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Re: More Additional Info...

June 9 2014 at 6:38 AM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Additional Info to Nelson's Comments

Hey Pat,

> I guess that we have to "agree to disagree" on this matter. Unfortunately, neither of us has absolute proof and it is really a matter of opinion. The following are just a few comments. >

Fair 'nuff, but gee, I think believing that Brit tanks were on the island is a big leap, considering the number of decent histories that naysay such presence. Yup, conventional wisdom surely can be wrong, something others and I have railed against in this forum, IF that belief is merely a blind one. Of course, conventional wisdom may also be entirely or mostly right. Which comes down to, don't you need some empirical evidence, in line with scientific method? We're not simply engaged in he said, he said, e.g., how soon after Shimada's tanks roared through the defensive positions of the 2nd Argylls at Slim River, was the battalion hit by the IJA main body? We can talk that one to death, with each of us bringing forward convincing data. IMO, whether British tanks were on Singapore Island in February 1942 is, however, a more absolute choice. Were they there---i.e., Brit AFVs truly recognized as tanks---or weren't they?

> 1- One change from my earlier view is that these tanks could be Mark II to Mark VI rather than Mark IV to Mark VI. >

I suppose we'll never know.

> 2- I thought about responding to your various comments, then decided that I haven't the energy. I will say that in the North West Europe campaign, soldiers tended to claim that every tank they saw was a Tiger and every artillery piece was an 88. Official histories tend to be more accurate than that. >

Precisely the point in my last. Just like guys weren't concerned about the diff between a Pzkw IV and a Pzkw VI---they were both big and scary---could we not have a claim of Brit tanks simply on the basis of being fully tracked and wielding a big Vickers MG? Generally, regimental and other military histories are considered to be secondary sources (yeah, the writer may have experienced firsthand some of the things he writes about, but nowhere near all of them). As far as responding to mine, I would much appreciate that you do whenever you encounter a statement by me that is entirely contrary to fact. Speaking of which....

The following website provides a most interesting take on 100th Indian Independent Light Tank Squadron: the author questions its presence entirely!

Here is the post from one R. Mark Davies on 18 July 2013, less than a year ago. His spellings identify him as British Commonwealth, likely not Canadian. [My additions are identified as being italicized within brackets.]

"Rumours also abound of a mythical 100th Independent Squadron RAC (iirc?) at Singapore, with mixed Mk IV and Mk VI Lights. Never seen any actual evidence for it, however. [Wow! The use of 'mythical' ups the ante, doesn't it? Not saying I ascribe to this extreme view.]

Yes, 'B' Sqn 3rd Hussars ended up being diverted to Java and ending up under ABDA Command, while 7th Armoured Brigade was sent to Rangoon.

The Indian 3rd Cavalry Regt ended up being largely used as motorised infantry and most of the Marmon-Herringtons were captured by the Japanese still in storage. [If Mr. Davies is correct on this last point---Jacques, take note!---that's a new one for me, and may shed some light, indirectly, on the number of such South African armored recon cars sent to Singapore.]

I don't remember what 18th Recce Regt had or even if they managed to unload. [Ha! But we know!]

Some infantry battalions certainly had Carrier Platoons, though many clearly didn't. The Indian Carrier Platoons present were either equipped with tracked or wheeled Carriers. Some of the wheeled Carriers went to the Australians.

The Malay Armoured Car Squadron had Lanchesters. One of the British battalions (whose identity presently escapes me they were well-known for their effective jungle training) also acquired some Lanchesters. [The next poster correctly IDs the regular battalion as 2nd Argylls.]

On the subject of battalion orgs some of the pre-war Singapore garrison battalions were still apparently organised with an integral MG COMPANY! Of the rest, MG Platoons were quite common particularly in Indian Battalions. There were no MG Battalions in Burma either (circa 1942), but Vickers MGs are recorded as being used extensively in Battalion MG Platoons. [This last is interesting but beyond my ken.]"

For the previous posting, see

> 3- You are right about the lack of documentation on the unit. I even checked out Japanese Monograph No. 68 Report on Installations and Captured Weapons Java and Singapore. I hoped that it would contain some info on captured AFV. However, there was nothing on them. It surprised me greatly that there was nothing there. They say how many rifles were captured, how many of them are repairable, etc. But there is nothing on captured AFVs. >

I think the IJA (and possibly IJN, too) sent in specialist teams to inspect and evaluate Allied ordnance and other equipment. If memory serves, Monograph No. 68 resulted from a report by two IJA field grade officers, who looked at coast and field artillery and small arms, and whose expertise apparently did not extend to either AFVs or soft vehicles. Whether such a latter report was generated, I don't know.

> 4- I believe that the Carden-Loyd was used in combat during the Franco-Thai War of 1940-41. Was there someplace else that the Cardon-Loyd saw action? >

A few saw use during the Chaco War, 1932-35, in the hands of the Bolivians, but the terrain was not an advantage to these little AFVs. The next time was in the Winter War of 1939-40, probably by the Finns. Then it was by the BEF in 1940, some 200 of them, their participation particularly notable along the Dyle-Namur defensive line in Belgium. Those not previously knocked out were left behind on or near the Dunkerque beaches. In contrast, there were probably one and a half to twice as many new Universal carriers present as were the old Carden-Loyds, again with all being abandoned consequent to the evacuation. The Dutch had five Carden-Loyd tankettes/MG carriers, each named for a large fierce cat---Leopard, Panther, Puma, etc., but in Nederlands---and all saw combat. Some were used by the Greeks and Yugoslavs in the Balkan fighting. And as you write, by the Thais in their dust-up with the French in Indochine.

For a few more details on these actions, see

Be careful, because I'm furrowing my brow in your direction, but izzis a tank?? Nota bene: it's fully tracked and has a big Vickers MG.

[linked image]


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  • Changed sides - Nelson on Jun 9, 2014, 2:46 PM
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