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In Britain, there is growing despondency over the hapless government. Political and military miscalculation and failure is not however a modern phenomenon. Britain’s success on the world’s battlefields is often been down to a combination of good luck, timing, cocksure belief in invincibility, or favourable alliance with other nations.
Events surrounding the fall of Singapore; Britain’s ‘Fortress of the East’ at the outbreak of World War 11, are a case in point. The fact is that Singapore was virtually defenceless despite the fact that American citizen Winston Churchill, Britain’s unelected Prime Minister, was aware that American total embargoes on Japanese trade were likely to bring a reaction and war.
Such was the lack of preparedness the city’s defences were already crumbling when Japanese Army troops, pedalling their push-bikes cycled into the city’s approaches.
The invading Japanese must have thought Christmas had come early. Despite the fact that the city in preparation for the invasion had been bombed there was no one on duty to sound the sirens. The street lights were still blazing because no one could find the key to the master switch.
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The Japanese invaders, outnumbered by the Brits 3 to 1, had no trouble at all in finding their way around. No one had given a thought to removing or altering the road signs on the highways and byways of Singapore. They might have been surprised that the sitting duck Brits didn’t offer their unwanted oriental guests tours and guides.
Regulations insisted that telephone calls be limited to three minutes so yes, you guessed it, these communications were cut when the commanders three minutes were up.
A last-minute attempt to build defences was delayed for ten days while the authorities argued over how much the natives should be paid for working on them.
The secretary of the golf club insisted that no guns could be mounted on the links until he had consulted with the committee. Airfields had been set up without a thought to their defence. It never occurred to anyone that the British Army should be consulted. As a consequence, the airfields were abandoned on the run.
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British troops retreated from positions that were not being attacked; they disobeyed orders to counter-attack and failed to follow up advantages when they presented themselves. To make matters worse, as morale collapsed, deserters swarmed into Singapore adding to the chaos.
On February 14, 1942, the British Army, buckling at the knees with a surplus of firepower and munitions, surrendered. They presented the notorious white flag to a Japanese force barely one-third of their own strength. The invading troops were by then down to its last 100 rounds per man. For Japan, Singapore was a pushover they couldn’t dream about.
Incredibly, just three days before the fall of this Fortress of the East, the European population still refused to believe in their imminent fate.
‘In front of the Raffles Hotel cars are depositing patrons to the daily tea dance,’ wrote Yates McDaniel of the Associated Press. ‘Outside the people are queuing to see Joel McCrea and Ellen Drew in the film, Reaching for the Sun.
The rising sun is of course the emblem of Japanese imperialism and so one can only wonder at the irony in the film’s title. The Oriental army of occupation must have thought the film was being screened for their benefit.
About 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan Campaign.
When asked later to explain the debacle to the House of Commons the normally eloquent Winston Churchill searched uselessly for an answer. He might have mentioned that armaments that could have given Britain’s Far East colonies a fighting chance he had been shipped to Bolshevik Russia to Save Private Stalin. It was the biggest surrender of British troops in the history of the Empire. Such was the reprehensible end of the 300-year history of the British Empire in the East.
Related books: THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook), WITNESS TO HISTORY, Reich and Wrong, Heroes Hang When Traitors Triumph, The Holy Book of Adolf Hitler, Heroes of the Reich, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, ODYSSEY ADOLF HITLER, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, MEGACAUST, Trotsky’s White Negroes, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, and DEATH OF A CITY.
Art-related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.
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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of WITNESS TO HISTORY, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER, DEBTOR’S REVENGE, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE THE ALL LIES INVASION Volume I (Paperback / Ebook), and THE ALL LIES INVASION Volume II (Paperback / Ebook), Odyssey Adolf Hitler, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I and II, SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY, REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise, THE DOVETAILS, SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S, THE PHANTOM OF OPHELIA, A Leopard In Liverpool, The Stigma Enigma (Paperback / Ebook), The Souls Meet, All I Ask Is a Tall Ship, The Leaving of Liverpool (Paperback/Ebook), Britannic Waives the Rules (Paperback/Ebook), UNTOLD SAGAS OF THE SEA Volume I (Paperback / Ebook), FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, and other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook), Odyssey Adolf Hitler, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME, WITNESS TO HISTORY, TESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION), REICH AND WRONG, HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH, HEROES OF THE REICH, THE HOLY BOOK of ADOLF HITLER, The Reich Declaration of War on the USSR, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH Volume II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors and DEATH OF A CITY. Click REAL HISTORY.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling Africa-related books A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL Vigilante Thriller (Paperback / Ebook); THE LAST GLADIATORS Fiancés of Death (Paperback / Ebook); AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS: African Victims of the Liberal-Left (Paperback / Ebook); RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL European to Wall Street Colonialism (Paperback / Ebook); The Stigma Enigma(Paperback / Ebook). THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, and many other book titles. These best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers. Click Africa.
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Art-related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich Volume III: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.
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