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Global Britain fell with Singapore

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, February 16th, 2022 - 4 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, defence, disaster, Europe, Russia, Syria, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:

Today February 15th is the 80th anniversary of the fall of Singapore in 1942, described by many as Britain’s worst military disaster. It was a massive strategic fail, and its effect is still powerful today, most notably with Australia’s lockstep with the US. Current British strategists don’t seem to have learnt a thing.

As many commentators have noted, the fall of Singapore marked the end of the British Empire. Australia saw itself betrayed and became totally dependent for its security on the United States, a state of affairs that has persisted to this day.  The level of British incompetence mixed with arrogance was appalling. My uncle was sent to his death along with 27 others in a last-minute suicide raid in daylight flying an obsolete biplane against modern Japanese fighters.

One of the many disasters was the sinking of the latest battleship HMS Prince of Wales along with HMS Repulse on December It had arrived in Singapore days earlier, and set out to bombard the Japanese landings in Northern Malaya and Thailand. It had no air cover as the aircraft carrier which was supposed to be with it had run aground in Jamaica. Its commander Admiral Tom Phillips thought that it was immune to air attack, and he would be out of range of aircraft flying from occupied Indochina.

He was disastrously wrong on all counts. Japanese aircraft flying from Indochina bombed and torpedoed both ships and they went to a watery grave with the loss of  840 sailors. Phillips went down with his ship.

8o years later history seems to be repeating itself. HMS Prince of Wales, one of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers is apparently leading the NATO fast reaction maritime task force, partly no doubt to counter any Russian intrusion into Ukraine. It has now returned to its home port in Portsmouth. One can conjecture why – the Russians have just sent two Tupolev Tu22M3M and one Mig-31K to Hmeimim airbase in Syria armed with Kinzhal hypersonic anti-shipping missiles.

Faced with these missiles, aircraft carriers are just large floating targets. HMS Prince of Wales’ sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth spent a few months last year roaming around the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea showing the flag for ‘Global Britain.’

Britannia might have ruled the waves in the 19th century, but that is certainly now no longer the case. All these ships represent, useless as they are,  is a colossal waste of money and a colossal failure of strategy for the needs of the 21st century. The maritime powers US and UK with their emblems of seaborne  militarism no longer impress.




4 comments on “Global Britain fell with Singapore ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Russia has always had advanced rocket engineering.

    The US had to use a continual flight of b52 bombers up until 1965 when the US caught up with ICBM,s.

    Now with hypersonic missiles Russia has now the upper hand again how accurate are these hypersonic missiles is the question.

    The UK aircraft carriers are run on diesel and can only stay at sea for 2wks at a time unsupported.So are not much of a threat.

    The F35 fighters are less than reliable as well as very expensive to buy then run.

    If Russia or China find away around stealth the west's advanced fighters will be useless.

    Most stealth planes can only fly in good weather as the stealth coatings wash off in the rain.

    New technology is unsurpping expensive planes with expensive pilots.

    Just look at the recent drone attack on refining facilities in Dubai.

  2. Subliminal 2

    I would tend to go further and say that we are witnessing the end of the ability to dictate to the world based on naval power. Russia has been forced to become largely self sufficient through the application of ever more severe sanctions. It could be argued that Russia is the first country to survive in strengthened form this type of attack.

    Sanctions are a type of siege that seeks starve the targeted population-based of food, resources and energy and to succeed must have the ability to control sea lanes. Russia is sparsely populated and very large and well endowed with resources. Under siege, they have realised the value of cooperation with other besieged close neighbours. The size and access to resources and development of technology of the combined nations is now beyond the ability of any naval power to restrict. The realisation of the mutual benefits of cooperation by the besieged nations means they will continue with their winning stategy and grow as more nations join. The naval powers will become irrelevant.

  3. Dean Reynolds 3

    The Allied army which surrendered in Singapore was commanded by a General Percival who was in the same tradition as all the other incompetent British Generals who shambled their way through both world wars, needlessly sacrificing their men's lives.

    During the Irish 'troubles' in the early 1920's, Churchill sent the notorious Black & Tans into Ireland to subdue the population & 'persuade' them not to seek independance from the UK. The Black & Tans were ruthless – they tortued & murdered innocent Irish civilians. Percival, then a Colonel, was one of the worst of the Black & Tan commanders. The IRA unsuccessfully tried to assasinate Percival but he survived, to ignominiously surrender Singapore to the Japaneses, 80 years ago today. What goes round comes round.

  4. DS 4

    My paternal grandfather actually was on the HMS Prince of Wales (he survived). He always blamed the higher-ups for inadequate air cover.

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