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"The British Empire's War Against Japan: A Reflection" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2023 8:48 p.m. PST

"The Empire's war against Japan witnessed constant military activity and the deployment east of Suez of hundreds of thousands of imperial service personnel on land, sea and air, from Australasia, from Britain, from East and West Africa, and from a rebuilt and vastly expanded Indian Army. It also involved thousands of men and women in units such as the Pacific coastwatchers, the Canadian regiments garrisoning Hong Kong, the Malay Regiment, the Ceylon Light Infantry, and the Mauritius Defence Force. Scores of RAF squadrons operated across the vastness of the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific, as did the enormous Eastern Fleet and, from 1944, the British Pacific Fleet.

It is a curiosity of historical memory, therefore, that it often appears in popular accounts of the war as if ‘Britain's' war against Japan petered out following the surrender at Singapore in February 1942, confined to little more than the Burma campaign thereafter. But very much on the contrary, imperial military activity continued, in Borneo, in the Dutch East Indies, in Ceylon, – a vital strategic point that became a surrogate Singapore following that island's capitulation, and in places such as New Guinea and British Pacific islands conquered by the Japanese. Imperial forces were also constantly active at sea and in the air, even when the Empire's fortunes were at their nadir in 1942. The Japanese raids on Ceylon, the conquest of Madagascar, SOE/Force 136 activities in occupied Malaya, Thailand, and beyond, Australia's long Pacific war, and Royal Navy deployments in defence of vital sea lanes connecting Britain to the Middle East via the Red Sea as well as to Gulf oil, were all part of a picture far broader than that painted by the emphasis on Burma…"

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Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2023 8:22 p.m. PST

British and Imperial commitment CERTAILY contunued… but after loss of Singapore and losses of Capital ships… Brit public interest was directed away… towards Western Desert war and Atlantic …where, to and fro… was less demoralising. Only with success in Burma and Naval actions as part of Allied Fleet, did it 'become' part of publicised domain. However, eclipsed by ETO. 'Forgotten Army'.
Brits remember VE day, but not VJ day.. Many did not get there.

steve dubgworth23 Mar 2023 12:09 p.m. PST

The 14th Army in Burma earned its name as the forgotten army by this media based amnesia.

The Royal Navy was serving with the US navy and its aircraft carriers gave sterling support.

the war also showed the development of special tactics geared towards jungle warfare Long Range Penetration campaigns (the Chindits) the use of strongholds to support large scale operations behind enemy lined (White City), the use of airpower to support long range operations by supplies and close firepower support.

even riverine warfare with V force.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2023 3:42 p.m. PST



Elenderil25 Mar 2023 10:23 a.m. PST

My Father served with the Royal Navy and was part of the pacific campaign post D-Day. He served on the Escort Carrier HMS Chaser with the Pacific fleet train. I have his photo album from the war which includes copies of the ships photographers official photographs. So the Far Eastern campaign isn't forgotten in every U.K. home.

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