Singapore's white flag

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
He left us to rot and so we turned to the US to help us. He almost got a division of our soldiers captured by the Japanese because he wanted us to save a British island. Had our men been sent their, they would have been sitting on the docks without their weapons when the Japanese took over
Us??
 
Sep 2008
77
Son of Cathal - 'left us to rot'. What could Churchill have done? Sent more battleships to be sent to the bottom like the Repulse and Renown? More Spitfires and Hurricanes to non-existent airfields. After Pearl Harbour the US was far better situated to help than Britain who had a few minor matters closer to home to attend to.

You probably won't want to read Peter Elphick's account of the Fall of Singapore? It's particularly sobering reading from an Australian point of view. Essentially he pins the collapse of the island on untrained and green Australian troops who Percival had stupidly placed in defence of the main causeway. After the main barrage he claims they fled, with thousands ending up getting drunk in Singapore City, looting the city and hijacking boats to try and escape, presumably following the example of their commander Gordon Bennett. Definitely not the spirit of Tobruk or the Kokoda Trial.
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
Son of Cathal - 'left us to rot'. What could Churchill have done? Sent more battleships to be sent to the bottom like the Repulse and Renown? More Spitfires and Hurricanes to non-existent airfields. After Pearl Harbour the US was far better situated to help than Britain who had a few minor matters closer to home to attend to.

You probably won't want to read Peter Elphick's account of the Fall of Singapore? It's particularly sobering reading from an Australian point of view. Essentially he pins the collapse of the island on untrained and green Australian troops who Percival had stupidly placed in defence of the main causeway. After the main barrage he claims they fled, with thousands ending up getting drunk in Singapore City, looting the city and hijacking boats to try and escape, presumably following the example of their commander Gordon Bennett. Definitely not the spirit of Tobruk or the Kokoda Trial.
Good post, Tynesider.:)
 

Son of Cathal

Ad Honorem
Oct 2008
4,311
The Bright Center of the Universe
Son of Cathal - 'left us to rot'. What could Churchill have done? Sent more battleships to be sent to the bottom like the Repulse and Renown? More Spitfires and Hurricanes to non-existent airfields. After Pearl Harbour the US was far better situated to help than Britain who had a few minor matters closer to home to attend to.

You probably won't want to read Peter Elphick's account of the Fall of Singapore? It's particularly sobering reading from an Australian point of view. Essentially he pins the collapse of the island on untrained and green Australian troops who Percival had stupidly placed in defence of the main causeway. After the main barrage he claims they fled, with thousands ending up getting drunk in Singapore City, looting the city and hijacking boats to try and escape, presumably following the example of their commander Gordon Bennett. Definitely not the spirit of Tobruk or the Kokoda Trial.
Churchill abused the use of our men. If it hadn't have been for our Prime Minister Curtin, there would have been no troops for the defence of Australia. After this, we turned to America for aid and it was then that our close military links with the US were established and we began to distance ourselves from Great Britain
 
Aug 2008
599
Churchill abused the use of our men. If it hadn't have been for our Prime Minister Curtin, there would have been no troops for the defence of Australia. After this, we turned to America for aid and it was then that our close military links with the US were established and we began to distance ourselves from Great Britain
variations of an old theme should be sufficiently elaborate to show a measure of development. failing that, a different tune might be called for.

churchill, as i understand it, only commanded troops through many buffering stages. he gives general direction, and his professional soldiers/commanders/admirals &c. pass it on. as it moves through various downward stages it gathers layers of complexity and frequently becomes somewhat adapted or tailored to fit the situation on the ground. through this process, churchill's hand becomes less recognisable. stop blaming churchill and start looking at the situation itself.

as has already been pointed out above, britain was already in a very sticky spot - what was it to do? self-sacrifice to save far-off, dried-up and dusty australia? can't see that somehow.
 

Son of Cathal

Ad Honorem
Oct 2008
4,311
The Bright Center of the Universe
variations of an old theme should be sufficiently elaborate to show a measure of development. failing that, a different tune might be called for.

churchill, as i understand it, only commanded troops through many buffering stages. he gives general direction, and his professional soldiers/commanders/admirals &c. pass it on. as it moves through various downward stages it gathers layers of complexity and frequently becomes somewhat adapted or tailored to fit the situation on the ground. through this process, Churchill's hand becomes less recognizable. stop blaming Churchill and start looking at the situation itself.

as has already been pointed out above, Britain was already in a very sticky spot - what was it to do? self-sacrifice to save far-off, dried-up and dusty Australia? can't see that somehow.
I have been looking at the situation and I will continue to blame Churchill because it was he that was responsible. Churchill and the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies clashed often over the use of Australian servicemen. Churchill promised that if Australia was ever threatened that Great Britain would cut its losses in the Mediterranean and come to our aid. Despite Menzies continued pressure on Churchill to bolster the defense of Singapore, Churchill insisted on focusing on the side show that was Greece and Crete. Menzies knew that Singapore lacked adequate air cover and knew the problems that the artillery pieces stationed in Singapore faced. Because of Churchill's continued neglect of the military center of the Pacific, 130,000 men passed into the hands of the Japanese. Most were British, many were Indian but 18,474 were Australian, 5000 of which would die at the hands of the Japanese. For this I blame Churchill. He refused to listen to reports of Singapore's weaknesses and this cost the lives of many more soldiers than it should have.
 
Sep 2008
77
Cathal - that's a great analysis of the run-up to Singapore and why it was probably doomed - in essence Churchill gambled on the Japanese not attacking. He was a visionary when it came to tackling the Nazis but blind to the Japanese threat. But I still fail to see what more Churchill could have done in the immediate aftermath for Australia, if you look at Britain's position - Malaya gone, Burma crumbling and India threatened, no eastern fleet or air force left, North Africa perilous, clinging on in the Med through Malta, Britain under nightly blitzes, not to mention slow strangulation by U-boat and the desperate attempt by convoy to keep Russia in the war. I'd suggest Australia was a bit of a side show and I'd also point out that just a year later Churchill was vindicated, as the situation had changed dramatically for the better in all these theatres, while the Jap threat to Australia through New Guinea had been defeated.