Supplying Bataan...

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
veevee
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Post by veevee » 05 Feb 2008 02:40

I had often wondered if the high command should have initiated a submarine and B17 supply train from the get go (a'la Berlin lift). But I came to the same conclusion that it wouldn't have altered the situation significantly. Maybe the troops would have been healthier for the death march and less could have died but that's about it. Without any other support and reinforcements, there was just no resisting the final hammer blow that the Japanese dealt in their second offensive.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Sid Guttridge » 30 Jun 2008 16:42

Hi Guys,

For all the propaganda, Bataan was really the US equivalent of Britain's Singapore debacle. The Japanese actually invaded the Philipines with only half the land forces available to MacArthur and pinned rather larger forces than their own in at Bataan.

Cheers,

Sid.

Delta Tank
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Delta Tank » 03 Jul 2008 21:07

Sid,

Your statement is true as long as everyone understands that the army in the Philippine Islands in December of 1941 was under trained, and under equipped. They did have some successes, but not enough to stave off eventual defeat. I can't remember how long the British wanted their forces in Singapore to hold out, but the guys in the Philippines held out almost 6 months which was the plan before the war (depending on which plan you want to pick), however, the Pacific Fleet and ground re-enforcements took over 2 years to get to the the Philippines!

Mike

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Jul 2008 11:04

Hi DT,

I was factoring "under trained, and under equipped" into the Singapore analogy.

I don't think the British were planning that Singapore and Malaya should fall at all!

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by South » 04 Jul 2008 14:27

Good morning Sid,

I'm sure London realized that Djakarta, DEI and Paleu, Mandates under Japanese control determined the fate of Singapore and Malaya.

Rainbow Plan 2 (and plan 3) provided for sustaining the Brits in the western Pacific. Both Plans 2 and 3 were cancelled August, 1941. Plan 5, again with British military staff participation in the discussions, was enlarged, thus, neglecting Asia and the western Pacific to immediately address Europe.

The UK could not even afford "Cash and Carry" US mlitary supplies at the beginning and neither could the US afford to manufacture them until after the economic mobilization of 8 Dec 41, hours after Pearl Harbor.

Kranji, Singapore was a pending Allied military cemetery.

I'm convinced the Battle for Singapore was a planned sacrifice.



Warm regards,


Bob

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Jul 2008 18:18

Hi South,

I don't think anybody would deliberately throw away major warships and 130,000 troops, pouring some in at the last moment, for a "planned sacrifice". Apart from anything else it would create internal imperial frictions with an assertive Australia and a restless India.

The British, with a major war to fight on the other side of the globe, took a major strategic risk with mostly second line forces but were found out by a Japanese enemy who proved far better than they had believed.

Besides, Malaya and the Dutch colonies it shielded, produced something like 85% of the world's commercial rubber and a high proportion of its tin and other natural resources. They were important in their own right, not just as a tripwire for the Japanese.

Cheers,

Sid.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Jul 2008 19:54

...and at that time the DEI provided a not-insignificant percentage of the non-Axis nations' POL. And the not inconsiderable income from it supporting the Dutch Government-in-exile in the UK and supporting the KNIL and ML-KNIL in the Dutch East Indies.

The loss of Singapore ALSO lost Britain the "fleet in being" presence of the RN's Far Eastern Station.

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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by South » 04 Jul 2008 22:28

Good afternoon Sid,

Of course, we're both using expressions without mathematical certainity.

My "planned sacrifice" is a phrase that wouldn't sell in the House of Commons or the British Admiralty.

Your "delibertely throw away"; ditto above.

To distill all this down, London and Washington, D.C. knew Singapore and Malaya could not be successfully defended against Japan if Allied resources for Europe was the priority.

The Rainbow Plans were clear enough.

Warm regards,

Bob

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 Jul 2008 11:20

Hi Bob,

What do the Rainbow plans specifically say on this issue?

Cheers,

Sid.

South
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by South » 05 Jul 2008 13:23

Good morning Sid,

I do not think the Rainbow Plans dealt with specifics. (I've attended enought staff meetings to realize, of course, everything was discussed by the military and much was surpressed by the politicos.)

These plans were developed by the US Army and Navy Board starting in May, 1939. Remember, the US was a "neutral" in 1939 (Please don't laugh.).

The Board instructed it's Commission to develop plans to provide for the security of the United States. These plans, called "studies", envisioned the US engaging in a 2 theater war.

There were 5 plans named Rainbow 1, 2,3,4, and 5.

Plan 1: To enforce the Monroe Doctrine, provide for the territorial protection of the US and insular possessions and the US sealane trade.

Plan 2: To impliment Plan 1 and also to maintain the status of Atlantic Alliance powers in the Pacific area.

Plan 3: To establish control of the western Pacific.

Plan 4: To provide for Western Hemisphere defense, with forces for South America and and the rest of the eastern Atlantic, as needed.

Plan 5: To accomplish Plans 1-4 and also to plan for sending forces to Africa or Europe, to ensure the defeat of Germany or Italy or both. Plan 5 incorporated close cooperation with the UK and allied French.

Plans 2 and 3 were cancelled in by the Joint Board in August, 1941.

Plans 1 and 4 were disregarded but many of the plans' elements were already accomplished within realistic expectations.

There was an important US-UK staff meeting(s) in 1941 focusing on Rainbow Plan 5. Plan 5 became the "grand" plan.

This is why I consider Asia as a "sacrifice" for the greater good; " Summum bonum". I'm sure, within the auspices of gallows humor, MacArthur and Stillwell laughed when learning about the Rainbow Plans.



Warm regards,


Bob

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Jul 2008 14:51

Hi South,

So nothing specific about any "sacrifice" of Singapore then..

As Plan 5 incorporated Plans 1-4, this implies that 1 and 2 were ongoing within it.

Cheers,

Sid.

Delta Tank
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by Delta Tank » 07 Jul 2008 15:25

To all,

I don't Winston Churchill took the news of Singapore's fall as a planned event! So with that thought in mind, I doubt if the British had written it off as a planned sacrifice. Not long before the war the British sent an entire division to Singapore to reinforce it, how many men do you need for a sacrifice? What is that line from Henry Vth: If we are marked to die we are enough to do our country loss! (Henry V, Act IV, Scene III)

Mike

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Jul 2008 16:05

IIRC John Colville recorded Winston as regarding both Singapore and the Fall of Tobruk as VERY major failings on the part of the British Army; compared to the repeated successes handed to him by the RN, RAF and FAA, Winston got VERY depressed on a number of occasions by the seeming ease with which the Army was beaten...or seemed to put in far less effort on the way to defeat...

...and as Winston retained the Minister of War portfolio himself, he wouldn't have held this opinion of the British fighting soldier if he'd known or intended Singapore as a sacrifice...

South
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by South » 07 Jul 2008 17:24

Good afternoon Sid,

My use of the word "sacrifice" is surely a loaded term !

If you look at the plans and then the later events, Europe's liberation was paramount. After Europe, Asia was to be addressed.

The United States did not engage Japan over the occupied Dutch East Indies (and the Mandates) in re the cancelled Rainbow Plan 2.

Europe came first.


Warm regards,

Bob

South
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Re: Supplying Bataan...

Post by South » 07 Jul 2008 17:40

Good afternoon Mike,

After Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, BCC, fell.

Was Hong Kong, BCC prepared for its defense by London?

Hong Kong relates to what happened at Kranji, Singapore, Feb '42



Warm regards,

Bob

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