SINGAPORE STRATEGY: The Role of the United States in Imperial Defense Author(s): Glen St.

John Barclay Source: Military Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr., 1975), pp. 54-59 Published by: Society for Military History Stable URL: . Accessed: 17/01/2011 12:41
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Society for Military History is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Military Affairs.

organismafter their recoveryand to of lessentheseverity theattackin some cases.

vi, 6-11. 36. Report on Epidemic 22. 1. 31. Reporton Epidemic Cholera,1867, 37. Ibid., 26. 357-358. The 32. Powers and Younger, 38. Ibid., 40. as suchepidemics this of problem tracing 39. Ibid., 42. by one is compounded severalproblems. 40. Ibid., 55. One is that newspaperand other con41. Ibid., 43. in of reports the epidemic temporaneous 42. Ibid., 51. and are populations contradictory civilian 43. Ibid., 41. inaccurate. Newspapers in particular 44. Ibid., 51. have a penchant for minimizingor 45. Ibid., 41-52. ignoring the problem. Even among 46. Report on Epidemic wherefairlygood vi. military populations, of werekept,theidentification a records 47. Ibid., 26. Thisis diseasemaybe in doubt. recorded 48. Ibid., 30. because diagnoseswere made solely on 49. Ibid., 45. noneof the thebasis ofsymptoms-since 50. Ibid., 30. testswereavailablelaboratory modern 51. Ibid., 22. be and such diagnosesmay frequently 52. Ibid., 35. questionedwhen other diseases with 53. Ibid., 40. in may symptoms be occurring the similar 54. Ibid., 54. Not the least of the same population. 55. Ibid., 55. of is difficultiesthatthecharacteristics a causative organismmay change from 56. Ibid., 48. Ibid., to one time timeorfrom strain another. 57. Ibid., 36. to Thus, some importantcharacteristics 58. Ibid., 25. 46, 52, 56. 59.

Cholera, 1866,

Cholera, 1867,

the affecting spread and impact of the 60. The first treatment to meet with the pardisease, such as how virulent of strain or whatproportion the considerable success was intravenous is ticular may becomecarriersand for replacementof fluid and elements. Until population and howlong,are unknown unknowable. recently,oral replacement therapy had
33. Report on Epidemic Cholera, 1867, vii.

34. Powersand Younger, 365.

35. Report on Epidemic Cholera, 1867

not been popular. Now, however, it is coming into much wider use. Its advantages include decreasing the need for intravenousfluids by 70 to 80 percent in

the need for severe cases and eliminating intravenousfluidsin mild cases, and the low cost and wide availability-important factors in today's cholera-endemic countries(David Nalin,Richard Cash, and MizanurRahman, "Oral (or Nasogastric) Maintenance Therapy for Cholera Patients in All Age Groups," in Bulletin of the World Health Organization, XLIII (1970), 361-363). 61. The importance of sanitation is in illustrated a recenthealthsurveyof the Mekong River region of Laos. The surveyorsconcluded that "a principal cause of disease in Laos was related to water resources and storage" (Max Courson, "Health SurveyAlongtheMekongRiver," in Health Services Reports, LXXXVII especially 209). (Mar. 1972), 205-211, 62. For discussions of the role of sanitationin the controlof cholera see the following: Hugh Paul, The Control of Diseases (Social and Communicable),2nd ed. (Baltimore, Maryland: The Williams and Wilkins Company, 1964), 346-349; Abram S. Benenson (ed.), Control of ed. CommunicableDiseases in Man, 11th (New York: the American Public Health G. Association,1970),52-56;Thrift Hanks, Solid Waste/Disease Relationships, A LiteratureSurvey (Cincinnati,Ohio: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Solid WastesProgram,1967),55-57;and C. E. A. Winslow,Man and Epidemics (Princeton, New Jersey: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1952),34-44.

GLEN ST.JOHN BARCLAY of University Queensland, Australia



The RoLe of the United States in ImperiaL Defense
sinister twilight of British Imperialism began in 1937.At the beginning of that year, the British Chiefs of Staff, the reviewing problemsofEmpire defense forthe impendingImperial Conferencein thatitwas nownecessaryto May, reported regard Japan as the second most imenemyofthe BritishEmpire after portant Germany and affirmed that the two keystones on which the survival of the Empire depended were the securityof the United Kingdom and the security of the Naval Base at Singapore.' The problemof course was that the British would have


or strength its in NITED States involvement the difficultyguaranteeing the security of have losteitherits military either, with the resources available to them. Nor was it possible to separate them:thesecurityoftheBritishpositionin the Mediterranean and the Middle East depended on the willingnessof Australia and New Zealand to send theirimmensely to infantry theotherside ofthe formidable worldagain, and thiswould depend on the degree of danger theyapprehendedfrom Japan. As Australian Defense Minister if ParkhilltoldtheConference, Japan was able to carry out a major military operationagainst any part of the Eastern Empire, "the BritishCommonwealthwill

cohesionofcommoninterestto any extent whichmakes any part of it an easy preyto any aggressive power." First Sea Lord Chatfield agreed that "the security of Singapore was absolutely vital to our positionin the Far East..." but assured theAustraliansthattheycould regard the British Fleet "even when inferior in numbers by one heavy ship, as at least equivalent in value to the Japanese Fleet. .*"2 This would certainlyhave been open to question,even ifthe Britishhad been in a positionto detach a Battle Force of nine

capitalshipsforservicein theFar East. publicly StatesNaval Forces of thatAustralia"lookedto Great thesending United The most powerful Britishbattleships, Britain to stationat Singaporein an to Singapore, one ofthemeasuresof was Nelson and Rodney, withtheirmain ar- emergencya fleet strong enough to immediate which hopedtheUnited aid he mament nine16-inch of guns,wouldhave safeguard the Empire's interests,''10 States would render theAllies'cause.""9 to been a matchforJapan's two Nagatos, BritishParliamentary troops as on Secretaryto the Then 13June, thelastFrench with eight 16-inch guns.Similarly, five Admiralty, G. Shakespeare,merely left Paris, Churchill the told the Southern H. Queen Elizabeths,with eight 15-inch guns, admittedthat this was indeed a true Dominions that it would no longer be werecomparable theFusos and Ises, statement theposition theAustralian possible sendBritish with to of of reinforcements to with twelve14-inch guns.The fiveRoyal government.11 did not say what the theFar East, "in the unlikely He eventof Sovereigns thesame armament the position his owngovernment The Japan, spiteoftherestraining had as was. of influence in Queens, but were too slow and short- fact was that the Britishwere hard- of the United States, taking the opranged fleet for action.However, position. portunityalterthestatus quo intheFar Japan's pressedto devisea satisfactory to a five told Kongos,with of eight 14-inch guns, were TheChiefs Staff NewZealandthat East.... Weshould have to rely therefore have certainly tobe senttothe on the U.S.A. to safeguard too fast for any Britishbattleship and Fleetwould our interests more powerful than any Britishbattle- Far East, butat thesame time"sufficient there."20 in wouldbe maintained home cruiser, Hood. TheBritish strength except possibly simplydid not have nine capital ships watersto containthe GermanFleet.'"12 have reducedthe thatcouldbe ranked againsta Japanese Thiswouldpresumably HE timingof this news was unFleet to less than ninein 1937.The balance was partially size of the Singapore fortunate. The New Zealand restored theconstruction the King paritywiththe JapaneseBattle Force. Divisionwas just two days out of the by of in George V class, butwas then completely However, May 1939,the Britishtold Clyde, sailingto take part in a probably a wouldbe forming new hopeless Leahythatthey upsetagain by the Yamatos. Kingdom. of defense the United Force TheNewZealandgovernment TheAustralians werewarned that"the task forcein the Mediterranean, out pointed of strength thefleet of thatcouldbe sentto "H," againstthepossibility a war with with that restraint a departure impressive theFar East mustbe governed con- Italy. This meant that a Battle Force had beenmade "from understanding, by the Singapore all. reinforced repeated at not and mostexplicit by of sideration our home requirements,"3might be availablefor of "command thewestand assurances,that a strongBritishfleet which left Chatfield'sarithmeticnot In thatevent, as Atlantic, wellas of the Pacific, would availableto,and would, wholly reassuring. They pretended South proceed be however thatit was "impossible con- wouldhave to be assuredby the United to Singapore so the to should circumstances The Britishaccordingly require, the abaneven if thisinvolved ceive of a worldsituation such thatthe States Fleet."13 thattheUnited States"send a donmentof British interests in the United Kingdomwould be unable to suggested to naval detachment theFar East Mediterranean."21 Menzies merely dispatch large proportion the Main strong a of from in interests the Manilaand Singapore."'14 suggested thatif British Fleetto EasternWaters.... Therewas, tooperate on inanycase,hope support of closerat hand. The Americans hardly had been Far East were nowdependent United out be Japanese-Chinese policy, would as welltofind it hostilities exploded prepared for such an approach. The States into open warat theMarcoPolo Bridge sincethe on Australians was, especially that policy were nevertold that it had what 7July in the HighCommissioner London, 1937, after Conference just broke been necessary. Australian Prime Australian up.5 British Foreign Secretary Anthony Minister Menziestoldhis Cabinet Stanley Bruce, had complained that Robert Eden observed thathe "wouldwelcome in July1939thattherewas no certainty "neitherthe United Kingdomnor the joint action withthe UnitedStates" in thattheUnited policy.... Stateswouldcome to the UnitedStates have a definite dealingwithJapan.6 President Franklin help theBritish put of EmpireintheFar East. Have eitherwe or the Americans... D. Roosevelt shareda similarfear that The onlycomfort thattheJapanese forward and for suggestions a definite was if "Japan, nottackled wouldmopup could not be sure they would not.11 civilised common policy?'22Churchill, soon, first British the possessionsin the Far However,the Britishtold Ingersollin however, recovered as confidence, the had East, then the Dutch."7Followingthe London prospect of an invasion of in that their position theFar East imminent attackon theUSS Panay in the was critical, and they were in fact Britain Japanese his He receded. renewed promise, he his Yangtse, instructed Chief Naval "counting fullAmericancooperation revoked June,in eventof large-scale of in on Adm. WilliamD. Leahy, to and support."16 nothing thiswas Japanese Operations, "to aggression, cutourlossesin of Still send the head of the Navy War Plans told to the Australians, who were theMediterranean, in and... proceed good Division,Capt. Royal F. Ingersoll,to unhappily a aid to preparing sendlarge forces timeto your with fleetable to give for London, discussions British with naval overseas while the positionof Japan battle any Japaneseforcewhich could to planners theFar East situation.8 on and waters, able to Churchill fact beplacedinAustralian in remaineduncertain.17 cut Thetalkswerein factfruitless: or British senta wildly force, certainly any on jovialcable to Menzies 17 parry invading Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain November, with for expressing gratitude "the its communications Japan."23 failed respond Roosevelt's to to of and notion a loyaland clairvoyant Thiswas a littletooincoherent inwhich has strategy navalquarantine Japan, of even because totheuninstructed denuded Australia consistent be reallyconvincing, to partly eye ofhisfearofprovokingconfrontation ofnavalforces;"andpromising close apartfrom factthatitwas hardtosee in a "to the thePacificat thetimewhenhe was at- theMediterranean Gibraltar Suez exactly what cutting losses in the at and interests Mediterranean to important tempting avoid one in Europe, and Canal and sacrificing mightentail. Nor could from becauseof his inherent of be partly distrust in that area proceedingto relief of anything moreconcrete elicited Far in United States'intentions.9 effect Commander-in-Chief or The was Singapore aid ofAustralia theevent thenewBritish to BrookeThis mood East,AirVice-Marshal Robert Sir necessarily leave the problemof im- ofserious attack"by Japan.18 in perialdefense thePacificunresolved. survived unhappy of in the affirmed Singapore He experiences the Popham. indeed Attempts the Australians obtain Norwegian by to of campaign. itwas blown And to that "thepossibility a majorexpedition someclear indication British of in strategic shredsby the Germanbreakthrough against Australiaor New Zealand [by planning were similarly On fruitless. Japan]maybe ruledoutinitially." the When France in May 1940. that"ou,rability the new DefenseMinister hand, admitted he again urged:Roosevelt "that other Streetstated Churchill




a by to hold Malaya beyondthe immediate Admiralty 22 November. The British effort theMediterranean, opening in on would vicinity Singaporein the face of a agreed that "the primary of object to be Balkan Front,whichincidentally virtuallyall of the determined attackis veryproblematical. achieved theAllieswouldbe thedefeat involve deploying by Moreover, the eventof a successful of Germany in and New of manpower Australia and Italy... [and] onlysuf- trained invasion, the survivalof Singaporefor ficient in Zealand. [should disposed navalforces be] more than a shortperiod is very im- the Pacific and the Far East as would tried to soften accordingly Churchill The couldhardly preventvital damage being caused to Menzies up. He assured him that probable."24 Australians feel satisfiedwiththis, under the cir- Allied would nonetheless "adequatenaval reinforcements at argued They interests." An men of that"evenifall else had to be abandoned oncebe dispatched Australian cumstances. additional 11,000 waters" to their Division justleft theMiddle the security Singaporemust be en- in the event of Japanese aggression.38 7 had for of all sured."Animpassewas reached. 16 East; 11oftheir warships, including that he Ghorm- However, also warned theneedsof their destroyers both and heavycruisers, ley objectedthatit wouldbe impossible theSouthwest Pacifichadtobe "balanced wereintheAtlantic theMediterranean. to divertto the Pacific a Battle Force in withthe wholeEmpirewar effort.... or Therewereno modern fighter planes in strong is in without Our war effort the Mediterranean enough secureSingapore to the Continent, the Britishhad just risking and But to The Ad- likely increase."39 it was notonly defeatin the Atlantic. placed an embargo on the export of miralty worried. basingthe United theAustralians weregetting who thenproposed military aircraftto the Dominions.A States to wrote hisAdmirals which had On3 April Stark 1941 Stark FleetonSingapore, in missionof Australian naval officers, alreadyrefused consider.30 facing the to that among the difficulties mufti, was accordingly sent to on insistence United Stateswas "British Washington, see iftheycouldfindout to Singapore, of thevitalimportance holding anything moresatisfactory aboutUnited NewZealand Australia, andofsupporting States policyin the Far East than the CHURCHILL was in no mood for was ~~impasses. He told the Admiralty and India...." Shipping "now being I couldabouttheBritish. politicians timesas fastas it can be lostaboutthree First impressions were highly flatly that "AdmiralStark is rightand replaced.... The entire United States satisfactory. was discovered It that the Plan D is strategically sound and also navalstrength employed couldbe usefully Americans apparently had alreadymade mosthighly We intheAtlantic, adaptedto our interests. wereittobecomepossible plans"forthepassage of unitsand their shouldtherefore, far as opportunitytosenditthere."40 thefollowing he so day On to maintenance" assisttheBritish Empire serves, in every way contributeto told Ghormley flatlythat the British in theeventof war withJapan.25 was strengthen policyof AdmiralStark, position the Atlanticwas "hopeless It the in also notedthat the Americians seemed andshould use arguments inconsistent except we takestrong not to measures save as concerned "that we should do more to withit.... A strictdefensive the Far it."141 On 26 April, the Germansbroke in as Kimmel, showby deeds thatSingaporemeans so East and the acceptance of its con- into Admiral he Greece, warned muchto us."26 did sequences also ourpolicy.""3 itwas Commander-in-Chief Whatthe Australians But is Pacific Fleet, that from detachment the nottheBritish a notdiscover was thattalks between whoweregoingto have to "shortly considerable to British Americans alreadyled to acceptthe and had of consequences Plan Dog inthe yourFleet will be brought the Atlanfell the next day. The the formulation a strategy of whichac- first instance. Menzies, unaware of tic...."42 Athens the Churchill's commitment to Stark's BalkanFronthad collapsed. "thenecessity maintaining for cepted The questionwas now what could be concentration naval forces,with the strategy, of action demanded immediate that the Imperial U.S. Fleet in Hawaiian waters,"rather be takenforthe security Singapore, saved from ruinsof British of Chiefof the ImperialGeneral thanat Singaporeand "the probability afterthe Americanshad asked "what strategy. on Dill warnedChurchill 6 Sir in that U.S. navalforces would required reinforcements, any, does Australia Staff John be if if theAtlantic, strategic in Chur- May that it was "the United priority a two- proposesendingto Singapore?"32 and not Egyptthatis vital, ocean war were given to the defeatof chill wayin Kingdom... that replied "theonly furiously of for and the defence the UnitedKingdom Germany and Italy."27 Indeed, the which navalsquadron couldbe found a place. Egyptis noteven Australians formed the impression that Singapore would be by ruining the musttake first for of thetalks"had notledus anyfurther along Mediterranean situation."33He also secondin order priority, it has been that in principle ourstrategy the in of path an agreedgrand strategy the cautionedthe Dominions Officeagainst an accepted of the But making much event of Americancooperation."28 information availableto inthelastresort security Singapore too This of to His Majesty's governments this eight daysbefore viewwas relayed overseas.34 comes beforethat of Egypt."43 had Canberra, Chief of Naval Operations TheAustralians noted that newtalkswere coursewas exactlywhat Churchill and the HaroldR. Starkhad sent his memoran- scheduledwith the Americanson Far beentelling Dominions theUnited Dill: "I he dum"Plan Dog" toNavySecretary Frank Eastern not States.However, nowrebuked but strategy, "it is apparently to Knox,affirming it was "out of the intended Australia that should you that participate gather wouldbe prepared facethe ... and to question considersendingour entire inthese."35 thesetalks,theAmericans lossofEgypt theNileValley rather At I FleettoSingapore. Base facilities far were in fact told that "the loss of thanlose Singapore. do not take that are toolimited, supply the problem wouldbe Singapore of wouldbe a disaster thefirst view.'44 The resources of the Empire were verygreat,and Hawaii,Alaska and our magnitude, secondonlyto theloss of the coastswould greatly be again to theMiddleEast, where to exposed raids." British Isles."36Ghormley objectedthat diverted 7th Stark advised instead that the United "the defense the Far East shouldbe the Australian Division,the onlyefof Statesshouldadopt "an eventualstrong builton thewholearea of the Southwest fectivereserve left in the area, was of deployed open a new front Syria. in in to offensive theAtlantic an ally of the Pacific as of instead onthesingle objective in British, a defensive thePacific."On Singapore." However, he and Stark Menzieswas thentold that Hurricanes and United couldnotbe sentto theFar East without a thisbasis, "any strength thatwe might agreedtoconsider moving strong send to the Far East would,by just so States naval force to the Atlantic,to jeopardizing the situation in Egypt. much, reduce the force of our blows releaseForce "H" fortheFar East.37 But However, assuredhimthatthe Churchill 112 of Buffalo, which werenow against Germanyand Italy."29 themselves Brewster Similar thefactwas thatthe British viewswereconveyed Ghormley the wereplanning makea major military available in Malaya, was "eminently by to to

it satisfactory a match anyJapanese Singaporeis important, oughtto be something that can catch and kill and for aircraft," despite the fact that the accepted of the that strategy theFar East anything.It keeps them bunched."56But Australians' own Air Force Intelligence Area should considered a whole."48 thefactwas thatPrince of Wales could not as be had reported months before thatthenew The deadlock remained unresolved have caught the Kongos, and would in all JapaneseNavy 96 fighter, subsequently while yet went preparations onfor another likelihoodhave been killed itself by any famousas the "Zero" or "Zeke," was British Africa.Mean- other Japanese capital ships; the "R's" in offensive North in superior all respectsto the Buffalo. while,the Australian were a WorldWar I class of even less use. Minister-Designate Meanwhile, the imperturbable Brooke- toChungking, Frederic was Churchillhimselfhad told the First Sea Eggleston, Sir Pophamprepared OrderoftheDay in discovering late the full horrorof Lord as recentlyas 22 Septemberthat the an too anticipation of a Japanese assault, British unpreparedness and Dutch inadequate gunpower of the Prince of that: proclaiming "Weare ready. have inadequacy the Far East. The Dutch Wales and her sisters ought to make We in had plenty of warning and our Navy,he found, was only"a verysmall sorrow rise to the heart.57 Churchill preparations made and tested.... We affair;"49 are describedthisscratch forceat theirArmyin the East Indies nonetheless areconfident. defences strong and "likeall weakarmies Our are madeup inuniforms the Lord Mayor's Luncheon on 10 ourweaponsefficient."45 the lackedin power;"50 British November in grandiloquentterms: "We whatthey These claims were hardly com- forces Malayawere"a merecollection now feel ourselves strong enough to in mensuratewith British militaryper- ofbits pieces...."" Theatmosphere provide a powerfulforce of heavy ships in and formance The firstcounter- the High Command was Wagnerian with its necessary ancillary vessels, for anywhere. offensiveagainst Rommel failed at without Com- service ifneeded in the Indian and Pacific grandeur:the Australian Halfaya Pass on 27 May. Crete was mander, ap- Oceans. Thus we stretchout the long arm Maj.-Gen.GordonBennett, evacuated four dayslater, a costto the peareddistracted, at to speaking Eggleston of brotherhoodand motherhood to the Mediterranean ofthree Fleet cruisers and only to complain about the British.52 Australianand New Zealand peoples and six destroyers sunk.The onlycampaign Churchill's Envoy, Duff Cooper, to the peoples of India...."58 developing promisingly was against a nicknamed "Tough Snooper" resentfully This was hardlyan accurate description. former ally,France,whosecolony Syria bythelocals,was "grumpy silent."53 The "ancillary vessels" in fact comprised and was being successfully overrunby an And Brooke-Popham himself struck a bare flotilla of old destroyers. The invasionspearheadedby 7th Division. Eggleston byno meansa commanding elements of the Battle Force themselves as Churchill attempted reconcile to Menzies figure. was, however, relentlessly were singularly a He ill-suited the tasks they for to the fact that the Australianswere optimistic he assuredEggleston that mightbe required to perform.The "R's" one; committed again in the MiddleEast, by the Japanesewouldnever expose their were too slow and short-ranged forma to himthatdefense they line-of-battle in to assuring deficiencies battleships air bombardment, against the CombinedFleet. Malayawerenotreallyserious, exceptin would never committhemselvesto a Their only effectiveuse was for escort respect anti-aircraft to anti-tank distant expeditionleaving the United dutyor shore bombardment.Repulse was weapons, and of behind them, they too lightlyarmoured for a line-of-battle defenses all kinds,small arms, and StatesNavyintact He artillery ammunition.46didnotmention had only 100-200obsolescentaircraft role, and would presumablybe employed thatthere wereno tanks,either. The in- anyway.54 with Prince of Wales in raids on lightly ternal contradictionsof the British protected Japanese convoys. But the werepointed to Churchill and position out Japanese would not be leaving theirtroop theBritish Chiefs Staff Presidential of by convoyslightly protectediftheyknewthat who EnvoyHarryHopkins, arguedon 24 NOTHING was allowedto challenge theywere liable to be attacked by British that"in theMiddleEast theBritish July this interpretation. The RAF battleships. The conclusion was unin Commander Burma, incidentally Empirehad an indefensible position, an mistakable that the Eastern Empire in to the attempting maintain which, great Australian, refused to allow Claire was notgetting weapons it needed, but had been made.... No one in Chennault themenof theAmerican the ones whichChurchillwas prepared to sacrifices and Great Britain appreciated the feeling VolunteerGroup, who had first-handspare. which existed the Air power was obviously what was throughout U.S. military experience thereal quality Japanese of of commandthat the Middle EAst was a aircraftand their crews, to enter his needed. A BritishBattle Force operating fromwhichthe Britishshould fighter-control TheBritish liability Chiefs of withinrange of adequate shore-basedair room. withdraw. "47 to in Staffcontinued maintain, face of cover could clearly present the Japanese Churchill was obdurate. instructed increasing Japanese pressure on withan obstacle which they could hardly He hisChiefs Staff reply withdrawal Thailand,thatJapan was concentratingdare to challenge, so long as Battle Force of to that from Middle the East "wouldhavea very her forces against Russia, and would Pacific Fleet remained even partially in not graveeffect, onlyon neutral opinion, therefore anxious avoida warin the being. Without such cover, the British be to but particularly Turkish, also throughout south thenextfewmonths. ships could be neutralizedbyJapanese air for the wholeMoslemworld."At the same the madehis last power,without CombinedFleet having Five dayslater,Churchill time a secure base had to be held at gesture, "I the telling Dominions: am still to risk a single capital ship in a naval to of Singapore, achievethe"security our inclined think thatJapan will notrun battle.But air powerwas whattheEastern to with Australia, New into communictions the war with ABCD powersunlessor Empire was not going to get. The Zealandand India,and the safe passage until Russiais decisively broken....In the Australians, more alarmed than ever from MalayaandtheDutchEast Indiesof interval, orderfurther deterJapan, since receiving Eggleston's reports,had in to commodities essentialbothto ourselves we are sendingforthwith newest just sent Sir Earle Page as Special Envoy our andtheUnited States...." TheAmericans battleship, Prince of Wales, tojointhe to London to seek a massive increase in the to "evenwereEgypt, Repulse in the Indian Ocean.... In ad- Britishair strength the Far East.59But continued arguethat in Palestine Syriatobe conquered the dition, fourR. battleships being Churchillhad different and by priorities: the air are the Axis,theBritish might findit possibleto movedas they against Germany,the supportof becomereadyto Eastern offensive maintain themselves the Sudan and waters."55 3 November toldtheNew Russia, and theestablishment complete in of he On alongtheshores theRedSea; " and that Zealanders,in reference Prince of air supremacy over the intended batof to "while the securityof the base at Wales: "Nothing so good as having tlefield in North Africa. Page argued is
APRIL 1975 57

unsuccessfully thateven if these priorities were correct,thedenial of reinforcements to the Eastern Empire was a false economy.It wouldmake littledifference to Russia's will or capacity to resist if the Britishsent 445 or 345 Hurricanes to Archangel; but 100 modern fighterscould provide a credible deterrentin the Far East, whichcould make it unnecessaryto make greatercommitments later: "On the morrowof disaster more reinforcements must be sent than can now command

StaffSir Charles Portal nonethelesswas onlyprepared to suggestto Page, whowas notinformed the losses of Barham and of Ark Royal, that it might be possible to reinforce Singapore withsix squadrons of Blenheims, which, like all the other aircraft in the Eastern Empire, would be useless against a first-class enemywithout fighter protection. Portal in any case was content to believe that Singapore could always be "picked up again later" if it were lost to a Japanese attack.61 was at It success."60 the same time hardly possible to ignore Churchill remained adamant, even as completelythe franticAustralians,whose circumstancesdealt the finalblows to the 8thDivisionin Malaya and 6th,7th,and 9th Singapore Strategy.On the day after his Divisions in the Middle East were the key elementsin Britishstrategyin bothareas. luncheon speech, the battleship Barham was torpedoed and sunk in the Prince of Wales and Repulse accordingly Mediterranean. Two days later the air- sailed off,allegedly to attemptto play in and craftcarrierA rk Royal met the same fate. the Far East, in far different far less There was now no possibilityof providing favourable conditions, the part which anything like adequate seaborne air Bismarck and Prinz Eugen had failed to supportfor Prince of Wales and Repulse, It play in theAtlantic. could in factbe little in lieu ofland-basedair cover. ChiefofAir more than a gesture. There was no Main

Fleet; there was no credible deterrent. There were only two terriblyvulnerable capital ships and a collection of aircraft unfit service elsewhere to defendwhat for had been called one of the "keystones" on which the survival of the Empire depencould only ded." In thelast issue, Churchill replyto a desperate Australianappeal for that Britishpolicy direction, affirming by was "to march in line with the United States,"62 implyingthat London did not for even have a policy,letalone a strategy, the defense of the Dominions which, as admitted,had done most Churchill himself since Dunkirkfor the of the land fighting UnitedKingdom. The Singapore Strategy was to depend for its viability on the goodwill of commanders who did not believe in it. Twenty years ofBritishpolicy and promises had for all practical purposes gone for nothing.It did not augur hopefullyfor the future of the British Empire.

REFERENCES Glen St. John Barclay is a Reader in InternationalRelations at the University ofQueensland, Australia. He received his Ph.D. from Australian National University,Canberra. This article was accepted forpublicationin August 1974. 1. S. WoodburnKirby, History of the (London, 1957), vol. I, 17. 2. National Archives of New Zealand, PM 156/1/1, Pt. 1A, Imperial Defense: 3. Commonwealth ArchivesOffice, CRS A461, A326/1/4, C.P. Series 4, Bundle 3,
Prime Minister's Correspondence Files, 1939-1950. 4. N.A.N.Z., supra., AnnexIII, Strategic Importance of Pacific Islands, Observations of Australian Delegation, 7 General. Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series: The War Against Japan

Quarantine of Japan," Pacific Historical Review, vol. XL, no. 2, May 1971,203-226. 10. Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Dec. 1938. 11. The Times, 23 Dec. 1938. 12. N.A.N.Z., op. cit., Organisation of National Security Report 123of 15 March of 1939, containing C.O.S. 832ofCommittee Imperial Defense Report: New Zealand

1939-45: Royal Australian Air Force, 1939martial, Conferences etc., Singapore Conference, 1940, Notes of Defense Commander Burrell, 19 Nov. 1940.

1942,Canberra, 1962,144. 25. N.A.N.Z., N.A. 22/4/47, Court-

26. Ibid., R. G. Casey to Minister of 2 External Affairs, Nov. 1940. 27. KittredgeMS., Memorandumto the Co-operation in Imperial Defense. Secretary, Op-12-CTB,"PLAN DOG," 12 13. KittredgeMS, op. cit., 58, A-5774. A-9505. Nov. 1940,253-264, 14. Ibid., 264, A-9506. 28. Casey to Minister of External AfRecords of 15. C.A.O., CRS AA 1971/216, fairs, N.A.N.Z., op. cit., 20 Nov. 1940. the Council of Defense, 1935-1939. 29. Memorandum to the Secretary, 16. KittredgeMS., 268, A-9506. 17. C.A.O., CRS A2671, item 14/1939, "PLAN DOG," supra. Record of 30. Kittredge MS., 14/31/72/5, Advisory War Council, Minutes. Bundle 2, item 35, a Meeting held at the Admiralty on 22nd 18. C.A.0., CP 290/6,
Prime Minister's Dept., Cables, 1937-1943. Miscellaneous November 1940, 276-278, A-9505.

31. PMUK to First Sea Lord (Pound) 22 MS., Sec. II, Pt. D (Chapt. Nov. 1940, Churchill, Their Finest Hour 19. Kittredge (London, 1950), 544. 8), 154. June 1937. 32. Casey to External Affairs,26 Nov. 20. Prime Minister United Kingdom 5. See James B. Crowley, "A Reconsideration of the Marco Polo Bridge In- (Churchill) to Prime Minister Australia 1940,N.A.N.Z., supra. (Menzies), 13 June 1940, Documents 33. PMUK to PMAust, 23 Dec. 1940, cident," Journal of Asian Studies, vol. XXII, no. 3, May 1963,277-292;also GHQ, Relating to New Zealand's Participation in Churchill,op. cit., 554-555. the Second World War, Wellington,1963 34. PMUK to SSDA, 25 Dec. 1940,ibid., U.S. Armed Forces, Pacific, Far East 557. Command, Military Intelligence Section, (hereafterreferredto as N.Z. Docs.). 21. Governor-GeneralNew Zealand to 35. C.A.O., Dept. of Defense CoGeneral Staff, Special Studies No. 161, 15 ordination, 16/1/41, British Policy in the Saion ji-Harada Memoirs, 1818- SecretaryofState forDominionAffairs, Microfilm, June 1940, N.Z. Docs. (government-to- Pacific (corrected copy). 1845. 6. J. Garvey (ed.,) The Diplomatic 36. Kittredge MS., B.U.S. (J.) (41) 2, government communications between Diaries of Oliver Harvey, 1937-1940 New Zealand and the United Kingdom British - United States Staff Conversations (London, 1970), 49. during the war were generally made 29th January 1941, 300-302, Appendix B. 7. Ibid., 55. 37. Grace P. Hayes, The History of the throughthis traditionalchannel. In point 8. Tracy B. Kittredge, COMNAVEU of fact, the more importantcables from Joint Chiefs of Staff in World War II: The Historical Monograph: United States - New Zealand were intendedfor Churchill War Against Japan, MS, Operational British Naval Co-operation, 1940-1945,MS, himself, and the more important ones Archives,Naval HistoryDivision, 10. Operational Archives Naval History from London were clearly composed by 38. PMUK toPMAust,21 Feb. 1941,in G. Division, Sec. III, Pt. C, 263, A-9506 him). Long, Australia in the War of 1939-45: 22. C.A.0., CP 290/6, Bundle 2, item 36, Greece, Crete and Syria (Canberra, 1953), (Operational historical report, based on 15. primary sources, published and un- Prime Minister's Dept., Miscellaneous 39. Long, PMUK to PMAust, 22 Febr. published, including the records of the Cables, 1937-1943. 23. PMUK to PMAust, 11 August 1940, 1941,537-538. U.S. Naval Forces, Europe). Commander, Officeof 40. KittredgeMS., Ser. 038612, 9. See J. McVickar Haight, Jr., N. Z. Docs. 24. D. Gillison,Australia in the War of theChiefofNaval Operations,3 Apr. 1941, "Franklin D. Roosevelt and a Naval

312-314, AppendixA. 41. Ibid., Sec. IV, Pt. D (Chapt. 17), 444. 42. Congressof theUnitedStates, Pearl
Harbor Attack, Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (Washington, 1947),

57. PMUK to First Sea Lord, 22 Sept. 350, A-17256. 48. Kittredge MS, Sect. V, Pt. B, Ap- 1941,Churchill,op.cit., 678-679. 58. The Times, 11 Nov. 1941. pendix A, 385-387, A-17256. Pt. 16, 2165. 59. Sir Earle Page, Truant Surgeon 49. Eggleston Papers, National Library 43. CIGS to PMUK, 6 May 1941,Chur- of Australia, Canberra, MS 423/19/10. (Sydney, 1963), 310-316. chill, The Grand Alliance (London, 1963), 60. Ibid., 311. 50. Ibid., MS 423/19/11. 375. 61. Ibid., 315. 51. Ibid., MS 423/19/22. in 44. Ibid., PMUK to CIGS, 13 May 1941, 62. Bruce to Curtin, Paul C. Hasluck, 52. Ibid., MS 423/19/8. 376. 53. Ibid., MS 423/19/1019. Australia in the War of 1939-45, Civil: The 45. Gillison,op. cit., 158. Government and the People (Canberra, 54. Ibid., MS 423/19/1438-39. 46. Ibid., 157. 55. PMUK to PMNZ, 31 Oct. 1941,N.Z. 1952), vol. I, 554.

of Meeting of Prime Minister and Chiefs of Staff with United States Observers, 349-

47. KittredgeMS., 24 July 1941,Record

Docs. Docs.

56. PMUK to PMNZ, 3 Nov. 1941,N.Z.

JOLYON P. GIRARD of University Maryland

7 iplomacp ZAmerican ]dJ aub tt RL QrirV5i of 1920
IW"VT rejected the League of Nations and theVersailles Treatyin March 1920,it stunned and dismayed numerous Americans who had hoped President Woodrow Wilson's peace efforts would usher in an era of world security and happiness.Two such Americansresided in the Rhineland, the western region of Germany on the left bank of the Rhine river. They served as United States representativesin a joint Anglo-FrenchAmerican occupation of the region.' Pierrepont Noyes, United States Commissioner on the Inter-AlliedRhineland and Maj. Gen. HenryT. HighCommission, Allen, Commander of the 15,000-man American Occupation Army, both recognized that the Senate decision threatenedtheirpostwar roles and made theirstatus tenuousand ambivalent. The expression of Senate apprehension concerning United States involvement in European political affairs frustratedthe Wilson administration,and the President's advisors carefullysought to avoid any issue in Europe that smacked of Noyes and Allen danger or entanglement. differed how to interpretthat caution on regarding American policy in the Rhineland. Noyes, a former businessman from Oneida, New York, and an ardent believer of in PresidentWilson'sphilosophy peace, worked openly to incorporate the AmericanArmyunderthe directionof the Inter-AlliedCommission. General Allen, who sensed that the United States
APRIL 199759


HEN the United States Senate governmenthad decided to remain in- manderrefused.He said he wouldissue its
dependentin the conduct of its affairsin the region, determinedto avoid such involvementwiththe Allies, and he decided to retain unilateral controlof his area of command. Allen's policy, employed with tact, gained the approval and supportof theState Department.Early in April1920, United States independence in the Rhineland met its first major test. A Franco-Germancrisis eruptedin the Ruhr Valley (directly across the Rhine River from occupied zone) and threatenedto the embroil American troops. During that crisis, boththe State Departmentand the War Department strove to keep U.S. soldiers frombecoming caught up in the issue. Allen, wearing the "dual hat" of diplomat and military commander, succeeded in the task. At the Paris Peace Conference, Pierrepont Noyes had been directly responsible for the creation of a civilian commission to administerthe Rhineland Occupation.2He feared French military ambitions in the area and believed sincerelythata civil bodycould best provide To controlin the region.3 his amazement, the Treaty battle in the United States created a situation where the American Army,not the French, sought to operate independently of the Rhineland Commission. In January 1920,Noyes tried to forceGeneral Allen intoline. In a series of heated arguments, he demanded that Allen accept the Commission's jurisdiction in the United States Occupation zone at Coblenz. The American Coi-

ordinances,but only under his signature, withUnited and onlyiftheydid notconflict States interests in the Rhineland. Allen Noyes: "I will go a long informed bluntly way to play the game [ofcooperation]but I cannot surrender ultimate authority here."4 The Department of State agreed withAllen's stand and instructedhim to continue to maintain that independent posture in the Rhineland.5 The War Department also backed General Allen.6 Both officesbegan increasinglyto direct their instructionsthroughhis headquarters, and Allen assumed the obvious involved. diplomaticfunctions Unquestionably, the dual stream of communication slighted Noyes, and he began to sense a personal affrontto his On ability and intentions. 22 March 1920, over coffeeand brandy at Allen's home, theAmericanCommissionercriticizedthe military in general, and Allen in particular,fornot having a real grasp of the administrativeand diplomatic problems involvedin the RhinelandOccupation.The next day, the urbane, experienced whohad served Armyofficer, professional in Alaska, the Philippines, Mexico, and France, wrotea shortnoteto his parochial colleague, who had recentlycome out of the limitedbusiness world of central New Noyes that military York. Allen informed had officers a wide and varied background in civil and diplomaticmatters,and, to his mind, they could deal with them quite well.7 In April, the General received the to opportunity prove his point.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful