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Ramblings and Musings

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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Singapore Naval base in Australia? 

I was discussing the pacific side of WW2 with David and I realised just how stupid the decision to build Singapore Naval base was. Not just the commander, a competent commander could have held the base, but the location as well. It’s built in a nation that has natives who don’t like Britain very much, as well as too near the Japanese for comfort and on the end of a long supply line.

What if, however, the British had built their Far East naval base on Australia instead? There would be some issues about sovenity with the Australians, but they could have been resolved. Britain could lease or be given the land as an extraterritorial location, perhaps, and the British could guarantee to employ Australian workers, as well as building ships for the RAN/RNZN.

Singapore itself could have been left as a small resupply depot, not very important, although the Japanese would have had to grab it anyway. The British could also have expanded the bases in India to make up for the Indian defences.

So, what effect does this have? First, the British won’t suffer a humilitating defeat in the early days of the pacific war. This would mean that they had more forces to face the Japanese in Burma and possibly India. Meanwhile, Australia would be stronger and would make life difficult for the Japanese in the Corel Sea. (Or more difficult than it was in OTL.)

Thoughts?

Chris

posted by Chris  # 5/15/2004 01:46:00 pm

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