Britain's Secret War against Japan, 1937-1945

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-09-06
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This new work explains how Britain's defense establishment learned to engage Japan's armed forces as the Pacific War progressed. Prior to Japan's invasion of Southeast Asia in December 1941, the British held a contemptuous view of Japanese military prowess. The situation was not helped by the high level of secrecy which surrounded Japan's war planning, as well as the absence of prior engagements with the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army. The fall of 'Fortress Singapore' in February 1942 dispelled the notion that the Japanese were incapable of challenging the West. British military officials acknowledged how their forces in the Far East were inadequate, and made a concerted effort to improve their strength and efficiency. However, because Britain's forces were tied down in their operations in Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean, they had to fight the Japanese with limited resources. Drawing upon the lessons obtained through Allied experiences in the Pacific theatres as well as their ownencounters in Southeast Asia, the British used the available intelligence on the strategy, tactics and morale of Japan's armed forces to make the best use of what they had, and by the closing stages of the war in 1944-45, they were able to devise a war plan which paved the way for the successful war effort. This is the first comprehensive account of how intelligence played a pivotal role in shaping Britain's conduct of its campaigns against the Japanese in Southeast Asia at a multitude of levels - strategic, operational and tactical.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements xi
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1(11)
Ambiguity and complacency: Britain's assessment of Japan prior to the outbreak of war
The lessons of defeat and limited victories, December 1941 to January 1943
Gauging the balance of an unpredictable war: the evolution of British intelligence on Japanese strategy, January 1943 to August 1945
Material and technology versus methods of use: intelligence on the tactical and technical capabilities of Japan's armed forces
Racial contempt or logical analysis?: British intelligence on Japanese military morale
Conclusion: the intelligence war in Asia and the Pacific, 1937--1945: the British and Japanese experiences in comparison 176(17)
Notes and references 193(41)
Bibliography 234(16)
Index 250

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