Sacrifice of Singapore: Churchills Biggest Blunder
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They revealed that overwhelming majority of deserters were Australian, although British and Indian troops were also involved. Despite attempts by the Australian commander, who had controversially evaded capture, to shift the blame elsewhere, General Wavell was clear in his verdict. The report, together with many others, was suppressed as part of a deliberate cover-up. His findings are staggering.
It was claimed that the island was surrendered because the Japanese had captured the water supplies, but I believe that was an excuse. No commander likes to admit that he has thousands of deserters in his command. Possibly the most damaging revelation of all, however, was the discovery that large-scale desertions among some Australian units had begun even before the Japanese landed on the island.
Not only were thoudands of Australian and Indian troops sent belatedly to Singapore without even the most basic training, but a great many of them were inexplicably placed in positions which were correctly predicted to bear the brunt of the Japanese invasion. It was just one more catastrophe in a litany of blunders which conspired to send the ill-starred 18th Division into brutal captivity from which thousands did not return.
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Five decades after the survivors returned from their terrible ordeal, many of them scarred in body and mind, they have yet to receive either adequate compensation or a proper explanation for their retched fate. It is the nearest we have come to a public inquiry into the fall of Singapore. The shockwaves of the Singapore surrender were falt throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Thousands of men from the 18th Division were among those forced to endure three and a half years of cruel captivity.
The sacrifice of Singapore : Churchill's biggest blunder / Michael Arnold - Details - Trove
If you were one of those or you in any way touched by the disaster, we would like to have your views on the Malayan debacle. Could it have been avoided? Should the 18th Division have been sent to fight a campaign for which it was unprepared? Our features will include extracts from an unpublished manuscript by Lt-Col.
But we would welcome any accounts of former prisoners of war who have special reason to remember VJ Day. Back to Documents.
Was Winston Churchill to Blame for the Fall of Singapore?
The efforts of serious, critical historians and biographers who base their work on real work they undertake in archives and by interviews they conduct deserve to be read carefully, and their arguments tested against the evidence they provide: which is what happens, by and large, in our society. But for Mr. Arnold—as a former insurance salesman, and with no attempt to be critical, or do any serious historical investigation of his own to examine his own alternative heroes—to claim that Generals Wavell, Auchinleck, and Brigadier Dorman-Smith—three men who each failed in their military roles in the Second World War and were dismissed, or moved to other posts in and —were the real heroes of that war, is simple, unsubstantiated quackery, based on the claims of other authors.
If it is not too late, I can only urge Mr. Arnold to take a late-life graduate course in history and biography before he indulges himself and us in more amateur, plagiaristic polemics. Winston Churchill and the father of the British film industry Alexander Korda. ISBN There are as many biographies as there are biographers: some serious, some not. Related Story. Share This Page:. Breakthrough at Fulton Finest Hour Extra. Finest Hour Image. The most recent issues of Finest Hour are available online to members. Socially Follow WinstonChurchill. Breakthrough at Fulton.
More by Michael Arnold See more. Michael Arnold. The fate of Singapore was sealed long before the Japanese attack in December However when, inevitably, Singapore fell to the Japanese in February , Churchill attempted to deflect criticism by accusing the defenders there of spineless capitulation. Recently released information from the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington reveals that United States President Franklin Roosevelt not only knew of the impending attack on Pearl Harbour but actually instigated it.
Although Roosevelt promised a shield of B aircraft for Singapore from Manila, General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines had been told to do nothing until after the Japanese attacks there and at Pearl Harbour so that the United States could claim an unprovoked assault that would allow them to declare war on Japan. This book provides an account of events during World War II as they unfolded in Malaya, Singapore and elsewhere in the world prior to the Japanese attack, as well as a detailed study of the troops on the ground attacking and defending Singapore.
Larissa Hjorth. Media across the Asia-Pacific region are at once social, locative and mobile. Social in that these media facilitate public and interpersonal interaction, locative in that this social communication is geographically placed, and mobile in so much as the media is ever-present. The Asia—Pacific region has been pivotal in the production, shaping and consumption of personal new media technologies and through social and mobile media we can see emerging certain types of personal politics that are inflected by the local.
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