The Battle Of Singapore Essay

2932 words - 12 pages

Introduction
The Battle of Singapore took place during World War II from January 31 to February 15, 1942. The two opposing forces were the British and Japanese. Lieutenant General Author Percival led 85, 000 men to defend the war while Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita commanded the invasion with 36, 000 men. The onslaught to invade British Malaya commenced in December 8, 1941. During this period, General Yamashita started invading this British colony from Indochina and subsequently from Thailand. The Japanese forces that invaded Malaya were obviously outnumbered by the British forces, but they intelligently concentrated their forces and applied combined army skills learned and acquired in earlier campaigns to drive back and flank their enemies frequently. The Japanese forces rapidly acquired air superiority over the Britons, and they exacted a demoralizing blow on the British forces, when a Japanese aircraft sank two integral British battleships. The Japanese also used bicycles and light tanks to swiftly maneuver through the peninsula’s jungles, in order to attack the British armies. Although General Percival was reinforced, his forces were unable to halt the Japanese invasion and in the end, they withdrew from the peninsula and took refuge in the island of Singapore to prepare for the final fight with the anticipated Japanese forces. In the end, the British army lost the war because the Japanese forces expertly combined speed, savagery, and surprise without permitting the British forces to re-group and strategize. The Japanese were able to invade Singapore because of their dominance on the unprepared British forces. They efficiently applied the principles of mass, surprise, objective and unity of command by focusing on their outnumbered forces and acquiring local superiority as the attacks continued throughout Singapore.

The principles of warfare
Mass
Mass as a principle of warfare involves the effects of overwhelming combat power, which is applied at the decisive time and place. This also involves getting to the battleground the fastest. According to this warfare tactic, emphasizing on mass is extremely significant and vital in battle. For example, three friendly forces shooting at a single enemy is better as compared to being in the receiving end of such forces. However, this principle is often violated because mass and mobility are mostly overlooked in army strategies. This often results to superior army forces sometime losing this advantage to the enemy and being defeated in battle. For instance, in the battle of Singapore, the British forces numbers clearly outnumbered the Japanese forces, but because of poor mobility, they lost the battle. The mass of the British forces contained about 90,000 men, encompassing Indian, Australian and British troops. Although the British forces contained the mass in the war, most of the troops were unskilled and had never fired a single shot in their lives. The British contained a strong naval...

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