Sadiq Khan is Wrong on Scottish Nationalism.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s comments regarding Scottish nationalism are not only unfounded, but deeply detrimental to the efforts of the Scottish Labour Party. Additionally, he is merely furthering the division we see across the Scottish political landscape.

Similar to what we encountered during the Brexit campaign, it is very counterproductive to simply stereotype an entire demographic of people as racist, bigoted or antiquated in their beliefs. Scottish nationalism is none of the above, and, despite my opposition to Scottish independence in 2014, I have come to find the the engagement in Scotland post-IndyRef to be a positive and refreshing outcome.

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Mayor Khan’s speech at the Scottish Labour Party Conference this weekend past merely sought to fan the flames of Scottish nationalist fervour. He is correct on one count at least, another independence referendum would be extremely destabilising. Nonetheless, should we abandon the process of democracy merely to maintain stability? I disagree entirely. During the IndyRef campaign of 2014, we regularly heard cries of ‘vote No to remain in the EU‘ – Only to see ourselves heading toward a hard Brexit having voted overwhelmingly to remain. Scotland is entitled to another referendum on this basis alone, and when you consider that we are now governed by a party that holds one seat from 59 in Scotland, and a Prime Minister whom we did not elect, then the choice is crystal clear.

“Now is not the time to fuel that division or to seek separation or isolation. Now is not the time to play on people’s fears or to pit one part of our country – or one section of our society – against another.”

I do not fully believe that Khan’s comments signaled a belief that Scotland was a particularly racist or bigoted nation. He is merely playing on the current mindset of many in the UK and across the western world. Populism is on the rise, and with this, we see an growing isolationist rhetoric from both the British and American governments, along with right-wing candidates in France.

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However it appears he does not fully understand the fundamental aspects of the Scottish separatist movement. It is regarded as ‘civic nationalism’ and not one based entirely on ideological differences to our English neighbours, nor does it have any racial or religious undertones to it. It is based firmly around the sovereignty of Scottish citizens and the right for any nation to dictate its policies, both foreign and domestic.

He said: “We celebrate our diversity and take pride in our tolerance. We strive for equality and to increase opportunities. And we fight tooth and nail for fairness and inclusion.”

Sadly, his comments only prove the lack of understanding that Westminster has regarding Scotland’s issues. Throughout the referendum campaign, all of the ideals he speaks of were mentioned and were at the forefront of the debate. Why then would he imply that Scotland’s political movements do not bear these characteristics? Is the Labour Party alone in championing inclusion and diversity in the UK? I would argue that in light of the Brexit result, they have not done so, choosing instead to follow a process that will potentially stifle inclusion and diversity, led by a government that is by no means ‘striving’ for opportunities and equality.

At a moments notice he was pounced upon by commentators and voters from across the political spectrum. It’s actually quite refreshing to see a cross-party, unilateral denial of his statement. It proves once again that despite political differences, Scottish voters are very much still same boat in some sense.

This is another indictment of Labour’s downfall north of the border. To say their influence in Scotland has been diminishing would be an enormous understatement – They’ve been free falling. The 2015 Westminster Elections saw Labour lose all but one seat in Scotland, a victory of monumental proportions for the SNP, and one that reflected the changing tide of Scottish political ideals. Labour have lost touch with their roots, the Blairite years were the final nail in the coffin and now, the game has changed in both a UK-wide and Scottish sense.

Once the working man’s party, Labour were guaranteed victories across the board, and with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm of the party, one would have assumed that a shift to the left, back to basics and a resurgence in Scotland would be on its way, but this has not been the case at all. It has merely resulted in a series of damaging losses, with the Copeland by-election signalling the end of Corbyn and Labour’s leftist experiment.

The great paradox of Scottish politics today is that we predominantly associate ourselves as a ‘left-leaning’ nation. Historically Labour had held great sway in Scotland through their links with trade unions and their working man’s mantra. The SNP are by no means polar opposite to this, but they bear all the characteristics of a modern, centrist Labour Party as opposed to the party of old.

However the15825713351_a831284e27_z SNP has exquisitely capitalised on the growing discord among the young, politically engaged Scottish electorate. One that is growing increasingly tired of casting votes overwhelmingly toward one ideological wing, only to see it overruled by a mere portion of the rUK electorate.

 

Additionally, post-Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan appeared to be on good terms, offering an alternative voice in the opposition to government proposals on the issue. In light of this however it seems that this apparently tentative alliance of sorts still has major differences, and confirms what the SNP have been claiming for years; Labour are no longer the party for Scotland.

 

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February 27, 1776

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In North Carolina, Patriots defeat loyalists at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge.

The Royal Governor, Josiah Martin, had been attempting to create a large Loyalist force, made up of local loyalists as well as Scots settlers, and had permission to raise a regiment that would be known as the Royal Highland Emigrants.  Patriots, on the other hand, had been organizing Continental Army militia units ever since word of the Battles of Lexington and Concord had come to them.   When he became aware of a planned British Army expedition in the area, Governor Martin ordered the Loyalist militia to form in anticipation of their arrival.  Rebels mobilized to prevent this, and blockaded several routes until the Loyalists found themselves forced to confront them at Moore’s Creek Bridge, which is about eighteen miles north of Wilmington.  The Loyalists were poorly armed, but charged across the bridge wielding their…

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February 27

Little Bits of History

1964: Italy requests help to save an iconic landmark. The Torre di Pisa, or as we call it, the Tower of Pisa, has been leaning since before it was even fully constructed. The freestanding bell tower is part of the cathedral built in the Italian city and known worldwide for its distinctive tilt. It is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square with only the Cathedral itself and the Pisa Baptistry older. Groundbreaking took place in 1173 but there was inadequate foundation for the structure. The ground on one side was too soft to support the weight of the tower.

It took 199 years to built the tower. Work began during a period of military success and therefore, local prosperity. When the work on the second floor began, the tower began its slow and inexorable tilt. The structure,  which eventually rose 184 feet into the sky, was built on…

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Echo & the Funny Men

The Trump administrations’ latest in a seemingly never ending line of gaffs has been to prevent certain news organisations from White House briefings. CNN, BBC and the New York Times have been singled out  and banned for…well, reporting the news. This news of course, is actual news, and not the fake news Donald Trump so often reminds us of.

Or is it fake news? At this point (31 days into his presidency) I’m honestly not sure. The lines between reality and dystopian sci-fi nightmare were already blurring as state results were swinging in his favour last November, so you can forgive me for not having a clue what he’s on about half the time.

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The maniacal nature of this presidency is anxiety inducing, tear-jerking and terrifying – it is everything you want from a Sunday Netflix binge. Sadly however, it is real, and in and amongst the cringe worthy interviews, satirical slaughtering of Trump, his staff, and support, along with the occasional bursts of ‘wow did he just..?’ there is a suspicious undercurrent of authoritarianism.

News organisations such as the BBC are often accused of bias. Ask a broad range of Scots and you will likely be met with an unequivocal rejection of this idea, or, an extended explanation as to how the BBC influenced every sentient life form in Scotland during the run up to the 2014 independence referendum. Brexiteers also followed this route, lambasting the BBC and main stream media for portraying their cause in a negative light…whilst they lied through their back teeth about NHS budget increases.

The BBC has its flaws, its shortcomings and its scandals, but it is a fantastic and informative service to the public,  the same can be said about their co-conspirators in this diabolical MSM propaganda campaign, it is a disgrace that they have been cast out.

Since his election, there has been no shortage of news to report from Washington, and the air time reflects this. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s just getting boring now, but the fact of the matter is that everything the press has reported thus far has either been announced by the White House, or proclaimed loudly by Trump himself (most likely on stage, in front of numerous other news organisations who also publish and broadcast his statements).

We are of course talking about news here, stories as they unfold, not opinion or punditry. Nonetheless, the media has a right to air or publish content such as this, if the White House can’t handle an opinion piece, then do they have the ‘stamina’ that Trump so boldly declared he had?

How can the White House exile these organisations in good conscience?

Wait, let me rephrase that…

How can the White House now morally or legally justify exiling them?

Hang on, I’ll try again…In fact no, no I will not try to rationalise this.

The reality of the situation here is that the Trump administration is desperately clambering to control the narrative, and by refusing to engage with news organisations critical of the government, branding them ‘fake news’ or biased, they think they can maintain this control through their own channels – They are gravely mistaken. With each passing threat toward the media and with every day they are locked out, the Trump administration loses what little reputation it even had in the first place, and places the ball into the court of the opposition and the press.

A fundamental aspect of any democracy is a free press and a transparent government. These two are delicately entwined and have been for decades. To restrict the press from carrying out its role of informing the public, and holding power structures to account, is an insult to the system itself and those living in it. Furthermore, it is a stain on the legacy of the idols they revere; Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln Et al

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In the alt-right echo chamber that Trump, his supporters and puppet master Steve Bannon exist, they feel safe and secure. After all, if you disregard opposing beliefs and ideologies, viewing your own as superior and everyone else as a cuck or snowflake, then it’s easy to understand why you’d be so eager to suppress everything else, you’re doing the world a favour. It would also be nice to imagine a world where nobody disagreed, where everyone conformed to the same thoughts and beliefs. (if you’d like to read more about this I’d suggest George Orwell’s ‘1984’.)

If your sources of information are through news outfits such as Breitbart, known for its sensationalist and often offensive content, or InfoWars, led by a man who believes the upper echelons of the Democrat Party are part of an inter-dimensional, vampiric paedophile ring* – I’m being serious here – then I imagine your life would be pretty peachy. After all, ignorance is bliss as they say.

A real democrat however would relish the opportunity to see debate flourish, political engagement rise and a population elevated. A true patriot would welcome a stronger democracy, and in turn a stronger nation. The golden boy of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, would have rolled his sleeves up and slugged it out in a manner befitting of the office, he wouldn’t run away and scream 140 characters worth of bile onto social media.

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Trump is none of the above, and seeks to restrict those things, instead relying on ignorance and intolerance to control, through marginalising large parts of the populace and de-legitimising the pillars of democracy. We have seen on a number of occasions in the past century where a free press is portrayed as an enemy of the people, and these have largely been in totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Maoist China – Is this any way for the President of the United States to act?

For a man and a movement that so often squeals about freedom of speech, he doesn’t seem too keen on ensuring it works both ways.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a real democrat, century’s old but still frighteningly relevant:

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

* For more on Alex Jones’ mind boggling statements see: Joe Rogan Podcast episode 911

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Dreams of the Past: A United Celtic Kingdom

Throughout the late 13th to early 14th century, the British Isles were the scene of bloody conflict. The Scottish wars of Independence, initiated with the rebellion of William Wallace and Andrew Moray – and completed by Robert Bruce – were arduous, brutal conflicts that tore at the very fabric of medieval Britain.

Scotland had long been prized by the English, who dominated both mainland Britain and Ireland. Although an independent Kingdom, Scotland was easily controlled as the smaller, weaker kingdom, often engulfed by petty rebellion, famine & poverty. King Edward I had maintained a firm grasp on the Scots through the puppet king John Balliol, who attempted to rebel but found himself in the Tower of London for his petulance.

King Edward I is the archetypal authoritarian ruler of the Medieval period. Unrelenting, intelligent and cruel to those who oppose him. He viewed the Scots, Irish and Welsh with an enormous contempt, believing them lesser. He crushed the rebellion of William Wallace, had him hung, drawn and quartered. A frightening taste of his vengeance were you to challenge his rule. His death however, marked a downward spiral in Britain that would see war and famine rule supreme. His son Edward II was not of the same cloth – Often portrayed as a gentile, perhaps weak man, incapable of the strength or cruelty his father possessed.

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With Scotland’s sovereignty firmly secured after Bannockburn in 1314, it would be safe to assume that Bruce would solidify his rule in Scotland and prepare for any future attacks from England. A Medieval defense strategy, utilising Scotland’s natural barriers; Its mountain ranges, glens, rivers and turbulent coastline. However that was not the case. In a very much unacknowledged period of British history, Scotland was on the front foot and could even claim to have been the dominant player in the game.

Edward Bruce, under the orders of his brother, King Robert, launched an offensive in Ireland to unite the two regions under the crowns of both Robert and Edward. The former would retain control of Scotland, and the latter would adopt the mantel of High King of Ireland. This bold strategy would have the potential to completely change the dynamic of Medieval politics in the British Isles, and forge a kingdom formidable enough to match England, and other nations in mainland Europe.

The reasoning behind this is quite clear; Open up a second front against the English, stretch their capabilities and capitalise on the weakness of King Edward II, who appeared to be completely blind to the military and political reality of the situation he found himself in post-Bannockburn.

Support for this action in Ireland was welcomed by some in the North. Historically the Bruce family had ties to the Ulster region through their mother Marjorie, the Countess of Carrick. With both Celtic and Norman heritage, the Bruce’s had ample opportunity to create a lasting, cross-cultural dynasty. However, as with the cultural self-determination of the Scots, the Irish had long been wary of foreign interference – regardless of shared heritage between the Scots and Irish

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In May 1315, after being declared the rightful heir to his brother’s kingship, Edward Bruce landed in Ireland with a force believed to be around 5,000 men. At this time, Ireland was divided into a series of smaller, petty kingdoms, many of whom initially opposed Edward. However in June of 1315, King Donall O’Neil of Tyrone swore fealty to Edward, along with a dozen other northern kings, proclaiming Edward as King of Ireland.

Irish accounts of the time state: “they consented to him being proclaimed King of Ireland and all the Gaels.”

With this act, Edward had secured a significant foothold in Ireland, ruling much of middle and eastern Ulster. This plunged the English nobility into a frenzy. English control of Ireland had been secure for a number of years, and was highly profitable to the kingdom. With such a disastrous defeat a mere 12 months before at Bannockburn, and now the establishing of a united kingdom in Northern Ireland, many in England were losing what little faith they had left in the monarchy.

After seizing Carrickfergus, Bruce marched south, taking Dundalk. In a quintessential Medieval fashion, Bruce laid waste to the town, raising virtually all of the buildings and massacring indiscriminately both the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish people’s there. Although an act of shocking barbarism, it is clear the Bruce did so to intimidate the opposing Irish dominions that he would later encounter. Instilling fear into the enemy of the present – and those he would meet further on, would prove to be an effective move on his part.

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In July, Bruce would face his greatest test thus far of his budding kingship. At Sliabh Breagh, near Ardee, he was faced with two opposing forces. Led by Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his ally, Felim mac Aedh Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, Bruce faced a formidable challenge to his advance. The second opposing force, led by Edmund Butler, Earl of Carrick, looked to surround Bruce and hamper his supplies and potential retreat.

Rather than face off against a numerically superior force, Bruce decided to withdraw, sacking the town of Coleraine during his retreat, and isolated De Burgh’s forces after burning the bridge passing over the river Bann. In a second act of genius, he parlayed with rivals to Felim, King of Connacht, who then invaded his kingdom, forcing him to withdraw and suppress the rebellion at home.

After crossing the river Bann, fresh with supplies and troops, Bruce defeated De Burgh near Connor in September.

English dominion in Ireland was on the ropes. Could the Bruce’s be defeated? Was this the beginning of the end or the Plantagenet dynasty and the heralding of a new dominant name in the form of the Bruce’s?

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Prophetical tales of Robert Bruce being King Arthur reborn began to circulate around the English kingdom, and Edward II went so far as to execute those who were proliferating these prophecies.

The idea of this is particularly interesting. Dating back centuries, the tale of King Arthur points toward a resurgence of the subjugated Celtic people’s in the British Isles. The deposition of the largely Saxon & Norman based culture now prevalent on the island, and the ascension of Celtic culture would completely alter history as we know it.

From an English perspective, this was absolutely unacceptable. Were Ireland to fall entirely into the hands of The Bruce’s, then by rights, Wales would likely follow suit on accounts of their Brythonic heritage. Additionally, England had claim to Irish holdings through Papal Decree. If the Papacy decided to abandon this in favour of Edward, the outcome was bleak.

This exact scenario almost came to fruition in 1317. After two years of tentative but successful campaigning in Ireland, supporters of Edward Bruce requested that Pope John XXII delegitimise the English claim to Ireland in support of Edward. Fortunately for King Edward II, this request was ignored.

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This proved to be the perfect opportunity through which Edward II could re-establish his rule. He called upon the Anglo-Irish Council – an institutional method of regional control – to begin preparations for a joint effort against the Scots-Irish alliance. Reinforcements were dispatched to Ireland in light of recent losses, which saw a joint force against Edward Bruce beaten back and the sacking of Kells.

After wintering in Loughswedy, Edward Bruce began preparations to move further toward his ultimate goal. However support was beginning to dwindle. The denial of Pope John XXII dented his pride and legitimacy. Furthermore, Edward’s supply methods were beginning to tire among the Irish population. A continual supply chain from Scotland was not viable at the time, and so they resorted to pillage and plundering the regions through which they traveled. With their logistics strained, Edward failed to completely control the regions he had conquered thus far, and his lack of popularity grew further.

History is often cruel, and we see that events are shaped by the circumstances under which they arise. This occasion is no different. From 1315-17 Europe suffered through what became known as the Great Pan-European Famine, and Ireland shared in this turmoil. With a lack of food, no army can survive, disease will spread and the numbers will dwindle over time. Edward, it seems, fell victim to the tumultuous nature of a primitive era, and he was finally defeated and killed at the Battle of Faughart in 1318.

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Not much is known of the Battle of Faughart, other than that Bruce was the architect of his own defeat. After making a series of safe plays previously, he may have been over-confident in his ability to outwit the Anglo-Irish forces he faced. His Irish allies are said to have refused to engage with the enemy outside Dundalk, and as such he placed them at the rear, in a strategically ineffective stance, choosing his Scottish troops to lead the vanguard.

In addition to this, he decided not to wait for reinforcements from home. Scottish chronicler John Barbour, as well as the Annals of Clonmacnoise both correlate their claims when stating

[He was] “anxious to obtain the victory for himself, he did not wait for Sir John Stewart’s brother.”

Contrary to these accounts, English chronicles of the time point toward Edward’s confidence in battle, and, a level of naivety and incompetence.

“The Scots were in three columns at such a distance from each other that the first was done with before the second came up, and then the second before the third, with which Edward was marching could render any aid. Thus the third column was routed just as the two preceding ones had been. Edward fell at the same time and was beheaded after death; his body being divided into four quarters, which were sent to the four chief quarters of Ireland.”

With a final hammer blow, this sounded the end of Robert Bruce’s master plan for a united Celtic kingdom. Scotland’s security was assured to a degree, however the risk of their powerful English neighbours seeking revenge was ever present. Scotland did have successes on mainland Britain in the years following however. In 1322, the Battle of Byland in Yorkshire lays claim to Scotland’s most significant victory over England since Bannockburn, albeit on a smaller scale. In the centuries to come, peace was never assured, and both Scotland and England regularly made plays throughout the border regions of both respective kingdoms.

One must ponder the impact upon British and European history this would have had, were it successful. The combined area, population, wealth and might of Scotland and Ireland may have proven a buffer against English aggression during the period. Had victory been achieved, the Welsh may have also taken up arms against English dominion and joined this kingdom. With defeat, often comes blame, and it would likely be placed solely at the feet of King Edward II. His deposition would have been inevitable, and civil war likely.

A weakened England would be unable to compete with the French on mainland Europe, and the British Isles may have seen a dominant military, political and cultural force in the form of the Scots-Irish Kingdom, rather than Anglo-Norman, thus massively changing history as we know it.

 

Singapore: A Nail in the Empire’s Coffin.

On the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Singapore, one can reflect on the monumental impact this event had upon the British Empire. During the height of World War Two, to lose such a strategic position in the Far East was, to put it bluntly, a failure of cataclysmic proportions.

Britain had retained its dominance in the Far East for the best part of a century , and as with the tradition of colonialism, had done so through brute force, with millions dying in China & India during decades of British control. In fact, as Japanese Imperial forces besieged the island fortress, millions were dying in India as a direct result of British policy.

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This event marks the beginning of the end for both British and European dominance in the region . Once firmly under the thumb of European capitalist powers, the grip of these nations was slipping in the face of unparalleled Japanese expansion, and ultimately led to the complete disintegration of colonial rule in the decades following.

The political impact of this at the time, and the years following World War Two cannot be ignored, and the story of Singapore’s fall is a bloody, brutal one, resulting in countless deaths that continued to rise in the months & years following. Japan solidified its position as a power to be reckoned with, their tactics during the invasion of Malaya and the attack on Singapore were both dynamic and ferocious in equal measure, it was this fanaticism and ferocity that led the Allied Powers to take drastic measures in combating the Japanese, later leading to the use of atomic weaponry.

During their push toward the Gibraltar of the East, Japanese divisions were instructed not to take prisoners, as it would slow down the advance upon their target, and place pressure on the logistical aspects of the invading forces. Hundreds of wounded were murdered, and countless civilians who were believed to have helped the allies were also murdered. From reports at the time, it was claimed that Australian prisoners and civilians were doused in petrol and set ablaze – These claims paint harrowing similarities to their occupation of Manchuria and the rape of Nanking.

Japan’s relentless advance was met with complete disbelief by the British command, who viewed them with the same contempt we so commonly see toward non-whites and colonial insurrections at the time. Britain did not see Japan as a threat to their empire or holdings, one that stretched across the globe and upon which the sun never sets. This arrogance, in response to the actions of supposed smaller nations, or powers deemed inferior, had led to disastrous defeats in the past for Britain.

The Boer War, several invasions of Afghanistan and the First World War seemed not to pester the minds of British imperialists and military commanders. British imperial power was absolute, who could possibly challenge the Royal Navy? Take Singapore? Simply preposterous. Singapore’s governor, Sir Shenton Thomas, reflected the mood and culture within the British command when he is alleged to have said: “Well, I suppose you’ll shove the little men off.”.

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It was this complacency, lack of planning and incompetency that led to the fall of Singapore. The fine-tuned, highly disciplined Japanese military was rampaging throughout South-East Asia and the Pacific, and was soon to land upon the shores of Singapore Island and obliterate all before it. Initial intelligence had Britain believe any invasion of Singapore would come by sea, despite army forces encroaching upon the Malaya colony, and as such, defences were altered to cater for such an attack.

These beliefs seemed to have been proven correct, as in late 1941, the Imperial Navy launched an offensive in the area. British vessels such as HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were destroyed by torpedo bombing during a naval skirmish. This surprised Naval Command, dealt a killer blow to the illusion of British naval superiority,  and eliminated Britain’s naval defence of the Island and greater area.

Casting our gaze toward the land defence of the Malayan colony, one would assume the advantage lay with the Empire forces, dug deep in their island fortress with efficient supply lines. General Percival, commander of Army Forces in Malaya, had 90,000 men at his disposal, compared with the 65,000 men the Japanese could field.

However, as with the Russian advance on Germany in the late days of the war, battle experience played a key role. Many of the men under the command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita had seen combat in Manchuria, a bloody campaign carried out with a Wehrmacht level of efficiency and precision – Many of the British forces had never fired a shot in anger. A series of bloody battles erupted on the Malayan Peninsula and the British, Indian & Australian forces – unable to hold at bay the ferocious Japanese infantry – sounded a full retreat. They were pursued relentlessly and on February 8th 1942, 23,000 men crossed the Straits of Johor.

Defending forces were bloodied, exhausted and spread too thin, and could not match the speed and ferocity of the invading force. In a cruel twist of fate, Britain’s previous intelligence came back to haunt the defending divisions. Singapore’s formidable artillery batteries were all but rendered useless, as they pointed toward the sea and were of little use. Britain had placed all its chips on an invasion force arriving from the completely opposite direction – The gamble failed.

Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war. Japanese forces ran amok throughout the island, in scenes reminiscent of their invasion of Manchuria several years previously, killing indiscriminately and with no concern for the gentrified illusion of war that British troops had become so accustomed to. Alexandria hospital was attacked, with little attention paid toward Red Cross symbols, nor mercy granted to the wounded & sick. Patients and staff were murdered and dozens were held outside overnight, bound tightly together with little water or food.

Fighting on the streets of Singapore was fierce, but allied forces could not withstand the tide of Japanese troops. Over 100,000 men were captured, thousands of whom were to meet their fate on the hallowed Burma Railway.

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The surrender of colonial forces is a monumental moment in British Military history, and in the months & years following, commanders came under intense scrutiny for their incompetence, as well as their fleeing of the island, condemning their men to cruelty and death. On the eve of the invasion, Winston Churchill is claimed to have said:

“Commanders and their senior officers should die with their troops. The honour of the British Empire and the British Army is at stake.”

Despite this defeat, British arrogance and disbelief still remained, with Gordon Bennett, Lieutenant General and Officer in Command of Australian forces stating:

“The whole operation seems incredible; 550 miles in 55 days – forced back by a small Japanese army of only two divisions, riding stolen bicycles and without artillery support.”

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The humiliation of defeat and the solidification of Japanese power in South East Asia is often the focal point of the Malayan theatre. However the fall of Singapore leaves an often unacknowledged legacy.

Although victory against Japan would be eventually be achieved, the defeat leads to a series of events that would ultimately destroy European control in Asia. Japan, hardened and uplifted by their victory, would continue to march ever further toward the ultimate goal, the jewel in the Empire’s crown – India, placing further pressure on Britain in a brutal conflict in the jungles of Burma. It greatly damaged the seemingly invincible position of the British in the East, and, in the years and decades following the war, dozens of colonies – specifically Vietnam – would rebel against British, French & Dutch rule, thus plunging the world’s newest superpower into an unwinnable conflict.