War in Malaya

General Percivals answer to the Rubbish concerning the fall of Singapore

By Arthur Lane

I (Arthur Lane) have read so much rubbish concerning the fall of Singapore. I am sick of the stories which are published in the national press, coming from those people who were not there, and who have no idea of the circumstances . I doubt that many were old enough to have served, yet they broach their stupid insinuations against a man who is not alive to defend himself.

Such utterances "The guns were facing the wrong way" The answer to that is that the guns could traverse 360 degrees. The reason they were not used was the fact that these guns were to be used against invading shipping and therefore only had Armour piercing shells, To fire these at the enemy coming down Malaya would have resulted in one shell sent burrowing into the ground after possibly hitting a single Japanese soldier on its way.

Another complete fabrication was the one about "Thirty thousand Japanese soldiers wearing spectacles and riding bicycles, had overwhelmed the British Garrison of 150 thousand men".

Absolute rubbish when one considers that a Japanese forces used in the attack on Singapore consisted of:-

      General Yamashita’s 25th Army,

      5th Division under general Matsui. 30,000 men.

      9th/11th / 41st Infantry Brigades under general Kawamura, Col Watanabe, Col Okabe, 30,000 men.

      21st Inf Bde, Gen Sugiura

      55th Inf regt,Col Harada

      42nd Inf reg, Col Ando

      18th Division Lt general Mutaguchi 20,000 men

      23rd Inf brigade Gen Takumi

      55th Inf regiment Col Koba

      56th Inf regiment Col Nasu.

      35th Inf brigade Gen Kawaguchi 15,000 men

      114 Inf regiment

      124th Inf regiment Imperial Guards Division Lt Gen Nishimura 35,000 men

      3rd Guards Inf regiment

      4th Guards Inf regiment Col Kunishi

      5th Guards Inf regiment

      56th Division 15,000 men

In total the attack o Singapore consisted of 145,000 men plus air power, naval support and artillery support from the mainland, plus 100 tanks.

British forces consisted of:

      Remains of Singapore Fortress Garrison 10,000,

      11th Indian Division 20,000 men

      Australian Division, 20,000

      18th Division 22,000 men

      Local forces 8,000 men.

      Remnants of Royal Air Force and Royal navy, 4,000 men

      A total of 74,000 defenders.

The total losses on both sides in the battle for Singapore were:

      British killed in action and missing 8,000

      Japanese killed and missing 25,000.

The matter which created the myth that 30,000 Japanese soldiers had taken Singapore, was, that on the 16th February the day after the fall of Singapore, General Yamashita sent a message to the Emperor in Japan stating that Singapore had fallen with the loss of only 30,000 men, which was his estimate at that time.

The message was picked up by British listening posts in India and transmitted to Whitehall.

Either the message was not sent or received properly or someone in Whitehall sculptured or adjusted it to read that Singapore had been taken with just 30,000 men.

Proof of this can be found in the Japanese memorial Victory Hill which the Japanese had built by Allied POWs immediately after the fall of Singapore and which was dedicated to 25,000 Japanese who gave their lives for their Emperor in the battle for Singapore. This memorial was destroyed by the British in 1946 immediately after the war. A further memorial.

Constructed at the same time in Gemas Malaya was dedicated to 35,000 Japanese who fell during the fighting in Malaya, Giving a total of 60,000 Japanese who were lost from the 8th December 1941 to 15th February 1942.

General Percival might not have had the stature of Rambo but I doubt any other general could or would have done any better in the same circumstance.




     The Fall of Singapore


By Arthur Lane

NESA Newpaper