Sir John Valentine Carden Survives. Part 2.

So, in the Pacific, the clock is ticking down to midnight, everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop - and no-one has quite guessed just how ambitious the Japanese plans really are. Eyes are fixed on the South China Sea, and the USN is in for a very nasty surprise...

Interesting that Adm Phillips effectively regards himself as at war on the 6th. If he got his ships moving immediately to intercept the Japanese convoy, they might just arrive in time to interdict the Kota Bharu landings (OTL Force Z didn't leave Singapore until the afternoon of the 8th, and the Japanese transports had unloaded and withdrawn before Force Z had reached the area).

The naval balance of power is interesting - TTL Force Z has air cover, and even Fulmars will make a nasty mess of unescorted Nells and Bettys arriving in penny packets. OTOH, an organised squadron-scale attack may well get enough planes through to score at lest some hits. With four battleships, the RN severely outgun anything available to the IJN in the Gulf of Siam before Kido Butai gets back from its Hawaiian cruise - but the IJN do have a lot of cruisers and destroyers, Force Z is short of escorts (particularly if it breaks up into "fast" and "slow" components), and while the IJN may have been poor at ASW, in 1942 they were probably the best in the world at night-fighting. A night torpedo attack on Phillips's ships could get very sticky.

On land, I suspect everything will depend on whether the British react immediately when the balloon goes up or whether they're still caught enough on the back foot that the Japanese have time to land, seize airfield and the roads on the Kra Isthmus. If that happens, the British are unlikely to be able to contain them with the forces available in northern Malaya and it's a retreat southwards at least until the Australian units can get to the front line. The tanks are likely to be really useful for busting roadblocks and defending airfields, not so much at stopping infiltration through the jungle.

Also interesting that after all the speculation the situation on the Tunisian border was resolved simply, bloodlessly and without technically compromising Vichy neutrality. Weygand still has his colours nailed to the fence, and he must be praying that nothing else (like an Axis demand for use of airfields in Tunisia) happens to knock him off his precarious perch.

So - if there's no ongoing North African campaign to reinforce, do the US bother even planning Torch - or do they let sleeping French hens lie and go straight for Sicily or even mainland Europe? Invading Sicily without Tunisia as a base is awkward, as is sending troop/supply convoys though the Med without neutralising Sicily. So might they ignore Churchill's Mediterranean ambitions outright and target a landing in Northern France for 1943?
 
Tanks with radial engines aren't a great idea. A design where you need to be either at a repair depot, or be a contortionist just to check/change the spark-plugs is a poor design.
The next generation tanks with Radial Power, the M7 Light thst turned into a Medium, and the M18 Hellcat, had the radial engine with fast access doors and QD fittings, so the entire engine could be slid back on rails out of the engine compartment
3586845879_fb0deefede_b.jpg
 
The next generation tanks with Radial Power, the M7 Light thst turned into a Medium, and the M18 Hellcat, had the radial engine with fast access doors and QD fittings, so the entire engine could be slid back on rails out of the engine compartment
3586845879_fb0deefede_b.jpg
Okay, good design can mitigate the issue, but my point stands for existing designs.
 
in 1942 they were probably the best in the world at night-fighting. A night torpedo attack on Phillips's ships could get very sticky.
I keep seeing this statement - the RN had a well proven track record by Dec 41 of a number of very one sided night actions

They tip toed 3 Battle ships so close to 3 Italian Heavy cruisers that the crews were whispering

And when the future Prince Phillip who was a Lt on HMS Valiant gave the order to unmask the spot lights he was commanding at maximum spread the lights only illuminated half the target Cruiser.

Granted this was against the Italians but still they were no mugs and I am not sure that statement stands in Dec 1941 verse the RNs first string
 
I keep seeing this statement - the RN had a well proven track record by Dec 41 of a number of very one sided night actions

They tip toed 3 Battle ships so close to 3 Italian Heavy cruisers that the crews were whispering

And when the future Prince Phillip who was a Lt on HMS Valiant gave the order to unmask the spot lights he was commanding at maximum spread the lights only illuminated half the target Cruiser.

Granted this was against the Italians but still they were no mugs and I am not sure that statement stands in Dec 1941 verse the RNs first string
To be fair nobody was wonderful at night combat prior to the development of practical night vision and universal radar adoption. But Britain was pretty good at what there was of it and historically the Japanese usually attacked in daylight anyway.
 
To be fair nobody was wonderful at night combat prior to the development of practical night vision and universal radar adoption. But Britain was pretty good at what there was of it and historically the Japanese usually attacked in daylight anyway.
And Britian is developing radar.
 
Very true and even if fighters aren't fitted at this point Swordfish soon will be which makes effective night raids and directing other faster planes a very real possibility at last.
Not just planes, if there's any submarines in the area, they could home in on the signal too.
 
Also, a Swordfish in the area will be useful for spotting Japanese submarines that might be shadowing the fleet.
 
Actually as Bismark was located by an ASV II equipped Swordfish despite cloud, they already have the capability.
I meant gunnery radar. A radar mounted to a small plane generally doesn't pick up a lot of returns from itsw own frame, while one mounted to a warship does.
 
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I'm actually curiouis of whether Thailand's response will change. Britain has a much stronger army, and, assuming like OTL, Churchill has been trying to get an alliance with them. Though Phibun, the Prime Minister, is pro-Japanese, he had sought guarantees from Britain and the US in the case of a Japanese invasion part way through 1941. At the time, neither could give effective support, though Churchill was in favour of publicly saying a declaration of war would result if the Japanese did, as long as the US did as well, which they were not willing to.

On the 3rd December when Phibun reached a deal with the Japanese, Britain issued them a warning that the Japanese were preparing for a Thailand invasion, and Churchill effective guaranteed them by saying "... and we shall regard an attack on you as an attack upon ourselves." Britain certainly looks like they are a lot more capable of keeping that up ITTL. I don't think this close much will change. They might continue to resist longer, and some of their government was in favour of continued resistance. I highly doubt they would declare war on Britain if the Malay campaign fails. If Britain starts attacking Japanese transports getting too close to their territory before they surrender...
 
I'm actually curiouis of whether Thailand's response will change. Britain has a much stronger army, and, assuming like OTL, Churchill has been trying to get an alliance with them. Though Phibun, the Prime Minister, is pro-Japanese, he had sought guarantees from Britain and the US in the case of a Japanese invasion part way through 1941. At the time, neither could give effective support, though Churchill was in favour of publicly saying a declaration of war would result if the Japanese did, as long as the US did as well, which they were not willing to.

On the 3rd December when Phibun reached a deal with the Japanese, Britain issued them a warning that the Japanese were preparing for a Thailand invasion, and Churchill effective guaranteed them by saying "... and we shall regard an attack on you as an attack upon ourselves." Britain certainly looks like they are a lot more capable of keeping that up ITTL. I don't think this close much will change. They might continue to resist longer, and some of their government was in favour of continued resistance. I highly doubt they would declare war on Britain if the Malay campaign fails. If Britain starts attacking Japanese transports getting too close to their territory before they surrender...
If those transports get too close to Thai territory? Or to British territory? Let's see whether the Japanese can put troops ashore in and kind of organised way first, before talking of which way Thailand would jump, shall we?
 
I'm actually curiouis of whether Thailand's response will change. Britain has a much stronger army, and, assuming like OTL, Churchill has been trying to get an alliance with them. Though Phibun, the Prime Minister, is pro-Japanese, he had sought guarantees from Britain and the US in the case of a Japanese invasion part way through 1941. At the time, neither could give effective support, though Churchill was in favour of publicly saying a declaration of war would result if the Japanese did, as long as the US did as well, which they were not willing to.

On the 3rd December when Phibun reached a deal with the Japanese, Britain issued them a warning that the Japanese were preparing for a Thailand invasion, and Churchill effective guaranteed them by saying "... and we shall regard an attack on you as an attack upon ourselves." Britain certainly looks like they are a lot more capable of keeping that up ITTL. I don't think this close much will change. They might continue to resist longer, and some of their government was in favour of continued resistance. I highly doubt they would declare war on Britain if the Malay campaign fails. If Britain starts attacking Japanese transports getting too close to their territory before they surrender...
Which is another factor, it seems to me, which may derail the original timeline 'day of infamy' date and/or which targets Imperial Japan decides to go for - if they go for any at all...
 
Tanks with radial engines aren't a great idea. A design where you need to be either at a repair depot, or be a contortionist just to check/change the spark-plugs is a poor design.
Given the shortage of high power inline/V engines, the options are poor engines or none at all.

Sherman's were equipped with a crazy array of engines simply for lack of enough examples of an appropriate engine.

Whine at radials in tanks if you want but the alternative is no engine, not a better one.
Given that choice, I'd take the radial, thanks.

For crying out loud, 5 car engines bodged together was mass produced!!!
 
For crying out loud, 5 car engines bodged together was mass produced!!!
And surprisingly, was far more reliable than you would think.
My favorite missed opportunity for M4 power, was the 600hp, 2181 cubic inch, OHC Hemi head Hall-Scott 'Defender' V-12
First run in 1937.
Most were used in boats by the UK and US, for marine applications.
 
Given the shortage of high power inline/V engines, the options are poor engines or none at all.

Sherman's were equipped with a crazy array of engines simply for lack of enough examples of an appropriate engine.

Whine at radials in tanks if you want but the alternative is no engine, not a better one.
Given that choice, I'd take the radial, thanks.

For crying out loud, 5 car engines bodged together was mass produced!!!
You mean, other than the Ford GAA? It's not that such engines weren't available, they simply weren't considered at first.
 
You known I wonder if the British and Commonwealth forces picked up any members of that Indian unit the Germans formed at the behest of Chandra also I have to wonder how Malaysia being held and Burma delayed or nor happening will effect the formation of the Azad Hind.
 
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