Political Interest wrote:Japan was able to easily overtake Malaya and Singapore. In fact Singapore was surrendered without even a single shot being fired.
Actually there was a major battle at Singapore. It didn't fall without a shot.link
Political Interest wrote:JWhat was the reason for Japan's quick sweep down the Malay peninsula and then their walk into Singapore without even having to fight?
Allied forces had far more soldiers in Malaya and Singapore than the Japanese force. Yet they suffered far more casualties than the Japanese and still lost.
What were the reasons for this military defeat and why did General Percival surrender?
Numbers of personel don't translate directly into militray power. Factors such as training, leadership, experience and moral/determination make a big difference. Also an overwhleming superiority can result for supier technolgy of the right type in a given era.
The Japanese army in Malaya had already been fighting in China for many years and was experienced, well trained and equiped. The leaders knew what they were doing and had a good plan. The soldiers were comitted and determined with a high moral.
Japanese tactics were based on rapid penentration or out flanking and hard explotaion of those break throughs. This kept up the pace of their offence. Perhaps they learn this docrine from fighting the Russians in 1937?
The real killer thoug, was the Japanese army aviation. Japanese airpower was larger and eqiped with more effective aircraft and expericned, well train pilots. They were able to quick take control of the skies, destroying any naval intervention and interdicting logics and troop movements.
The British army was a 'rag-tag' force of mainly colional troops. The large part of it was of Indian origin, which was raw and still being trained, the unit leaders having been removed and redeployed back to India to help raise the new Indian army. So they lacked leadership, training and experience.
The doctrine the Brisih were using was flawed, based on static defense and a notion of 'impassable' junbgles protecting their flanks, which turned out not to be the case.
The British were unprepered, many hastily purchased obselete US fighters still being in their boxes during the conflict. There was inadecite airpower and the land defenses were a hasty improvisation as Singapore had been thought to only need defense form naval attack (clearly a 18th/19th century way of thinking).
Basicly, the Britsh were not prepared, had mainly low quality troops, lacked the right technology at required levels (air power) and then employed a flawed doctrine. The Japanese had a very good force of high quality troops, thourghly prepared, well supported with the right technology (air power) and an effective offensive doctrine (inflitrate, by pass and then exploit).
In the end General Percival surrendered because the final line of defnse had been breached, his troops were out of food, water and ammunition and there was not chance of retreat. The European convention in such circumstances was surrender.