Talk:18th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

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Did a quick ce, blammed the odd typo, formatted a quote, rm dupe wikilinks added Woodburn Kirby to Biblio. Gleanings to follow.Keith-264 (talk) 12:03, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Changed some headers speculatively, rv as desired.Keith-264 (talk) 12:21, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Made a start on integrating Woodburn Kirby into the narrative.Keith-264 (talk) 13:28, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Mucho gracias, old bean! :) EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:15, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
The inclusion of Woodburn Kirby has really cleared up the 53rd Brigades situation in Johore; the Aus OH was kinda confusing on the whole show.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:35, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Tally ho!Keith-264 (talk) 23:41, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
With that last edit, I have exhausted my sources. I will check out the IWM online collection in the next few days and see if they have anything that can be used to support the article. I have asked on Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request if anyone can provide some source info for the photo "File:Bosbritsurrendergroup.jpg" (purportedly shows members of the 4th or 5th Suffolk Regiment). It currently uses "PD-Japan-oldphoto", and is missing all sorts of information so I do not know if it could be used in an A or FA article.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 00:37, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Did more on 53rd Brigade but the narrative in the OH is pretty fractured so it might need another look to get everything in the right order. Keith-264 (talk) 11:57, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Keith, appreciate the routing.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 00:58, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Made some small amendments to the B of S section but it seems a little bit confused in its chronology compared to the Woodburn Kirby narrative, perhaps inevitably so given that the 18th Division was a small part of the whole. Thoughts? Keith-264 (talk) 13:40, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Very possible. It is the same with the Aus OH, the actions regarding the 18th are disjoined. In what ways are the chronology confused?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 15:13, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
The division and the two forces from it did things at the same time so writing about them separately seems to have created a narrative which mixes three time lines. The Woodburn Kirby narrative is an overview and I think that the Oz OH is a peripheral one so they don't fit too well. I thought that If I went further I would have to rewrite the whole section and since it isn't my field it would not be easy to spot discrepancies (bearing in mind that the events were a lot more confused than later accounts portray because of witnesses being killed, records not written and records destroyed). Keith-264 (talk) 16:21, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
I see your point about how that could cause (further) confusion. Would merging the various paragraphs together resolve this (at least in regards to the day it all took place)? If there any further areas of concern?
I have only really been able to work from the Aus OH for the fighting on the island. A re-write is not completely out of the picture, obviously. Likewise, I am limited in my knowledge of this area.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:35, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

@Keith-264:: Back from a brief hiatus. Reflecting on your comments, perhaps the following rewording of the current info (apologies for possibly misplaced cites, and the odd incorrect date; not in front of my sources at the moment, but will go back over to ensure accuracy later on)?

... During the day, by which time Percival had drawn up a provisional plan to withdraw to a smaller perimeter around Singapore, the division was committed piecemeal to the defence. The 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment was taken from the division and assigned to the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade,[1][2][3] while additional forces were used to create two ad hoc formations: Tomforce[a] and Massy Force.[b] The rest of the division remaining in its sector.[6]

On 11 February, Tomforce having moved to reinforce the Australians, launched a counter-attack on the captured village of Bukit Timah. The reconnaissance battalion was ordered to advance up the main road to the village, with the 4RNR to their right and the 1/5SF (reinforced with elements of the Australian 2/29th battalion, who had been temporarily attached to Tomforce) to their left. The reconnaissance battalion encountered strong Japanese resistance as they tried to enter the village near the railway station and could proceed no further. On their flank, the 1/5SF and the Australians advanced to within 400 yards (370 m) of the village, before being forced back. The 4RNR took control of an area of high ground overlooking the village but could advance no further due to a strong Japanese presence in the area.[7] Meanwhile, Massy Force had assembled on the eastern side of MacRitchie Reservoir and was ordered to defend Bukit Tinggi, west of the reservoir but Japanese forces arrived first. During the afternoon, Massy Force moved to the northern end of Bukit Timah Race Course and linked up with Tomforce who had pulled back following their failed attack on Bukit Timah.[5] Late in the day, Massy Force absorbed Tomforce and the latter ceased to exist.[8] It was later established that the Japanese 5th and 18th divisions had occupied the area.[7]

The following day, with half the island now under Japanese control, fighting intensified. The Japanese 5th Infantry Division, supported by tanks, attacked along the entire front, including the position held by Massy Force. Elements of Massy Force were pushed back, and a Japanese tank attack penetrated deep into the British positions, before they were engaged and forced back. Following the attack, Massy Force was withdrawn 3,000 yards (2,700 m) to a position along the Adam and Farrer roads.[9] During the day, the rest of the 18th Infantry Division were finally ordered to move from their coastal positions. The 53rd Brigade and the Australian 2/30th battalion covered the withdrawal of the 8th and 28th Indian Infantry Brigades, while the remnants of the division (along with the 11th Indian Division) were ordered to take up positions covering the Peirce and MacRitchie Reservoir.[10]

On 13 February, the entirely of the division had moved into the final defensive perimeter established around Singapore. This position lacked any fortifications, and it was clear all hope of victory had now been lost. The division was dis-positioned with the 54th Brigade on the left astride the road to Bukit Timah (north-west of the city), to their right was the 53rd Brigade positioned north of the Chinese cemetery, and the 55th Brigade (on the right flank) was north of the city from Thomson Road to the Adam Park estate.[11] The Japanese attacked at numerous points along the final defensive perimeter, including several assaults on the Adam Park estate. The 1CR fought off several attacks, including bayonet charges, inflicting over 600 casualties in the process for the loss of 165 men.[12] On 14 February, further attacks penetrated between the 53rd and 55th Brigades. Reinforcements from the 11th Indian Division were dispatched, repealed the Japanese attack and sealed the gap.[13]


  1. ^ Wigmore 1957, pp. 336, 357–358.
  2. ^ Atcherley 2012, pp. 70–71.
  3. ^ Medley 1995, p. 278.
  4. ^ Wigmore 1957, p. 339.
  5. ^ a b Wigmore 1957, pp. 352–353, 358–360.
  6. ^ Woodburn Kirby 2004, p. 397.
  7. ^ a b Wigmore 1957, pp. 339, 350–352.
  8. ^ Wigmore 1957, p. 359.
  9. ^ Wigmore 1957, pp. 359–360.
  10. ^ Wigmore 1957, pp. 361–364.
  11. ^ Wigmore 1957, pp. 369, 374.
  12. ^ Connelly 2012, p. 347.
  13. ^ Wigmore 1957, p. 373.
I'm on a fork lift truck course at the mo' but I'll keep in touch. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 21:51, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
No probs, and good luck with your FLT course :)EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:25, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Updated the text, copyedited, made sure the sources and dates are correct to the best of what I can make of the OH.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 14:49, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
I start the final week of the course this Monday so if you can have think about what you need most from me that would be a great help for the week after. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:53, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Keith! I have copied and pasted the above into the article for the moment, and requested a peer review for second opinions on improvements before going through the formal review process.
Specifically, if you have any details about the fighting on Singapore Island, casualties the division suffered, and any analytical comments about the division's performance, that would really help round off the final two sections.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:25, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Right.Keith-264 (talk) 22:16, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Notes based off review:[edit]

  • "Seems curious that Churchill could not ship divisions to Middle East, but could ship them to Nova Scotia so that the Americans could ship them to the Middle East. Maybe explain a bit more?"

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