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what history books?

April 29 2012 at 7:17 AM
Nelson  (no login)

Response to Re: The ADB Conversations


Jacques also wrote

> Even how Malaya was expected to be attacked - not by taking Singapore from the sea as history books lead us to believe but first by political domination and possible occupation of Thailand, then by advancing down the Kra Isthmus, and/or if conditions were favourable, followed by landings on the East coast of the Malayan peninsula and a march through the "impenetrable jungle" with the obvious intention of taking Singapore from the North. Although it describes it as unlikely, the report does recognise the possibility of Singapore falling. >

I'm not sure what history books insist that the prediction at the time was of a seaborne assault on Singapore. On the contrary, a 1936-38 staff study by none other than Colonel Arthur Percival, chief-of-staff to the devout Maj. Gen. William Dobbie, GOC Malaya (until 1939), concluded that the Japanese would undertake amphibious landings well to the north, probably in Thailand (Siam), and thereupon move south against Singapore Island. British war planning called not only for the defense of Malaya, but a quick thrust north across the border into Thailand to resist Japanese landings there. Faint hearts prevailed, however, and the latter was not done. There was more idle talk about constructing defenses in northern Johore. Most decent military histories report British prewar expectations for such hostile landings and the landward threat to Singapore, however difficult the intervening terrain.


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