Monday, 9 April 2018

What did the Royal Johor Military Force do to defend Johor against the Japanese when they invaded Malaya in 1941?

I thought you might like to know about the Japanese concept of a unified East Asia conceived back in August 1940. It took form based on an Imperial Japanese Army concept that originated with General HachirĊ Arita. 
Take note of the role played by the British and Commonwealth forces (who were no match against the Japanese army) in their attempt to defend Malaya. 
Take note also of the fact, there is no mention of any resistance from the army of the ancestors of Ismail (aka HRH Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Crown Prince of Johor) i.e The Royal Johor Military Force, despite what we are told by Ismail today that his father, grandfather and ancestors protected the state of Johor whenever there is a crisis. 
According to historians, in Malaya, the occupation commenced with Imperial Japanese Army landings at Padang Pak Amat beach Kota Bharu just after midnight on 8 December 1941, triggering a ferocious battle with the British Indian Army an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. 
This battle marked the official start of the Pacific War and the start of the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Kota Bharu airport was occupied in the morning. Sungai Patani, Butterworth, and Alor Star airports were captured on 9 December 1941. Japanese soldiers landing at Kota Bharu divided into two separate forces, with one moving down the east coast towards Kuantan, and the other southwards towards the Perak River. 
On 11 December 1941, the Japanese started bombing Penang. Jitra and then Alor Star fell into Japanese hands on 12 December 1941. The British had to retreat to the south. On 16 December 1941, the British left Penang to the Japanese, who occupied it on 19 December.
The Japanese continued to advance southwards, capturing Ipoh on 26 December. Fierce resistance to Japanese progress in the Battle of Kampar lasted three days and three nights between 30 December 1941 and 2 January 1942, before the British had to retreat once again. 
On 7 January 1942, two brigades of the 11th Indian Infantry Division were defeated in the Battle of Slim River, giving the Japanese army easy passage to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya. 
On 9 January, the British position was becoming more desperate and the ABDACOM Supreme Commander, General Wavell, decided to withdraw all the British and Commonwealth forces south to Johor, thus abandoning Kuala Lumpur (which was captured by the Japanese on 13 January).
The British defensive line was established in north Johor, from Muar in the west, through Segamat, and then to Mersing in the east. The 45th Indian Infantry Brigade were placed along the western part of the line between Muar and Segamat. The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were concentrated in the middle, from where they advanced north from Segamat, clashing with the advancing Japanese army at Gemas on 14 January. 
The 15th Division (forming the main Japanese force) arrived on 15 January, and forced the Australians back to Segamat. The Japanese then proceeded west towards the inexperienced 45th Indian Brigade, easily defeating them. The Allied command directed the Australian 2/19th and 2/29th Battalions to the west; the 2/19th Battalion engaged the Japanese on 17 January 1942 to the south of Muar.
Fighting continued until 18 January, and despite efforts by the 2/19th and 2/29th Battalions, the Johor defensive line collapsed. The Allies had to retreat across the Johor Causeway to Singapore. 
As 31 January 1942 approached, the whole of Malaya had fallen into Japanese hands...and what, you may want to ask Ismail aka HRH Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Crown Prince of Johor, did the Royal Johor Military Force and his ancestors do to defend Johor in that crisis?