Malayan Campaign - the Matador Plan

Topics: World War II, Royal Air Force, Imperial Japanese Army Pages: 18 (5816 words) Published: November 21, 2012


“Unfortunately, it has come to this, that either Japan must stop her expansion, or England must willingly give up some of what she has or hopes to have. Therein lies a cause for war.”

Lt Cdr Tota Ishimaru, Imperial Japanese Navy

1.The fall of Malaya and Singapore to the hand of the Japanese is a tremendous sign that showed the failure of Operation Matador. In this battle study, there are chronology of events that will guide us very closely in knowing and understanding the reason why this operation failed to meet its objectives. In doing the research on the background of the battle of Malaya and the relativity to the Operation Matador, our syndicate members came across a reference to a plan of action for the defence of Singapore codenamed “Matador”. In fact there were two plans, so totally different, that in the end they contributed to the downfall of Singapore. Both had their weaknesses and one of the major ones was the lack of co-ordination and command between the Army, Navy and Air Force. The other and more serious was a clash of ideals. The drawn-up plan was Land based Matador and Sea Based Matador.

2.From the research done, Operation Matador is not the sole reason for the fall of Malaya or even Singapore, besides there is some other reasons that had been identified as a contributing factor as well. This has been discussed in detail under the column of Battle Analysis. An examine on the lesson learned from this battle study would benefit the most as it focuses more on principles of war that will teaches us how, why, when and where it is applicable for an action plan taken at one time.


3.This paper will examine two main part of the whole study on Matador Plan. The first part is to analyze the incidents that occur prior and upon the operation called The Matador Plan. Secondly, it is fundamentals to determine the lessons learnt and the effects on both forces.


4.The main objective of this battle study is to meet the requirement of the EOBC serial 28/2006 and secondly is to learn and adapt the knowledge of the war history generally on the Malayan Campaign and specifically the Matador Plan. In this way the young officers would be able to use battle study as a comparison between previous and present state of battle warfare in order to meet any circumstances and decision makings in the near future.


5.Scope of discussions are as follow:

1)Pre-war examination.

2)Forces involved.

3)The Attack.

b.Matador Plan.
1)Land Based Matador
2)Sea Based Matador

c.Chronology of events.
d.Analysis on factors and effects.
e.Tactical aspects applied.
g.Lesson Learnt.



6.Before we look further into the Matador Plan, the fundamental or the main causes that inflict the war in Malaya should be given a consideration as it may be very useful in understanding the battle study. The battle in Malaya was a conflict between British Commonwealth forces, comprised of British, Indian, Australian and Malayan units, and the Imperial Japanese Army from December 8, 1941 until January 31, 1942 during the Second World War. Prior the attack by th Japanese forces, the British government's plans relied primarily on the stationing of a strong fleet at the Singapore Naval Base in the event of any enemy hostility, both to defend Britain's Far Eastern possessions and the route to Australia. At this time tension mounted in the region folowing the outbreak of the European war and the French in Indo-China clashed with the Thais. The Japanese make use of this as an oppurtunity with the increase on aggression over the region as well.

7.Upon the completion of the Singapore Naval Base and airfields on Singapore Island with other constructions on the Malayan Peninsula was underway, it was...

Bibliography: 1. Cull Brian, Buffaloes Over Singapore, Grub Street, London 2003.
2. Lt Gen AE Percival, The War in Malaya.
3. Sir John Smyth V.C, Percival and The Tragedy of Singapore, 1987.
4. Wikipedia, Battle of Malaya, HTML.
5. Chye Kooi Loong, The British Battalion In The Malayan Campaign 1941-1942, 2002.
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