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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3454

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 3:46:19 AM
Phil,

 Another way to assess burden sharing would be determine the number of brigades each country actually had in contact with the enemy* and divide that count into the ground forces losses for the respective countries.

*Not as straightforward as it sounds to determine this; it would take a bit of research.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6042
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Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 4:18:57 AM

Quote:
From 1939 to the end of 1942 Great Britain and her Commonwealth had stood alone against the might of the Axis-with Japan throwing her lot in with Germany and Italy in December 1941.


This what I said at the very beginning and I was thinking about who stood with us in agreement with our Declaration of War. Australia declared war on Nazi Germany one hour after the United Kingdom's declaration of war on 3 September 1939.On September 9, the House of Commons and Senate of Canada approved authorization for a declaration of war on Germany.On 4 September 1939, the United Party of South Africa caucus refused to accept Hertzog's stance of neutrality in World War II and deposed him in favor of Smuts and they too declared war on Germany.

So GB was not left to soldier on alone from September 1939-we had staunch Dominion Allies.Canada sent two Infantry Divisions yo England in 1940.The ranks of the RAF were rapidly filled with eager young men from the Dominions leavened by Poles and Czechs .The RN was fighting and sinking commerce raiders; ably assisted by the RAN down under in her waters and beyond.

Canadians were sent to defend the Crown Colony of Hong Kong against the Japanese-a brutal business and then undertook the Dieppe Raid-another disaster.The North African campaign was fought to prevent the Axis from gaining control of the Suez Canal-the 8th Army included Anzac,South African and Indian troops-this set up lasted until December 1942 when the Americans entered the theatre via Operation Torch.

NB.GB had been an Imperial Power for centuries and old good and bad habits -Die Hard. The War Cabinet sacked Dowding and Park AFTER they had played a major role in the victory of the BoB-sheer favouritism won the day; and the Devil take the hindermost-Dowding was now too old and Park-a Colonial !!!!Personally I blame WSC, who was a hero worshipper= Douglas Bader flew in Leigm Mallory's 5 Group nd h and not Park was promoted-as I said old habits die hard


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5566

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 7:57:35 AM
Jim, Canadians were sent to assist in the defence of Hong Kong. I know that you know that but the garrison consisted of British, Indian and finally Canadians. They all suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

Cheers,

George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6042
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Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 8:11:14 AM
Apologies George for the woolly description but seemingly more British chicanery


Quote:
In 1940, the British determined to reduce the Hong Kong Garrison to only a symbolic size. Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Far East Command argued that limited reinforcements could allow the garrison to delay a Japanese attack, gaining time elsewhere.

Winston Churchill=ITMA- and the general staff named Hong Kong as an outpost and decided against sending more troops.

In September 1941, they reversed their decision and argued that additional reinforcements would provide a military deterrent against the Japanese and reassure Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek that Britain was serious about defending the colony.
Enter a comtingent of Canadians.

The fighting in Hong Kong ended with severe Canadian casualties: 290 killed and 493 wounded. The death toll and hardship did not end with surrender.

For more than three and a half years, the Canadian POWs were imprisoned in Hong Kong and Japan in the foulest of conditions and had to endure brutal treatment and near-starvation.

Many did not survive. In all, more than 550 of the 1,975 Canadians who sailed from Vancouver in October 1941 never returned.


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 11:27:37 AM
The Battle of the Atlantic-The Longest Battle

The British survived this period through a number of factors, including the development of improved tactics. Corvettes, small warships of less than 1000 tons, helped to plug the gaps in the Royal Navy's escort capability.

The Allied occupation of Iceland, which belonged to German-occupied Denmark, gave Britain some valuable Atlantic bases.

The emergence of powerful allies was also vital. The Royal Canadian Navy, which was tiny in 1939, began an amazing period of growth that eventually made it capable of bearing a substantial part of the fighting in the North Atlantic.

Regards

Jim

---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
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Posts: 2550

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 11:51:49 AM
Canadians, Australians, New Zealander's, South Africans and Indians made an enormous contribution to Allied victory in WW2. They were great fighters on land, sea and in the air. They fought because they wanted to. As to how far they fought when , and, more especially where they wanted to, there must be some circumspection.

Their fathers had done the same in WWI .

There had been murmurings - during and after 1914-18 - about improper exploitation by the Mother Country, emanating principally from Australians.

And yet, in WW2, those nations bore a higher proportion of total Commonwealth deaths than they had in the earlier conflict .

Something to reflect on.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 12:20:59 PM
Thank you Phil-here it must be said that when Australia was bombed by the Japanese and appealed to the Mother Country for real help-none was forthcoming.

Australian reaction was to pull all her troops back home for defence of the homeland; and they turned their back on the UK and appealed to the Americans for assistance-this was quickly seized upon and Australia quickly became a base for US war activities.The Australian Army task was to reoccupy Papua/New Guinea.Malaya was lost by then

This was a sad state of affairs diplomatically; but I get the feeling that British War Cabinet breathed a sigh of relief.

As I said Before Old Habits and indeed Attitudes==Die Hard .

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
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Posts: 2550

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 12:37:51 PM
Should it be our intention to damn the conduct of British Imperialism, then our best bet might be to dwell on the famine that killed a million or two Bengalis in 1942 and was in some measure attributable to decisions made by British politicians and military men about priorities in the strategic direction of the war.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/15/2017 5:01:05 PM

Quote:
Thank you Phil-here it must be said that when Australia was bombed by the Japanese and appealed to the Mother Country for real help-none was forthcoming.


Given the distances involved and British assets available in the Pacific, any chance of real help would seem to have been remote at best. The Pacific was a U.S. area of operations, or would be. Look at how limited and support to U.S. forces in the Philippines was, and the shoestring nature of the initial landings in the Solomons.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/16/2017 7:01:33 AM
In he last half of 1942-RAF Bomber Command made some improvements in it's structure and technique

15 Aug 1942 - Bomber Command takes an important step forward with the creation of the Pathfinder Force, Commanded by Air Commodore D C T Bennett. Air Commodore Bennett Pathfinder aircraft fly ahead of the main bomber stream dropping target-marking flares over the main target. However, on its first mission on 18/19 August, heavy winds blew the flares off-target.

25 Oct 1942 - Formation of No. 6 (Royal Canadian Air Force) Group, Bomber Command. All squadrons in the Group were manned by Canadian airmen.

20-21 Dec 1942 - First use of Oboe blind-bombing equipment by Mosquitoes of No.109 Sqn.

However the Battle of the Atlantic was reaching crisis point towards the end of 1942-the Uboats were now attacking in groups or wolf packs which were getting the better of the Escort Groups of the RN and the RCN

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2889

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/16/2017 3:41:27 PM

Quote:
Jim, Canadians were sent to assist in the defence of Hong Kong. I know that you know that but the garrison consisted of British, Indian and finally Canadians. They all suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

Cheers,

George
--George



George,

The Japanese Military in WWII wasn't to particular who they tortured and killed!

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
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E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 495

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/18/2017 5:42:37 PM

Quote:
We know that the war after the French fell was characterized as phoney.
--George


The "phony war" applies to the period from September 1939 to April 1940 when on the western front it was largely quiet. There was a massive effort to get forces in place for a defensive fight that didn't come for many months.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 495

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/18/2017 5:56:25 PM

Quote:
Jim, Canadians were sent to assist in the defence of Hong Kong. I know that you know that but the garrison consisted of British, Indian and finally Canadians. They all suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

Cheers,

George
--George


The United States and the United Kingdom/Commonwealth were sending forces as fast as they could to the Far East (Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, and Hong Kong) in an effort to bolster defenses and strengthen negotiations against Japan. In retrospect most of that seems a waste. Perhaps the biggest waste was the UK 18th Division on the largest US transports at the time of the Japanese attacks. This division arrived in Singapore just in time to surrender. In my opinion the division's arrival may have made surrender more likely with 18,000 division troops and about 5000 in support becoming more mouths to feed.

The Winnipeg Rifles and the Royal Rifles of Canada were effectively displaced from Jamaica and Bermuda, and Newfoundland, respectively, by the destroyers for bases deal and the expansion of US forces on those bases replacing UK and Commonwealth forces. If they didn't go to Hong Kong they might have ended up a Dieppe, but the Canadian government saw the importance of building up the Far East and offered up these battalions.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5566

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/18/2017 8:24:19 PM

Quote:
If they didn't go to Hong Kong they might have ended up a Dieppe, but the Canadian government saw the importance of building up the Far East and offered up these battalions.


But they ended up in Hong Kong and I think that the Canadians government made a mistake.

Canada received the first request from the British on Sept. 19, 1941. The British painted the mission as a diplomatic mission.

The troops that Canada sent were not rated as top combat troops. And I must say that those Canadians fought valiantly right to the end on Dec. 25, 1941. They attacked more often with company sized attacks more than any other troops on the island. And they paid a price for it.

The British told Canada that the small number of troops committed by Canada (1,975 soldiers) would increase the strength of Hong Kong's garrison,
"out of all proportion to the numbers involved. "

The British memos added that the presence of the Canadians would boost the morale of the colony, and show the Chinese and the Americans that Britain was serious about fighting for the colony.

It was never mentioned and I don't know if the question was ever asked by the Canadians, but it was never mentioned that the British Chief of Staff considered that Hong Kong was incapable of a lengthy defence and could never be reinforced.

Canadian Chief of Staff, Harry Crerar is often targeted as the man who sent the Canadians to their doom in Hong Kong.

However, there were multiple pressures on Crerar to get the Canadians involved somewhere in combat. As well, Harry Crerar was anything but ignorant about Hong Kong, its defences and possibility of defending the island. Crerar felt that only the RN could prevent the colony from being over run by the Japanese.

In some of his simulations run at the war college, he perhaps determined that a coalition between the US and Britain would protect the colony.

So his training and studies may have told him that there was a chance that the island could be defended.


Crerar and the Canadian government are often accused of being naive and negligent toward their soldiers in the Hong Kong affair.

Below is an interesting article published in Canadian Military History and entitled, "Crerar and the Decision to Garrison Hong Kong".

Quite revealing. The decision to send the troops was not made in a cavalier manner but it was the wrong decision, I think.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6042
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/19/2017 3:37:19 AM

Quote:
The fighting in Hong Kong ended with immense Canadian casualties: 290 killed and 493 wounded. The death toll and hardship did not end with surrender.

Even before the battle had officially ended, Canadians would endure great hardships at the hands of their Japanese captors. On December 24, the Japanese overran a makeshift hospital in Hong Kong, assaulting and murdering nurses and bayoneting wounded Canadian soldiers in their beds.

After the colony surrendered, the cruelty would continue. For more than three and a half years, the Canadian POWs were imprisoned in Hong Kong and Japan in the foulest of conditions and had to endure brutal treatment and near-starvation.

In the filthy, primitive POW quarters in Northern Japan, they would often work 12 hours a day in mines or on the docks in the cold, subsisting on rations of 800 calories a day.p
OfficialHistory

Regards

jim

Many did not survive. In all, more than 550 of the 1,975 Canadians who sailed from Vancouver in October 1941 never returned.

NB George if you have already submitted thisand I have missed=tell me and I will delete the post



Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2889

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/19/2017 9:35:34 AM
Jim,

The Imperial Japanese Military wasn't to kind to Commonwealth prisoners in WWII!

Sad horrific times for all Allied POW's!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6042
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/19/2017 9:46:59 AM
NO- they were not Dave--they were vicious animals--and deserved their deaths in the end--in their part of the world -Cruelty reigned supreme
and to this day they are still in denial.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2550

Re: Great Britain and her Commonwealth in WW2 from 1939-43
Posted on: 10/19/2017 11:53:36 AM

Quote:
Jim,

The Imperial Japanese Military wasn't to kind to Commonwealth prisoners in WWII!

Sad horrific times for all Allied POW's!
MD
--Michigan Dave


Tens of thousands of commonwealth and US POWs perished at the hands of the Japanese ; but how many MILLIONS of Chinese ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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