1st Malaya Infantry Brigade

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1st Malaya Infantry Brigade
Malay Regiment at bayonet practice.jpg
Men of the Malay Regiment at bayonet practice
Active1939-1942
Disbanded1942
Country British Malaya
Allegiance British Crown
BranchArmy
Type Infantry
Size Brigade
Part of Malaya Command
Garrison/HQ Singapore
Engagements Malayan Campaign
- Battle of Kota Bahru
Battle of Singapore
- Battle of Pasir Panjang
Commanders
Last commanding officer Brig G.C.R. Williams

The 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade was a regular infantry brigade formed in 1939 with its headquarters in Singapore immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. [1] The Brigade participated in the Battle of Singapore against the Japanese until the surrender of the garrison in February 1942.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia. The country is situated one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%.

Battle of Singapore World War II battle

The Battle of Singapore, also known as the Fall of Singapore, was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore—nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the key to British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific. The fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 to 15 February 1942, after the two months during which Japanese forces had advanced down the Malayan Peninsula.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Contents

History

Formed on 3 September 1939, [1] the formation was initially known as the Malaya Infantry Brigade as part of the wartime expansion and reinforcement of Malaya Command. [2] It was re-designated the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade when the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade was formed on 8 September 1940. [3]

Malaya Command

The Malaya Command was a formation of the British Army formed in the 1920s for the coordination of the defences of British Malaya, which comprised the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States and the Unfederated Malay States. It consisted mainly of small garrison forces in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Taiping, Seremban and Singapore.

The 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade was a regular infantry brigade formed in 1940 with its headquarters in Singapore following the wartime expansion and reinforcement of Malaya Command. The Brigade participated in the Malayan Campaign and the Battle of Singapore against the Japanese until the surrender of the garrison in February 1942.

Malayan Campaign

The 1st Battalion, Mysore Infantry served in airfield security duties during the Battle of Kota Bahru as part of the 8th Indian Infantry Brigade. With the collapse of the defences in Kota Bahru, the Battalion was withdrawn to Singapore and was joined with the Brigade on 18 December 1941. [4]

The 8th Indian Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade formation of the Indian Army during World War II. It was formed in September 1939, in India. In November 1940, the brigade was assigned to the 11th Indian Infantry Division. The brigade was attached to the 9th Indian Infantry Division from March 1941. The brigade took part in the Malayan Campaign and surrendered with the rest of the Allied forces in February 1942, after the Battle of Singapore.

Battle of Singapore

All organised Allied forces in Malaya had retreated to Singapore on 31 January 1942. The Brigade was deployed as part of the defence of the Southern Area of Singapore under the command of Maj Gen Frank Keith Simmons together with the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force Brigade and the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade. [5]

Major general, is a "two-star" rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. The rank was also briefly used by the Royal Air Force for a year and a half, from its creation to August 1919. In the British Army, a major general is the customary rank for the appointment of division commander. In the Royal Marines, the rank of major general is held by the Commandant General.

Frank Keith Simmons British Army general

Major General Frank Keith Simmons, was a senior British Army officer during the Second World War. He was commander of the Singapore Fortress when it fell to the invading Imperial Japanese Army in February 1942. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of the Japanese.

The 12th Indian Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade at the outbreak of the Indian Army during World War II. It was sent to Singapore in August 1939 and took part in the Malayan Campaign before going into captivity with the Fall of Singapore in February 1942.

The Brigade put up a stubborn defence during the Battle of Pasir Panjang [6] which included the famous last stand at Bukit Chandu led by a platoon of C Company of the Malay Regiment under the command of 2Lt Adnan bin Saidi. [7] [8]

Battle of Pasir Panjang Final battle in Singapore during World War 2 against the Japanese

The Battle of Pasir Panjang, which took place between 12 and 15 February 1942, was part of the final stage of the Empire of Japan's invasion of Singapore during World War II. The battle was initiated upon the advancement of elite Imperial Japanese Army forces towards Pasir Panjang Ridge on 13 February.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

With the fall of the Pasir Panjang Ridge, the Brigade fell back to the defensive line established along Mount Echo in Tanglin to Buona Vista. The Brigade was disbanded with the general surrender of the Singapore on 15 February 1942.

Tanglin Planning Area in Central ----, Singapore

Tanglin is a planning area located within the Central Region of Singapore. Tanglin is located west of Newton, Orchard, River Valley and Singapore River, south of Novena, east of Bukit Timah, northeast of Queenstown and north of Bukit Merah.

Buona Vista is a housing estate located in the subzones of one-north and Holland Drive in the residential township of Queenstown in Singapore. The housing estate is served by the Buona Vista MRT Station which links it up with the MRT system. It also has a bus terminal.

Formations

September 1939

The following units were put under the command of the Brigade when it was initially formed as the Malaya Infantry Brigade in 1939: [9]

December 1940

With the formation of the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, units were transferred to the new Brigade: [4]

December 1941

The following units were under the command of the Brigade during the outbreak of hostilities in Malaya on 8 December 1941: [10]

February 1942

The final order of battle of the Brigade prior to its surrender and dissolution: [4] [10]

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References

  1. 1 2 "1 Malaya Infantry Brigade - Unit History". Orders of Battle. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. "Malaya Command (1930 - 1942) - History & Personnel" (PDF). British Military History. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. "2 Malaya Infantry Brigade - Unit History". Orders of Battle. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 "Malaya Command Troops (1941-42)" (PDF). British Military History. 30 December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  5. Percival, A. E. (25 April 1946). "Operations of Malaya Command, From 8th December 1941 to 15th February 1942 (Part 3 - The Battle of Singapore)". The London Gazette. His Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  6. Percival, A. E. (25 April 1946). "Operations of Malaya Command, From 8th December 1941 to 15th February 1942 (Part 3 - The Battle of Singapore - Section LIV: Events of the 13th February, 1942.)". The London Gazette. His Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  7. Sheppard, Mervyn Cecil ff. (1947). The Malay Regiment 1933-1947. Kuala Lumpur, Malaya: Malaya Department of Public Relations.
  8. 1 2 Blackburn, Kevin; Hack, Karl (18 June 2004). Did Singapore Have to Fall?: Churchill and the Impregnable Fortress. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Ebooks. ISBN   978-1-134-39638-2.
  9. "Malaya Command (1939)" (PDF). British Military History. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  10. 1 2 "British and Dominion Armed Forces - Singapore Fortress 8 December 1942". World War II Armed Forces – Orders of Battle and Organizations. Retrieved 4 March 2012.