Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bicycle I.

This is coolbert:

Bicycles of War Malaya!

The two-wheel bicycle a relatively recent technological development not a whole lot older than the internal-combustion automobile.

Bicycles finding a definite military application most decidedly so during:

1. The Japanese Malayan Campaign of World War Two. 2. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu during the First Indo-China War.

Japanese bicycle-borne infantry a decisive factor in the Malayan Campaign without question. To war with "horse" on two wheels!

"The main Japanese force moved quickly to the western side of the peninsula and began sweeping down the single north-south road. The Japanese divisions were equipped with about 18,000 bicycles. Whenever the invaders encountered resistance, they detoured through the forests on bicycles or took to the sea in collapsible boats to outflank the British troops, encircle them, and cut their supply lines."

"Influenced by the intense heat and impassable jungle, Japanese planners decided from the beginning to use bicycles rather than horses as a means of troop and light material transportation. This decision allowed the foot soldiers to travel farther, faster, and with less fatigue.

"The British could not escape the troops on bicycles. They were overtaken, driven off the paved roads into the jungle, and forced to surrender. The constant pressure and relentless pursuit was psychologically devastating to the defenders; a true blitzkrieg -- Japanese-style."

Without further ado to the images:

Those in favor of the Japanese offensive greeting the bicycle troops. The Japanese had extensive commercial interests in Malaya prior to 1941. Businesses used as a base for espionage and Fifth Column activity!

When the rubber tires of the bicycles went flat the troops often rode forward further on the metal rims of the wheels and did so quite successfully.

"bicycles allowed the infantry (to continue) their advance, wading across the rivers carrying their bicycles on their shoulders, or crossing on log bridges held up on the shoulders of engineers standing in the stream."

Japanese infantry during the advance southward to Singapore lightly encumbered. Expected to feed themselves using requisitioned or commandeered local supply or CAPTURE FROM ABANDONED  BRITISH DEPOTS AND STOCKPILES!!


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