The Principles of War Podcast

Category : Malaya

The Malayan Campaign lasted from the 8th of December through to the 31st of January with the land battle for Singapore taking place from the 7th to 15th of February.

For the Allies, this represented a series of shocks.

For the Australians, the realisation for the politicians that the ‘Singapore Strategy’ was fatally flawed – something that the Generals had understood for years.

For the Royal Navy, the coming to terms with the passing of the supremacy of the Battleship as the land and carrier aviation exerted its dominance of the Kings of the World War I fleets.

For Churchill, the speed of the Japanese Victory decreased his bargaining position with the Americans.  He had hoped for a Bataanesque resistance, however, he was presented with a rapid capitulation from LT GEN Percival.

This Podcast series aims to answer a series of questions:

  • How was LT GEN Yamashita able to take the Malayan Peninsula and the island bastion of Singapore so quickly?
  • Why was the Singapore Strategy so flawed?
  • How did logistics play a part in the Japanese offensive?
  • How did strategic surprise manifest itself for the Allies?
  • How did Australia throw away 2 Brigades of the 8th Division?
  • How did MAJ GEN Gordon Bennett get to command the 8th Division?

The Malayan Campaign is one of the most manouvrist campaigns the Australian Army has ever been involved in.  This PME podcast series seeks to demonstrate how the Australian Army

As often occurs, key mistakes were made at Brigade, Divisional and within Malaya Command, but often at Battalion level and lower, well lead soldiers put up strong resistance.

By the Fall of Singapore, the Japanese had suffered 9,657 casualties.  The Allied toll was significantly higher – 145,703, including 15,703 casualties and 130,000 captured.

Listen to the podcast series to learn the lessons Malaya Campaign lessons in manoeuvre warfare, logistics, leadership and tactics and strategy.