The Main Reason Why the British Were Defeated in Malaya and Singapore During World War Ii Was Because of the Quality of Its Soldiers." How Far Do You Agree with This Statement? Explain Your Answer

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  • Topic: World War II, Second Sino-Japanese War, Anti-aircraft warfare
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  • Published : August 4, 2012
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The quality of the soldiers was definitely among the reasons as to why the British were defeated in Malaya and Singapore during WWII. Their morale was low as most of them were recruited not from the locals but from Nepal, Britain, India and elsewhere and so did not have the fortitude to defend Singapore. Furthermore, the soldiers defending Singapore were heterogeneous comprising of many races and nationalities and spoke different languages which posed a communication problem amount them. Additionally, there were also ill-trained and ill-equipped volunteers which were in sharp contrast to the well disciplined and well equipped Japanese army who were very energetic and aggressive.

In addition, the British rank and file were also not very committed to defending Singapore as they were from Britain and would not give it their all. Thus, when the British were having their final conference, most of the commanders were against the idea of counter-attacking the Japanese leading to a easy surrender by the British.

The air defence which included fighter planes were inferior and outdated compared to the Japanese "zero" fighters which were more accurate and faster. Even the two British battleships, "Prince of Wales" and "Repulse", protecting Malaya and Singapore which were thought to be an invincible fortress but were actually old and not battle-ready were eventually sunk by the Japanese torpedoes, cleaning the way for the final Japanese victory.

However, these were not the only reasons as to why the British were defeated. The strategies that the Japanese used were even more effective. For example, the British predicted that the japanese would have to invade singapore through the south as the north is covered by malaysia's jungles which were thought to be inaccessible to Japanese tanks. However, the Japanese proved them wrong as they were well-trained in jungle warfare. Using bicycles and tanks, they moved swiftly through Malaya, towards...
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