‘Jungle Warfare!’ Wrecked 25 Pounder (1945)

Wrecked Gun in JungleDes’ ink wash painting takes a humorous look at what can only be described as desperate times as the Allies retreat a and engage the enemy in the jungles of Malaya with inadequate equipment. It is well documented that the jungles were an enemy in themselves to the allies, but something the Japanese Army was used to.

‘About 4,000 British troops and their equipment were stranded in central Malaya when Japanese tanks broke through their lines and seized a raod bridge, curtailing their withdrawal. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, was abandoned by the Allies on 11th Jan, 1941 and the retreat continued to gather pace. The  Allies had no tanks with which to blast the enemy while the Japanese rolled over the inhospitable terrain with something in the order of 300 tanks. And while the Allies possessed more than twice the amount of atrillery, muc of it was in Singapore facing seawards to repel a southerly invasion. The Japanese flooded in from the opposite direction.

Japanese troops were trained for jungle warfare. The British and Australians were quickly wearied by the oppressive heat and humidity’

Source: World War Two Handbook, Abbeydale press (2004) pg 41

‘Lieutenant Colonel D’Aubuz clearly felt that no stigma applied to the 88th, and one must agree that at the very least they had proved themselves well above the average in the Malayan campaign. He stated the following:

“The regiment, apart from the East Coast operations, had fought a delaying action over 400 miles of country which has well been described as a ‘Gunner’s Nightmare’, and had taken part in 14 seperate engagements on the mainland, including two which could be dignified by the name of ‘battles’. It was probably unique in being the only regiment to bring all its guns back to the Island.”’

Source: Lancashire Gunners at War – The 88th Field Regiment, 199 – 1945 by Stephen Bull, Pgs 80

“When, before the war, a Government official, now Lord Llewellyn, queried Major – General Dobbie about the complete absence of fortifications on the north coast of Singapore, though the east and the west and the south bristled with armaments, the General replied simply: ‘The north needs no fortification. No one could get through the jungle that leads to it’
Unfortunately, the Japanese were never informed of this fact!”
(Sir John Dill, May 6th, 1941)
Source: The Naked Island by Russell Braddon; 1955 edition Pan Books Ltd, Pg 284