Malacian Military Resources.


Background. A small force –the Malacian Army Group- fought along side the British and American armies in North Africa and Italy. They were equipped by the British as the State Department refused to allow the issue of any American military equipment to Malacia; this refusal gave rise to several complaints from senior officers in the field. It is known that as part of the agreement that brought Malacia into the war not only would Britain equip the Malacian force but the Malacians would keep the equipment they were using when the war ended. They would also be allowed to ship back to Malacia any equipment that was replaced or declared obsolete. It was established that Malacia ‘paid’ for these by supplying Britain with aluminum at a considerable discount to the cost to ourselves.

Current Status. The Malacian Army Group returned home equipped with Churchill and Crusader tanks. The latter are armed with the British ‘6-pounder’ (57mm) gun while the former are armed with a mix of 57mm and 75mm guns. Towards the end of 1945 the Malacian army purchased more Churchill tanks to give a total strength of about 120 Churchills and Crusaders. Surplus Crusader tanks have had their turrets removed and replaced with a built-up superstructure and are used as gun tractors and infantry carriers. The Crusaders are recognised as obsolete and it is believed that the Malacian army is negotiating to purchase British Cromwell tanks as soon as the British army replace theirs with Comet tanks. Their Infantry platoons are armed with Lee-Enfield rifles and Sten guns in roughly equal proportions, and they also have Bren and Vickers machine guns. Their standard infantry anti-tank weapon is currently the British PIAT but we are aware that they have invested in the development of the British recoilless gun program, and are currently in the process of ordering an unknown quantity of the 3.45 inch caliber version. They also have 57mm anti-tank guns along with a few 76mm (17 pounder) guns; their artillery consists of 25 pounder and 5.5 inch guns which are all towed. They have no heavier artillery.

The Malacian Air-Force is similarly equipped with British equipment, currently Spitfire fighters of various marks, Beaufighter night fighters and torpedo bombers, Whirlwind fighter-bombers and a few Mosquitoes; it is believed that the latter have severe problems operating due to the high humidity. They still operate biplane flying boats for maritime patrols but are hoping to acquire Sunderland flying boats as soon as they are available from the British air force.


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Last updated 12th August 2014.

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Copyright SR Jenkins, August 2014.