Malayan Campaign – the Matador Plan

MALAYAN CAMPAIGN – THE MATADOR PLAN INTRODUCTION “Unfortunately, it has come to this, that either Japan must stop her expansion, or England must willingly give up some of what she has or hopes to have. Therein lies a cause for war. ” Lt Cdr Tota Ishimaru, Imperial Japanese Navy 1. The fall of Malaya and Singapore to the hand of the Japanese is a tremendous sign that showed the failure of Operation Matador. In this battle study, there are chronology of events that will guide us very closely in knowing and understanding the reason why this operation failed to meet its objectives.
In doing the research on the background of the battle of Malaya and the relativity to the Operation Matador, our syndicate members came across a reference to a plan of action for the defence of Singapore codenamed “Matador”. In fact there were two plans, so totally different, that in the end they contributed to the downfall of Singapore. Both had their weaknesses and one of the major ones was the lack of co-ordination and command between the Army, Navy and Air Force. The other and more serious was a clash of ideals.
The drawn-up plan was Land based Matador and Sea Based Matador. 2. From the research done, Operation Matador is not the sole reason for the fall of Malaya or even Singapore, besides there is some other reasons that had been identified as a contributing factor as well. This has been discussed in detail under the column of Battle Analysis. An examine on the lesson learned from this battle study would benefit the most as it focuses more on principles of war that will teaches us how, why, when and where it is applicable for an action plan taken at one time.

AIM 3. This paper will examine two main part of the whole study on Matador Plan. The first part is to analyze the incidents that occur prior and upon the operation called The Matador Plan. Secondly, it is fundamentals to determine the lessons learnt and the effects on both forces. OBJECTIVE 4. The main objective of this battle study is to meet the requirement of the EOBC serial 28/2006 and secondly is to learn and adapt the knowledge of the war history generally on the Malayan Campaign and specifically the Matador Plan.
In this way the young officers would be able to use battle study as a comparison between previous and present state of battle warfare in order to meet any circumstances and decision makings in the near future. SCOPE 5. Scope of discussions are as follow: a. Background. 1)Pre-war examination. 2)Forces involved. 3)The Attack. b. Matador Plan. 1)Land Based Matador 2)Sea Based Matador c. Chronology of events. d. Analysis on factors and effects. e. Tactical aspects applied. g. Lesson Learnt. h.
Conclusion. BATTLE BACKGROUND PRE-WAR EXAMINATION 6. Before we look further into the Matador Plan, the fundamental or the main causes that inflict the war in Malaya should be given a consideration as it may be very useful in understanding the battle study. The battle in Malaya was a conflict between British Commonwealth forces, comprised of British, Indian, Australian and Malayan units, and the Imperial Japanese Army from December 8, 1941 until January 31, 1942 during the Second World War.
Prior the attack by th Japanese forces, the British government’s plans relied primarily on the stationing of a strong fleet at the Singapore Naval Base in the event of any enemy hostility, both to defend Britain’s Far Eastern possessions and the route to Australia. At this time tension mounted in the region folowing the outbreak of the European war and the French in Indo-China clashed with the Thais. The Japanese make use of this as an oppurtunity with the increase on aggression over the region as well. 7.
Upon the completion of the Singapore Naval Base and airfields on Singapore Island with other constructions on the Malayan Peninsula was underway, it was decided by the Air Ministry in London that was a right time to provide a fighter force for the area, even though few could be spared from the defence of Britain and her offensive in the Middle East. However, a threat to British and American possessions in the area was not considered to be imminent, as revealed in a letter from Prime Minister Churchill to US President Roosevelt, dated 15 February 1941: I do not myself think that the Japanese would likely to send the large military expedition necessary to lay seige to Singapore. The Japanese would no doubt occupy whatever strategic points and oilfields in the Dutch East Indies and thereabouts that they covet, and thus get a far better position for a full-scale attack on Singapore later on. They would also raid Australian and New Zealand ports and coasts, causing deep anxiety in those Dominions, which had already sent all their best trained fighting men to the Far East”. 8.
In October 1940, Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was appointed Commander-in-Chief Far East, and the G. H. Q. Far East opened at Singapore on the 18th November, 1940. The Commander-in-Chief was responsible for the operational control and direction of training of British land and air forces in Malaya, Burma and Hong Kong, and for the co-ordination of plans for the defence of these territories. It also includes the control and training of British air forces in Ceylon and of reconnaissance squadrons in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal.
His headquarters was an operational one, not administrative, and had no control over any naval forces. So Brook-Popham the man in charge on the spot had little control over the immediate military situation. Also just as important, he had no authority over the Civilian population in case of an impending war. This came under the direct control of Shenton–Thomas the Governor of Singapore, and to all intents and purposes he had absolute control. The only recourse Brook-Popham had to any control of the forces was directly to the Chiefs of Staff in London. FORCES INVOLVED 9.
In November 1940, the army strength in Malaya was 17 battalions, with 1 mountain regiment of artillery. Reliance for the defence of the Far East was to be placed on air power until the fleet was available but it was the Governments policy to avoid war with Japan. The strength of the air forces in Malaya in November 1940, however, was only 88 first-line aircraft, of which only 48 could be counted as modern. The previous month, the Singapore Conference had recommended a strength of 582 aircraft for the Far East but it was admitted that this was an ideal, and far beyond the bounds of practical possibility.
In May 1941, Lieutenant-General A. E. Percival had been appointed General Officer Commanding, Malaya Command, and with it a motley collection of 85 000 British, Australian, Indian and Malayan troops. 10. When in July 1941, the Japanese spread into southern Indo-China, the potential danger to Malaya and Burma increased, as the move gave them a naval base within 750 miles of Singapore and airfields only 300 miles from Kota Bharu, the nearest point in Malaya. By the latter part of November, 1941, information accumulated which showed that an early Japanese attack was likely, despite the negotiations in progress in Washington.
Both land and air reinforcements had been reaching Malaya, and by 7th December, the eve of the Japanese attack, there were 158 first-line aircraft available, with 88 in reserve; the land forces counted 31 infantry battalions, plus the equivalent of 10 volunteer battalions with some artillery, engineers, and a small armoured car unit, and 5 battalions of Indian States forces, with 7 field regiments 1 mountain regiment, 2 anti-tank regiments, 4 coast defence regiments and five anti-aircraft regiments of artillery and 10 field and 3 fortress companies of engineers – a total strength of close on 85,000 men.
Almost one quarter of them were British, about one-sixth Australians, nearly one-half Indian Army, and the remainder local forces. 11. Even then, the R. A. F. Far East Command was not in a position to fulfill its responsibility of being the primary means of resisting Japanese aggression, while the Army strength was far short of what was required to compensate for the deficiency in aircraft. There were only two-thirds the number of infantry required, no tanks and few armoured cars, and the lack of mobile anti-aircraft guns was serious.
The Japanese Order of Battle remains unchanged throughout the course of the Champaign. The Japanese 25th Army consisted of 36,000 men plus air power, naval support and artillery support from the mainland, plus 100 tanks. Even though the Japanese soldiers were not as many compared the British forces they were significantly superior in close air support, armour, co-ordination, tactics and experience, with the Japanese units having fought in China.
The Japanese had slightly fewer aircraft, their fighter aircraft were generally superior and achieved air superiority. THE ATTACK 12. Earlier the British had plans in place to forestall Japanese landings in Southern Thailand but Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Far East Command refused permission to launch Operation Matador and Operation Krohcol in advance of the Japanese attack, not wishing to run any risk of provoking the coming war. 13.
Incredibly, as late as 29 September 1941, it was still believed by British military and civilian leaders in the Far East that Japan was committed to concentrating forces against the Soviet Union, and it was therefore improbable, so it was argued, that she would at the same time take on Britain, the United States and the Netherlands. By mid-November 1941 the official assessment was that war would not come until March 1942. The Japanese decided otherwise. Now the Japanese has really been on an invasion plan to attack the Malayan Peninsula and take over Singapore with a well planned tactics and operation. 4. On 7 December 1941, a British Hudson reconnaissance aircraft spotted Japanese naval vessels 100 miles/160 Km north-east of Singora with others steaming towards Patani. Despite this clear act of war by Japan, ‘Operation Matador’ was not fully launched. Even so, the advance to The Ledge could, and should, have been immediately ordered. This was not done. As a result, an invaluable twenty four hours was lost during which time the Japanese forces landed and the British lost a most valuable opportunity.
If they had held The Ledge, the invasion could have been delayed even though the landings could not have been prevented. 15. On the next day it was reported that Japanese troops were attempting to land at Kota Bharu and at the same time Singapore suffered its first air raid. War had come to Malaya. On 8 December the Japanese attacked the British air bases in Malaya with the devastating result that by the end of the day a mere 50 British aircraft were operational, the rest being destroyed. Those still operational were immediately ordered back to Singapore.
Thus, on the first day of the attack Japan obtained total air supremacy over Nothern Malaya. The naval Force Z, consisting of the battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, together with four destroyers, and commanded by Admiral Tom Phillips had arrived right before the outbreak of hostilities. Later the Japanese came to realised the presence of the battleships and its marching to the Northern Malaya. Two days later, on 10 December, the battleship Prince of Wales and the battle cruiser Repulse, the only Royal Navy capital ships in the Far East, were sunk by Japanese torpedo-bombers off Kuantan. 16.
The negative effect of the sinking of the Prince of Wales on British morale throughout the world was serious, with a concomitant boost to Japanese morale. By this single stroke Japan gained complete naval command of the South China and Java Seas and a large part of the Indian Ocean by leaving the east coast of Malaya exposed and allowing the Japanese to continue their landings. The drift to war by the Japanese met its objectives by the invasion of the Malayan Peninsula subsequently the Singapore Island. MATADOR PLAN 17. What is Matador Plan? What is the relativity of the drawn up plan is all about to this study?
Matador Plan is a plan of action for the defence of Singapore. The two plans were totally different, that in the end they contributed to the downfall of Singapore. Both had their weaknesses. One of the major ones was the lack of co-ordination and command between the Army, Navy and Air Force. The other and more serious is the clash of ideals. The first one a Naval plan by Churchill, the other a Land based plan by Brook-Popham. Now I will outline both plans for a thorough understanding. The Land Based Matador 18. History of Malaya War shows that Brook-Popham was the man on the spot who could evaluate a more accurate assessment of the needs.
His plan was a land based Matador. This was a plan of action that envisaged an attack by the Japanese from the North of Malaya via Thailand and the Kara Isthmus. It was drawn up by Brook-Popham, in August 1941 and he submitted his plan to London for approval. It is believed that if the plan was implemented at the right time, it possibly could have delayed the Japanese long enough to allow the British forces stationed in Malaya and Singapore to mount a delaying action until reinforcements arrived. 19. Land Based Matador relied on assumption that the Japanese would land on the east coast of Thailand at two points that of Songkhla and Pattani.
The next would be advancing south to Jitra and lower down to Kroh. It was envisaged in Matador that two forces could intercept them just over the boarder in Thailand, thus allowing long enough for the main force to assemble and attack. There was only one problem, if the British were to implement this without the Japanese being at war with Thailand first, it would be seen as an attack by the British on a neutral country. To complicate matters further Sir Josiah Cosby the British Ambassador in Siam the previous year 1940 had signed a non-aggression pact with Pibul the President of Thailand.
Requests by Brook-Popham to London for additional resources to cover this Plan were made around January 1941, but remained unfulfilled. This plan was considered a good plan and consequently it also had its problem due to unavoidable consequences. The main obstacle was one of them being Churchill. It is known that Churchill had distrust of it lay in the political aspects and at the same time he also favoured being a naval man with a naval solution wherein the plan was mainly a Land Based Matador. The Sea Based Matador 20.
The Sea Based Matador referred on the need of resources especially the battle ships to defend the Singapore Island. In Duff Coopers report of the Defence of Singapore in 1939 it was stated that no less than 8 war ships would be needed to defend Fortress Singapore. Churchill was not in the business of land forces at the time, he was First Lord of the Admiralty as such was fighting for his part in any forthcoming action. Churchill had been told of the situation of what he later proclaimed in Parliament as, “Fortress Singapore” and its armaments.
He proclaimed that “It had several big guns and there were a lot of troops on a island that he had never seen, but not enough in the way of Navy”. 21. At Duff Coopers conference of the 29th September 1941 in Singapore, it was stated that at the least Two Battleships would be needed as a minimum. Those attended the meeting were Sir Robert Brook-Popham, Sir Earl Page, Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr, Sir Shenton Thomas, Governor of Singapore and Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton. Once Churchill became the Prime Minister he held the final decision. But what Churchill sent and eventually happened, was a cobbled result. The Prince of Wales’ and ‘Repulse’ that turned up with escorts called “Force Z”. It was a disaster for the British upon the sinking of the two main battle ships. CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS 22. The chronology of events that involved along the path of Matador Plan implementation are as follows. a. In year 1937. Major-General William Dobbie Officer Commanding Malaya (1935 – 1939), looked at Malaya’s defences, he reported that during the monsoon season from October to March landings could be made by an enemy on the east coast and bases could be established in Siam.
He predicted that landings could be made at Songkhla and Pattani in Siam, Thailand and Kota Bharu in Malaya. He recommended large reinforcements to be sent immediately. His predictions turned out to be correct but his recommendations were ignored. b. In January 1941. A request for additional resources remained unfulfilled which the plan intended to use and the previous year in 1940 Sir Josiah Cosby the British Ambassador in Siam, had signed a non-aggression pact with Prime Minister Pibul of Siam. c. In August 1941.
The Commander-in-Chief (Cin C) of British Far East Command Air Chief Marshal Robert Brooke-Popham submitted a plan code named Matador to London for approval. The plan relied on assumption that the Japanese would land on the east coast of Siam at Songkhla and Pattani, then advancing south to Jitra and lower down to Kroh. It was envisaged that two forces could intercept them just over the border in Thailand, long enough for the main force to assemble and attack. d. On November 29, 1941. Air Headquarters at Singapore is warned to be ready to support Operation Matador at 12 hours notice. e. On November 30, 1941.
The Commanding Officer of the Japanese 25th Division, Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita, receives orders to proceed with the invasion of Singapore. At the same time 21 Squadron RAAF is based at Sungei Patani. f. On December 2, 1941. HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse arrive at Singapore Harbour escorted by a number of ships including HMAS Vampire. g. On December 4, 1941. The Japanese fleet leaves Samah Harbour at dawn. h. On December 5, 1941. When the threat of Japanese invasion became more likely, the plan was modified to use the forces available, it was to be put into action as soon as an attack was imminent.
The plan was that if an enemy attacked, or were invited into, Siam, troops under British command would rush to Songkhla and defend it against a sea borne attack. This job was allocated to Major-General Murray-Lyon’s Indian 11th Infantry Division who also had to defend Jitra, this over stretched his resources and made it a difficult task to do. i. On December 5, 1941. London gave permission for Cin C Far East Command to decide if Operation Matador should be activated. The chief strategic decision to be decided was whether Siam should be invaded in a pre-emptive move before the Japanese landings took place.
Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was ordered to launch Operation Matador. The Malaya Command was responsible for the detailed planning of Operation Matador. j. On December 6, 1941. It had reworked the plan and allocated forces for immediate deployment. Which is what General Officer Commanding Malaya Arthur Percival recommended that evening in meeting with the Governor Sir Shenton Thomas and Cin C Brooke-Popham decided it is premature to launch the operation which included the pre-emptive move into Siam. With hind sight this was the wrong decision. 23.
However, if Matador had been implemented the Japanese had a counter worked out. They would use the Bangkok airport and the airfields of Southern Siam to enable air cover to be established, and then invade from the Kra Isthmus. TACTICAL ASPECTS APPLIED 24. There were a lot of differences between British prediction and actual location of the Japanese landings in Malaya Peninsula. For detail, refer to figure 1 and figure 2 in appendix. The ‘Red’ dot on the map is where the last sighting of the approaching Japanese armada was on the 6th December at approx 12. 30am by British RAF spotter planes.
And the ‘Orange’ dot on the map the “presumed British” and “actual Japanese” meeting place of the Japanese fleet on the 7th December 1941. The real Japanese meeting place was just 200 miles from Songkhla, Pattani and Kota Bharu, the assumed meeting place by Brook-Popham was some 400 miles, double the distance and of course double the time. In the event the Japanese landed at, Prachoup 1 craft, Chumphon 2 craft, Bandon 2 craft, Nakhon 3 craft, Songkla and Pattani 18 craft and Kota Bharu 3 craft. 25. The Japanese had forestalled the effect of Matador by having a secondary plan.
In the event if Matador was implemented, the Japanese were under the orders to occupy the airfield of Bangkok and the airfields of Southern Thailand to enable air cover to be established, thus paving the way for the invasion from the Kara Isthmus and the inevitable fall of Singapore. It shows the invader is truly tactical enough to apply the secondary plan if the primary met with failure. It was the combination of confused action and wildly differing approaches to what was perceived as the enemies’ tactics that eventually lead to the fiasco of Malaya and Fortress Singapore.
Beside, the Japanese also use ‘blitzkrieg’ tactics that was used by the Germans during Europe Campaign. BATTLE ANALYSIS ANALYSIS ON FACTORS AND EFFECTS 26. The Matador plan can be analyzed from several factors which concluded to its failure. The factors identified are as follows: a. Lack of Resources. The Matador plan relied on assumption that the Japanese would land on the east coast of Siam at Songkhla and Pattani, then advancing south to Jitra and lower down to Kroh.
British forces could intercept them just over the border in Thailand, long enough for the main force to assemble and attack. But the plan was modified to use the forces available and it was to be put into action as soon as an attack was imminent. If an enemy attacked, or were invited into Siam, troops under British command would rush to Songkhla and defend it against a sea borne attack. This job was allocated to Major-General Murray-Lyon’s of Indian 11th Infantry Division who also had to defend Jitra, this has over stretched his resources and made it a difficult task to do.
Beside, in the absence of the main fleets, RAF was fully responsible to carry out its task effectively in defence, it was estimated that it required a minimum of 336 modern aircraft including a long range striking force. At the outbreak of hostilities it had a mere 158, most of which were obsolescent. The lack of resources and the assign of multiple tasks at one time by the British made them facing more difficulties in defending its position against the Japanese. b. Non-strategic defence position.
The decision to defend the Singapore base by holding the whole of Malaya meant that in the absence of the fleet the task fell primarily on the RAF. Because of the key role allotted to the air force it was decided that the primary task of the army was to defend the airfields from which the RAF operated. These airfields had been built without reference to the military but rather to suit civilian requirements. From a military viewpoint they were located too close to the coast and too close to the border of Siam to be effectively defended. c. Time Window.
Matador was approved late for the plan to succeed. For Operation Matador to succeed, time was of the absolute essence. British forces had to be in Singora before the Japanese landed. However, as Britain attempted to the very end to avoid war with Japan, the military were forbidden to violate Siamese territory until an actual outbreak of war. With such a constraint, and time being of the essence, Operation Matador should have been abandoned. d. Command and Control. Earlier on December 5, 1941, London gave permission for Cin C the Far East Command to decide if Operation Matador should be activated.
The strategic decision to be decided was whether Siam should be invaded in a pre-emptive move before the Japanese landings took place. The Malaya Command was responsible for the detailed planning of Operation Matador and on December 6, 1941 it had reworked the plan and allocated forces for immediate deployment. General Officer Commanding Malaya Arthur Percival recommended in meeting with the Governor of Singapore Sir Shenton Thomas and Cin C Brooke-Popham decided it is premature to launch the operation which included the pre-emptive move into Siam. e. Political Aspects.
British do not want to be the first nation to trespass the non alliance of Thailand in the war and will not approved matador planned until there is solid evidence that shows that the Japanese is up to move to Thailand territory. To forestall the anticipated Japanese invasion the British High Command evolved a plan to seize the Siamese port of Singora which is ‘Operation Matador’ and to delay the anticipated Japanese advance from Patani by holding a position called ‘The Ledge’. This plan required crossing the international frontier into Siam thus making Britain guilty of violating official Siamese neutrality.
In the year 1940 Sir Josiah Cosby the British Ambassador in Siam, had signed a non-aggression pact with Prime Minister Pibul of Siam. f. Lack of Importance. Under the command of Jen AE Percival, there were some 85000 British, Australian, Indian and Malayan troops. However some of the problems associated with this force included poor quality officers, poor training, especially in jungle warfare, lack of civilian labour to construct defences and lack of homogeny. g. The Blame. The blame of Matador Plan failure cannot only be pointed to General Percival because the launch of the plan must be approved from Churchill in London.
He must have disliked it so much and there weren’t any reference to it in Churchill’s memoirs as well. He seems to have conveniently forgotten all about it. Churchill’s distrust of it lay in the political aspects, he also favoured being First Lord of the Admiralty  a naval man, a naval solution thus the sea based matador were developed. h. Operation Theatre Priorities. The Matador Plan was stalled repeatedly by Churchill, who wanted the scarce resources of aeroplanes, troops and other equipment diverted to his other priority areas, such as the Middle East and Russia.
Britain’s defence, the Middle East and the Soviet Union had all received higher priorities in the allocation of men and material, so the desired air force strength of 300 to 500 aircraft was never reached whereas the Japanese invaded with over two hundred tanks, the British Army in Malaya did not have a single one. i. The Wrong Assessment. Other than that, the war in the Middle East, the world’s oil pipeline and gateway to India, was not going well. At the same time, Russian vulnerability added to the complexities of the situation.
In 1941, Churchill delivered 440 aircraft to Russia. He also diverted an entire division, which was bound for Singapore, the 7th Australian Division, to the Middle East and one brigade of the 9th Indian Division to Iraq. Churchill estimate, Japan will not enter the war unless the Germans had invaded Britain successfully. j. Lack of Intelligence. British intelligence had failed in providing the real assessment of Japanese assault lan on Malaya. As a result the British had failed to provide an adequate force and resources to meet the Japanese thrust.
LESSON LEARNT 27. In the final analysis, it was a British failure to adhere to the principles of war in the implementation of the Matador Plan and the Japanese vision and motivation that led to the defeat of the British in the Malayan Campaign. a. Selection and The Maintenance Of The Aim. British has made the wrong decision making on the aspects of strategic defence plan of Malaya rather than knowing and understanding the Japanese strategic plan to conquer Malaya and Singapore. Japanese intentions are as follows: )Japan maybe to conquer Singora and Patani as habour to seize the important air field at Kedah and then move to North West of Malaya. 2)Landed at Kota Bharu to take over the air field. 3)Landed at Kuantan and move to west over the Kuantan-Raub road or Mersing road for Singapore assault through North of Malaya. Percival was unaware of these intentions and put the little sources to defence the other different area. On the other hand, the British thought that Japan will assault Malaya through Singapore. b. Maintenance Of Morale. The Japan inner strength was very high.
All the Japan soldiers had their ideology which is “east for east” where in their psychology they had to rise with the morale in order to face war difficulties. Japan had all the factors that guaranteed the success with having good war equipment, efficiency and encouragement. c. Concentration of Force. The British didn’t forestalled a large number of forces at the planned or strategic location in order to resist any Japanese landing from the North wherein this was an advantages to the Japanese forces. d. Economy of Effort. The highest Japan Royal Company gave 100 days to conquer Malaya and Singapore.
Thinking about the mission, Jen Yamashita gave their order to throw the unnecessary equipment from their soldier and planning to remain a smooth movement from combination of expensive British roads and cheap Japan bicycle. He ordered his soldier that didn’t have any vehicle to ride bicycle. This is not just gave the smooth movement but also reduce man power from jungle tracking and walk. e. Surprise. Japan has attack Malayan from North where the British defence was very weak at the enemy aimed position. They attack Malaya in raining season when British not expected the Japan will attack on that time.
That situation was entirely a surprise and a piece of well planned action. f. Offensive Action. Japan launched amphibious assault in north beach Malaya at Kota Bahru to move down into East beach of Malaya. This movement is done by landed at Patani and Singora in Thailand, whereas they move to South through road land to cross Malayan-Thailand borders to attack from west of Malaya. g. Cooperation. Cooperation can be analysed by comparing the both forces and there are: 1)Original defence planning on Malaya and Singapore depend on two factors, and it was British Far East Armada and American Pacific Armada.
Far East Armada was supposed to have 1 carrier, 7 battleship, 11 cruiser and 24 destroyer was not to send because the strategic situation at Europe and Mediterranean and the effect from France failure. The British had no option rather than to deliver 2 battleships that are Repulse and Prince of Wales, while America Pacific Armada was destroyed at Pearl Habour. It was a fail of cooperation that British had no choices to support while Japan easily landed at Malaya. 2)While the Japanese had successfully integrated their entire asset including land, sea and air in giving the maximum fire power and maneuver.
The cooperation between 3rd div (Air) Commander, Southern Sqn (Sea) Commander with all (Land) Army Chief’s a success to destroyed the British defence position. 25th Army Commander Lt Jen Yamashita had given his authority to coordinate the sea and air asset in order to achieve ‘mui’ in conquering Malaya and Singapore. h. Security. Beach defence built at Malaya in order to face the Japanese landings, including concertina wire, under water obstacles and machine gun placement were not good enough to give a supreme security and protection for the British.
The implication from this, the British suffered a lot of casualties. Japanese also suffered a lot of casualties and this has shown that the British weakness in order to make sure the safety of their soldier itself. i. Flexilibity. To launch the Matador Plan Percival needed permission from British government in London. British government refused to launch this plan until they have proofs that the Japanese has landed in Thailand. That situation shows that matador plan does not have the flexibility for an execution purposes. CONCLUSION 28.
The Matador plan can be analyzed from several factors which conclude to its failure. The factor involves all aspects from the column of battle analysis. Matador was approved late for the plan to succeed. For Operation Matador to succeed, time was of the absolute essence. The delays in mobilization meant that the troops did not receive the order to launch ‘Operation Matador’ effect, and morale suffered. An attempt by British troops to advance to The Ledge fell six miles 9. 6 km short of its objective when on 10 December 1941 Japanese troops overran the leading battalions.
Another disaster, and with it any real chance for British troops to delay the Japanese advance until relief came, occurred on 12 December 1941 when the strategically-located and well-prepared Jitra position was abandoned within twenty four hours of being attacked. 29. The intention of the British had been to hold it for approximately three months. Thus, after the twenty years of preparation to avoid such an eventuality, the fate of Malaya, and with it Singapore, was sealed in the first four days of the campaign.
In the words of Major General Woodburn Kirby, ‘One can sum up by saying that those responsible for the conduct of the land campaign in Malaya committed every conceivable blunder. They underrated the enemy, paid insufficient attention to the training of their troops and delayed taking urgent decisions even after the Japanese had landed on Malayan soil. Singapore and the naval base were lost between 8 and 12 December’. Prime Minister of Britain, Churchill and all his decision made during the Malayan Campaign was also considered as a worst decision making in the war campaign ever in the history.
Appendix 1 [pic] Figure 1: This shows what Brook-Popham had assumed happened from the intelligence he had received. [pic] Figure 2: This is what actually happened from the records of the Japanese BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Cull Brian, Buffaloes Over Singapore, Grub Street, London 2003. 2. Lt Gen AE Percival, The War in Malaya. 3. Sir John Smyth V. C, Percival and The Tragedy of Singapore, 1987. 4. Wikipedia, Battle of Malaya, HTML. 5. Chye Kooi Loong, The British Battalion In The Malayan Campaign 1941-1942, 2002. [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]

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