Why was/is the British army so capable?

RogerRanger

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Mate, Japanese outclassed you and throw you out of southeast Asia into Burma and they contained you there until the end of the war, you were not factor there before USA came with full power. You know that Singapure was built to never fell but it did like house of cards.
You can not blame Japanese for your lack of anticipation and readiness when we talk about outcome.
Yep all fair points. Indeed, total failure in South east Asia against the Japanese.
 

mulj

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Yep all fair points. Indeed, total failure in South east Asia against the Japanese.
i do not diminish british imperial armed forces with this examlpe, probably the longest most successful sucessor of Roman empire in terms these factors combined, army, politics, culture, technology but history is like that it goes in amplitudes, you kept yours on increase direction for very long time and on your other topic explained very well what went wrong and current Britain position what can be done to salvage that legacy in most efficient way.
 
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Ryder

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Not really, the most of the British army was in Europe. And once the British got a hang of Jungle warfare they defeated the Japanese, with Bill Slim. What Asia shows me is that the British are very good at adapting. By the end of the war the British/Australia/New Zealanders were as good as anyone in jungle warfare, which continued in Malaya and Indo-China. Basically the British weren't prepared at all to fight the Japanese. The Japanese army was never very good at armoured warfare either. So outside of that environment they were basically useless. The British had to fight in Europe, North Africa, Jungles of Asia. Nobody in the war was fighting in so diverse area's and able to adapt. The Americans/French for example have never had success in Asia the way the British did.

The problem was the British navy got defeated by the Japanese. In WW1 the British took basically the entire German Empire. WW2 the British held their own against the Germans. Again what gets me is how the British learn and adapt. Its also the British generals and officer class being very good as well, thinking outside of the box.

The Japanese fighting on too many fronts brought their end.

I mean they have not even won in China as it has become a stalemate then they picked a fight with the British and the Americans.

They came close to war with the Soviets but they lost the border conflicts and they got pushed out of Mongolia which led to Japan not to join against the Soviets alongside the Germans.

Japanese taking on the South East was a gamble which paid off. The British got caught off guard. The Americans also got caught off guard in the Philippines.

Japanese were winning but by late 1942 is when the conflict started to turn against them as their enemies did not surrender and come to the table.

That explains why Yamamato did not want to attack the USA when Japan's hands were already full.
 

RogerRanger

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The Japanese fighting on too many fronts brought their end.

I mean they have not even won in China as it has become a stalemate then they picked a fight with the British and the Americans.

They came close to war with the Soviets but they lost the border conflicts and they got pushed out of Mongolia which led to Japan not to join against the Soviets alongside the Germans.

Japanese taking on the South East was a gamble which paid off. The British got caught off guard. The Americans also got caught off guard in the Philippines.

Japanese were winning but by late 1942 is when the conflict started to turn against them as their enemies did not surrender and come to the table.

That explains why Yamamato did not want to attack the USA when Japan's hands were already full.
The British were in no shape to fight Japan and Japan knew this, which is why they attacked. Neither were the Americans. If you are going to war with the European powers in Asia, it was always going to draw in the Americans. So Japan has no choice but to strike first.

If the British navy has been able to stop the Japanese, then Britain would have won. However the Japanese weren't stopped until Mid-way and the Battle of Coreal Sea. Their logistics were over burdened, even the Americans were struggling with logistics later in the war, so for Japan it was very difficult, they couldn't afford to lose any ships.

So for me the Japanese victory comes from their navy dominance over the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean in that part of the war. The question for me is could the British have defeated Japan on our own, if we weren't at war in Germany. Basically Japan's fleet was so powerful and capable in that part of the war, that they could have defeated the Royal navy regardless of us being at war in Germany.

As for China, that was mainly and land conflict, where much of the Japanese forces were. So you are right if they could have ended the land war and pushed those forces into other places, it would have helped them a lot. They even took Madagascar as well. They in reality the Japanese did far more in the war than the Germans did. However they were just taking over European colonies for the most part. In terms of the US, I think the Japanese did the best they could do. All in all it was a wonderful and brilliant strategic move, much better than Hitlers move in Europe. They knocked out Britian/France/Holland/US for about a year, they took a lot of China and Korea. So the Japanese deserve credit for it in my view, though I do hate the way they treated British prisons and I can't forgive them for that. Against any serious European land power the Japanese would have been defeated in my view.

Now if the British had been able to full re-arm before the war, then Britain in my view could have defeated Japan. We were building 11 carriers. So yeah they Japanese would have struggle with that. It would have been a much more even fight.
 

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British navy was strongest from 16th to first half of 20th century. But in terms of army i don't see any wonders to be honest. Thanks to its location and navy advantage Britain was safe from invasion, it could control trade and supplies, could suprise land forces.

British strategy was simple: they plotted against the strongest country in continent making other countries to attack it. And after long attrition war at final stage they usually joined themselves.
 

RogerRanger

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British navy was strongest from 16th to first half of 20th century. But in terms of army i don't see any wonders to be honest. Thanks to its location and navy advantage Britain was safe from invasion, it could control trade and supplies, could suprise land forces.

British strategy was simple: they plotted against the strongest country in continent making other countries to attack it. And after long attrition war at final stage they usually joined themselves.
I guess you are correct, apart from Waterloo and John Churchill's victories in the war of the Spanish succession.
 

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I guess you are correct, apart from Waterloo and John Churchill's victories in the war of the Spanish succession.
Waterloo happened after long war on attrition, defeat in Spain and Russia. John Churchill and Spanish succession victories happened mostly together with Eugene Savoy who was one of the most brilliant commanders in history.
 
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Manomed

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Im seeing lots of french saying that they would destroy the British navy. They are saying that their rafales would destroy the British air force British navy and Air force could send those cheese eaters back to 16th century If you ask me.
 

Ryder

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Im seeing lots of french saying that they would destroy the British navy. They are saying that their rafales would destroy the British air force British navy and Air force could send those cheese eaters back to 16th century If you ask me.

No contest that the British navy are more superior. It cant be denied that the French have a formidable mavy and for centuries they did give the English/British a run for their money until they ultimately got defeated.

French were no doubt had a strong land army explains with Louis and Napoleon.

Every nation has their peak and fall. For the French they were better when it came to land when it came to the Navy the British were just better in every way.

Not to say the British were bad in land as they beaten the French in the French-Indian war which led to British takeover of Canada this spelt the beginning of the end for New France in North America.
 

You

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..the Brits live on an island with few resources ...they have that culture, attitude, go get em, we can do this, we need to do this, ....they don't just live for the status quo--hand to mouth .....
..where as some cultures never develop, advance, etc
 

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