which it retained, albiet [sic!] with important and implicit changes in meaning,
until December 1941: ‘The Japanese Army is a formidable fighting machine but probably
has not yet reached the efficiency of the major western armies. It is, however trained for and will probably
only be required to fight in Eastern Asia where it will have inherent advantages over
an opponent.’” Yet, there were others mostly those observers
in China that were very negative about the Japanese Army:
“All other evidence indicates that between 1937-41 the old China hands viewed the I.J.A.
as a third rate army, whose quality was so low that its operational characteristics were
irrelevant – they could never be applied against a western force.” One particular key incident was the Battle
of Shanghai (1937). At which at the Japanese Forces faced off
against some of the Chinese Forces including two division trained and equipped by the Germans. Now, in case you are surprised that the Germans
had trained the Chinese, better watch this video in which I have still hair. But back to the battle of Shanghai:
“That the Chinese managed to hold the line, and indeed counterattack successfully on occasion,
was unexpected, not only to the Western observers in Shanghai, but also to the Japanese.” Now, it is very important to here to note
that the Japanese performance in Second Sino-Japanese War was not bad at all. The problem was that the British had quite
a lot of contempt about the Chinese Armies: “The repetition of the statement that Japan
had fought an extremely weak foe in China and had not contrived to win complete victory,
together with remarks about Japan not being in various respects the equal of a ‘first-class
power,’ bolstered a comforting but erroneous belief that Japan should not constitute too
great a menace to British interests.” Now, there are some general themes in the
assessments that are important to keep in mind. First,
“In general, the better his knowledge of Japan, the higher an officer’s regard for
the I.J.A.” Basically, whenever observation was possible
– and sometimes it was very limited – the views changed, e.g., British officers serving
in China in 1937-38 had a good and correct understanding of Japanese capabilities with
artillery and armor. Ferris notes:
“Experience could wash away stereotype; for the British army in Malaya, unhappily,
experience would not arrive until Japanese tanks smashed its main line of resistance
on the Slim River.” Second, the assessments were often done through
a specific lens, which in some cases could be paper assessments meaning disconnected
from the reality: “British analysts observed the I.J.A. through
the lenses of preconceptions about war, Japan and its army. They assessed it by reference to two standards:
against the actual adversaries and environment of east Asia and against the paper conditions
of ‘first-class’ foe with the scales of equipment and the force-to-space ratios of
Europe.” If one looks at the Japanese, their artillery
was rather lacking in comparison. Yet, in east Asia the logistical situation
and infrastructure is quite different, as such the lack of firepower in artillery is
far less pronounced, because it would be far harder to transport and sustain bigger artillery. This is where theory classes with practice:
“[…] reports which emphasized the IJA’s backwardness demonstrated how the available
intelligence obscured one of its key strengths, namely, the efficiency of its infantry units. Their ability to advance long distances without
relying upon transport or fixed communications, and overcome enemy defences with light weaponry,
proved fatal for Allied forces in Southeast Asia during the opening stages of the war.” Now, the British produced a lot of reports,
assessments and opinions on the Japanese over the years prior to the war from those Ferris
distilled some general threads that we will take a look now:
“From a mixture of empirical observation and this bundle of ideas, all British observers
produced several important generalisations about Japanese ‘national character.’ They almost invariably, for example, regarded
Japanese officers as stupid by nature and narrow professional nurture. They universally praised the staff work and
condemned the lack of initiative of the I.J.A. They believed that the Japanese soul was characterized
by a mixture of repression, tension, and unpredictability which would break under pressure and take
the I.J.A. with it.” Now, these views might seem rather harsh,
yet, they were not completed unfounded, e.g., the Doolittle Raid (1942) where US B-25 Mitchell
Bombers that were launched from US carriers that bombed the Japanese homeland sparked
major reactions within the Japanese military although the material damage was very limited. What is more important here is the fact that
those observations by the British did ignore in some cases their own weaknesses:
“The mistake of British observers was not in finding these characteristics among the
Japanese, but in finding them there alone. An aura of hysteria also overlaid British
reactions to defeat in Asia during 1941-42. Here, as so often, their main error was not
underestimating the enemy but overestimating themselves. While this analysis of Japanese ‘national
character’ possessed some power, Britain was not in a position to exploit any of these
flaws during 1939-41: thus, the emphasis upon them led British analysts and commanders to
underrate their enemy.” Finally, British observers in China underestimated
the Imperial Japanese Army significantly. Whereas Observers in London, saw it as a second-class
Army in comparison to European armies, basically counting it as equal to the Italian Army,
but below the Red Army. “This rating was low but not far so by the
standards of Europe; and it was more accurate than the M.I.D.’s [Military Intelligence
Department] assessment of many European armies. The M.I.D. accurately defined the I.J.A.’s
ranking by Asian standards, although it overrated that of Britain in this theatre. Observers in Japan provided extraordinarily
accurate assessments of this issue.” In terms of combat characteristics all three
groups – the observers in London, China and Japan – had a reasonable to good grasp
on the strength and weaknesses of the Imperial Japanese Army. They mainly underestimated their ability to
conduct retreats and deal with unexpected circumstances. Overall, they had a mostly correct assessment
of operational capability of the Japanese Army, except for two significant oversights:
“None of these groups fully reported on the I.J.A.’s assimilation of firepower into
its style of war. In theory, by 1941 the quality of Japanese
material was below the standard of Europe; but it was above the Anglo-Saxon standard
in Asia. No observer, moreover, ever warned in explicit
detail of the power at the point of a Japanese attack, with its mixture of a razor edge of
infiltration, a stranglehold of envelopment, a brutal smash of artillery and armour, and
ferocious infantry assault.” This was due to the fact that the British
had limited opportunity to observe the Japanese when they were experimenting with these new
techniques. As such Ferris points out:
“These observers could see often contractionary trends but could not define the future of
Japanese tactics because the I.J.A. itself could not do so: that was the cause of the
experimentation. Even between 1941-45, Japanese tactics ranged
from a superb synthesis of firepower and manoeuvre to human wave assaults with the aim of suicide.” As you can see, although the British intelligence
and assessment on the Imperial Japanese Army was not always spot on, it was quite often
of good quality. Ferris notes that the Military Intelligence
Department “Handbook on the Japanese Army” summarized all material and provided information
on the Imperial Japanese Army’s quality that was accurate. Yet, at the same time the British commanders
in Asia adopted “[…] the least accurate and most disparaging
views about the I.J.A. on offer […]” So, why was this the case? Well, one factor was that the intelligence
was likely there, but not really consumed or if it was, it was not properly digested:
“The War Office’s official assessment of the I.J.A. faithfully reflected the views
of the M.I.D. [Military Intelligence Department], but neither
raw reports nor finished assessments circulated widely in the British and Indian armies, most
of whose officers ignored the topic.” Similarly, Fennell in his recent book about
the British Army notes that in that region there was a serious lack of spreading the
available information: “The insights and practices encompassed
in doctrine were, thus, not disseminated evenly throughout the Army. In some cases, it is questionable whether
these pamphlets were read at all. Apart from the Officer Cadet Training unit
at Changi, training centres or schools, where doctrine could be disseminated clearly, […], were
notably ‘marked by their absence’.” He adds that this was in sharp contrast to
the Middle East, where proper training on desert warfare was conducted on new arrivals. Yet, Ford notes that the intelligence staff
might also be to blame, he notes a report which indicated the Japanese Army capabilities
in advancing, river crossings, envelopment and reconnaissance. This report is usually brought up as an example
that the commanders ignored vital intelligence: “However, the report was prefaced with a
disclaimer that Japanese operations were carried out against an inferior opponent, where the
IJA ‘was able to take risks with her communications . . . which would have proved fatal against
a more enterprising enemy’. Thus, the conclusions were to be treated with
reserve.” As so often, there is quite some debate going
on. Another factor was that some commanders just
listened to the wrong guys. This was the case for Hong Kong Command. Here General Officer Commanding adopted tactics
that according to British doctrine should only be used against a third-rate enemy:
“This, in turn, implies that he expected the I.J.A. to act as the old China hands [Observers
in China] predicted – to launch nothing except massed and clumsy infantry attacks,
and only in the daylight. After the war, in effect he admitted as much.” Not for Malaya the situation is according
to Ferris quite complicated, since not much survived the war . Yet, it seems that the
main issue was that the intelligence was not read or ignored. It probably did not help that the intelligence
organization was a bit mess over there: “Thus, the army received assessments about
the I.J.A from an organisation controlled by the navy, through an intervening headquarters
with the most nebulous of function run by an R.A.F. [Royal Air Force] officer.” As an Austrian proverbs notes “wieso einfach,
wenn es kompliziert auch geht“ – roughly translating „why do it the easy way, if
it can be done in a complicated way”. Yet, this is not an excuse, since standard
works like the “Handbook on the Japanese Army” were received. Additionally, in mid-1941 there was a lecture
to senior British officers in Singapore by the military attaché in Tokyo. He made clear that the Imperial Japanese Army
was a real threat. Yet, it was not well-received. Overall, the perception remained totally off:
“The assessments of the I.J.A. accepted within the garrison in Malaya were even less
accurate and more disparaging than the formal reports of the old China hands [Observers
in China] during 1937-38 and its training for war dismally bad.” To conclude, British Intelligence had reasonable
and mostly accurate information on the Imperial Japanese Army throughout the Interwar years
and into 1941. There were some gaps, yet considering that
in some cases even the assessments of European armies were less accurate this is not surprising,
especially considering the language and cultural barrier combined with Japanese secrecy. Yet, as so often, if one does not listen or
is unable to listen, the best information is for nothing. As was clearly demonstrated by the Commanders
in East Asia, who mostly ignored the information or even didn’t bother to read it. Yet, I must add here that depending on the
situation and perspective, one could argue that the British intelligence failed. Since, part of intelligence operations is
the effective dissemination of intelligence, which obviously did not happen. Well, I hope you learned something new. Thank you to Justin for helping me improve
the final script and pointing me at various articles. Note any errors are still my own. Special thanks to Jack, Peter & Anna for sending
books that helped making this video. Also a big thank you to all my supporters
on Patreon. As always sources are linked in the description. I hope you enjoyed this episode, thank you
for watching and see you next time.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

82 thoughts on “British View on Japanese Army

  1. Singapore siege was a spectacular display of incompetence from the British Army, probably the worst defeat during the war, even worse than Dunkerque

  2. Funniest thing I ever heard was that the British thought the Japanese wouldn't have an air Force because they're people were too small to reach the pedals of an aircraft. Not assuming the Japanese will build aircraft to fit there own people. LMAO

  3. 4:26 That's not necessarily sic-worthy; a lot of words used to be hyphenated like that. Seems a bit snobbish on part of the author, even if his overall point remains valid.

  4. The Brits were just as racist as the Nazis. We (Americans) should have either stayed out of WW1 or fought with Germany. 😠

  5. The nucleus of Japan’s army can be traced to the assault on Port Author. The Imperial Japanese army development of infiltration was perfected in China. The British defense of Singapore served as a result of lessons learned.

  6. I don't know why the British were so overconfident.
    The Japanese Empire had defeated the Chinese thrice, the Russian Empire (1904), and the German Empire (ww1)

  7. I find it amusing that most of those same accusations are made today towards Asian corporations.
    As my boss has noted on multiple occasions, Americans (or Anglo-Saxons in general in this case) has a tendency to overestimate their own abilities while picking the faults of everyone else.

  8. so the british strategy was based on beliefs that the IJN were not capable of competence.
    how would that ever be viable?

  9. Chiang Kai-shek offered to send an army to jointly defend Burma when Japan declared war. But the British were confident and refused. When Singapore fell they changed their minds but by then it was too late. The Chinese army was marching into Burma at the same time as the Japanese. The British were hauling out to India and all the Chinese could do was cover their retreat.

  10. Just in time to add to Dan Carlin's new episode of Supernova in the East.

    Certainly helps putting things into context regarding the British in the Malaya campaign and how they screwed up so badly.

  11. The WASP ruling elite was to blame, their emphasis on 'The National character of [Insert country]' led them to miss attribute the capabilities and intentions of the Japanese army.

  12. The Allies could say whatever they want, but the only major power capable of figthing the Brithish (at least at sea) were the japanese, has the Brithish home fleet fought the battle of midway the japanese would have won… and thats alone is eenough to reconsider yuour positions i think, the Brithish forces overestimated theemselves and that proves always be costly… luck there were Americans fighting on your side right?

  13. The analyses of all the war powers in WW II seem to rely on racial and ethnic stereotypes, either denigrating opponents or overestimating their own forces.

  14. The British army in WWII never won a single battle unless they had overwhelming numerical and logistical advantages, except against the Italians. There were numerous instances of Germans and Japanese trouncing a larger British army, but not one example of the opposite. 

    It would be more accurate to say they were a second or third rate army in terms of personnel and leadership, a second rate army in terms of equipment, and a first rate army in terms of logistics.

  15. The Russo-Finnish war caused Germany to underestimate the Red Army just as the Sino-Japanese wars caused the Brits to underestimate the IJN. 20/20 hindsight: both the Finns and Chinese were more effective than anyone had thought + defense of one's homeland tips the scales.

  16. This isn't about the Japanese military, but I recall reading one British historian who characteized war elephants as classic "Eastern" tools of war, relying on fear and spectacle over training. I can't help but wonder if the British had access to elephants during medieval times and employed them, if they would instead be considered by British historians as "weapons of mobility, able to achieve decisive tactical breakthroughs. The precurser of the modern tank." I certainly think there can be some cultural bias in these evaluations.

  17. William Sheehan’s 2005 book “British voices” devotes an entire chapter to two lectures given by AE Percival, then a Major, while stationed in my native Ireland, interesting read.

  18. A very nice video.

    If ya'll like to deep dive into the subject even more, and broader, I can recommend Dan Carlin's podcast "Hardcore History", and his current project "Supernova in the East". As of now, it's 3 parts of about 4-5 hours each of very interesting discussion of the state of, and perception of, the Japanese before and during WW2.

  19. On first glance I thought your thumbnail was in anime style. Please consider doing this sometimes, there's a big overlap between weebs and WW2 history viewers, you might get more views. 🙂

  20. lol What was that at 5:12–5:15? Your accent, and slight stutter made it sound like you were speaking a completely different language.

  21. I love this channel but why when Britain vs japan is mentioned on any history channel it’s always about Singapore never about the great victories in Burma such as Kohima and Imphal or the British Pacific fleet

  22. British intelligence – and also American intelligence – failed terribly in Southeast Asia prior to WWII, not least because their leaders often looked down on the Japanese as an inferior breed and let them know it. That was why the early Japanese victories were such a surprise. In fact the Japanese had been planning the invasions for years and had many spies planted in the South East Asian region and even on Hawaii itself. Frederick Forsyth writes in his personal memoirs book "The Outsider" that in the late 1930s his father was the manager of a rubber plantation in Malaysia. There were Japanese workers in the area and they kept mostly to themselves. But one night Forsyth's father saved the life of the desperately ill son of a Japanese carpenter by rushing the child to hospital many miles on his motorcycle, at night, for emergency appendicitis surgery. Later, the grateful father appeared one night and told Mr. Forsyth that he was in debt with him for saving his child, but being a poor man, he could only pay with knowledge. And so he advised Mr. Forsyth to leave, leave Malaysia as soon as possible, if he valued his life. Mr. Forsyth wisely followed the suggestion and returned to England. Soon later the invasion began and none of the whites in the area were ever seen alive again.

  23. I think the British garrison had 'Holiday Posting' mindset where they thought theywod not see action in that part of the world. "Fancy a game of tennis after training old bean followed by a whisky at the club?"

  24. Pay someone who can speak English to voice your videos. I like your content but can't stand your accent for more than 2 minutes. Maybe have it as a bonus to patrons

  25. As painful as it is to say, the main reason the British forces underestimated the IJA was pure and simple Colonial mindset racism. There was plenty of racism here in the US as well, helped by wartime propaganda, surviving long after 1945.

  26. One contributing factor to the lack of training and general languor of the British in Malaya before the outbreak of war may simply be the climate. Having been to the jungle in Borneo, as a teenager on holiday, I can attest that you don’t go out into it unless you have a good reason. Especially if you’re from rainy, grey England. It’s incredibly hot; the rainforest is dense and hard to navigate; and a lot of things in it bite and scratch, or can straight-up kill you (the centipedes; oh god, the centipedes). I imagine the colonial officers didn’t really want to deal with that too regularly.

    Our guide when were in the jungle had actually fought the Japanese, back in the day. He was half-native and half-English, knew the land like the back of his hand, and had stories to tell. Guy must have been in his 80s, but he was still spry as anything and striding around the jungle faster than me. Apparently he had been sent to rally his mother’s tribe (among others) to fight the IJA after they invaded, which wasn’t hard because the Japanese were…shall we say, unfriendly to the locals. He didn’t let on much about his actual exploits during the war, but what he did say was fascinating. Wish I’d had a tape recorder.

  27. This was a very well done and sourced video and I very much enjoyed it!
    The obvious implication is hubris and racism took many British officers from taking the Japanese as a serious threat. From other sources I've read British forces in Malaya were a bit too concerned about soldiers having all their brass buckles and the like well polished rather than training in fighting in the local environment as well. -I apologize for not being able to find which book I read that in.

  28. Percival was the officer n charge of the firing squad that executed the leaders of the 1916 uprising in Ireland one can only imagine how the Irish felt about the loss f Singapore

  29. @Military History not Visualized Two points, firstly a large proportion of the British and Empire troops in Malaya and Singapore were not combat units, many (something approaching half) were second line supply units, etc. The Japanese figures are also misleading, since the Japanese received another full Division as reinforcements not long after the initial landing. Secondly the vast majority of the casualties the Japanese inflicted on 'British' forces were actually Indian units of the Anglo-Indian Army, many of them recently raised and half trained.

  30. The entire British Far East Command was a backwater of laziness and incompetence with a culture that prevented even its best officers from being effective. They also neglected to appreciate that when they came to rely on conscripts rather than regulars their own capabilities would reduced.

    Japanese leadership was more variable than the American, British, German, or Soviet, capable of being superb but with a greater proportion of poor officers. Early on the Imperial Japanese Army benefited from combat experience gained in China whilst their American, British, Dutch, and French opponents were untried, as the war developed the allied leadership improved enormously.

  31. To be fair, the Japanese didn't show much mechanical aptitude up until that point. I mean they definitely proved they were competent engineers in ww2, but prior to that they weren't especially advanced.

  32. A combination of underestimating the Japanese forces and over estimating the ability of their own forces. brilliant.

  33. These fucks use the word genetics when that is very eugenic. I knew the Brits were rude even snobby but shallow minded? Who knew isolation drive's one so mad.

  34. Why did the Brits get their asses handed to them, lazy British officers seems to be the reason.
    But I suppose there was a reason these officers had been stationed in east asia :p

  35. A key thing to remember is that the British tended to move less competent generals to empire posts away from the Mid-east and Europe during the early years of the war. David Belcham mentioned this in 'All in a Days March" when he discusses his time as Montgomerys chief of staff. Alot of Generals who had good political connections and were economically expedient during the interwar period ( men that opposed mechanisation and favoured Calvary and traditional modes of warfare) couldn't simply be sacked. When, in the early campaigns of the war, it was clear these men were not on the right side of History, they posted to India and the far east. Much was made of this by Americans and Australians at the time. They were viewed as colonial "gin soaks" and playboys with connections in Whitehall…."Colonel Blimps". This is, I think, in the main why Britain suffered huge setbacks in this theatre. Some historians and military men like Liddel Hart and Belcham have written about this, but it tends to be brushed under the carpet in official historys. The defence of Singapore had been a mainstay of British Imperial policy for decades and the force there was large enough and amply resourced to resist the quite modest Japanese force.

  36. It’s actually more interesting to see vids about japan because not so much exist thx you for this interesting content I would love to see more about the Japanese military thx you for making good history vids keep up the work

  37. plus Churchill sent the tanks and planes to Stalin as a bit of a back handed gift… those tanks were important in stopping the conquest of Moscow, sooo….he lost Singapore, but probably stopped hitler

  38. Imagine teaching soldiers that they won't get lost in the jungle because if you are in the jungle long enough you develop a natural instinct that stops you from getting lost in the jungle.

  39. It sounded like a lot of Commonwealth troops but they were defending a massive area so spread pretty thin, the Malay Barrier ran from Singapore through the Phillipines and Dutch East Indies to Darwin in Australia. While the bulk of the troops (around 80,000) were stationed in Singapore they were lightly armed territorial troops not geared up to fight a major power, for example the smaller Japanese force had 1/3rd more artillery pieces and twice as many trucks, the same number of tanks and twice as many fighters which were the latest model Zero while the Commonwealth forces had second tier Buffalo fighters (An obsolete US carrier aircraft ordered by the UK and Holland for Asian defence because it was cheap and could use short runways) they took out half the fuel and ammunition and installed lighter guns but the US planes still couldn't match the Zero performance.

  40. It just like how the Zero was observed and reported in 1940 in China and came as such a surprise in 1941 because the reports were denigrated or suppressed as impossible. None of those responsible for this paid the price in combat.

  41. Ask any English Premium League managers, they know the answer. When you have a big EPL game in 3 days time, who will start the League Cup game tonight against a Division A club? It works some times, hail the kids, the new Owen in the making, and it flops sometimes. Manager (i.e. Churchill) don't get the sack for losing League Cup (Singapore), unless you happen to live there….

  42. You posted another excellent video. What a shock. ( I think I have watched every video you made) I dont think you ever posted a video that was not excellent. I am surprised you did not post a video about the American assessment of the Japanese IJN & IJA WITH this video.Will you talk about Mac Arthur's FAILURES in 1941??? or Will you examine the MacArthur/ Truman relationship from 1917 to 1953?? Again, You produce great content Your videos are always provocative and forthrite.

  43. That Austrian quip of yours seems to sum up something that always struck me as deeply suggestive of the British engineering ethos- "Why use one part, when two will work almost as well?"

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