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  #1  
Old 15-12-2012, 18:44
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960

The Malayan Emergency was an ideological armed conflict which was fought between a communist insurgent army of Malaya and the Commonwealth armed forces, from 1948 to 1960. The guerrilla army which started the war against the colonial government was the Malayan Communist Party’s military arm, which was called Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA).

The Malayan Emergency was the colonial government’s term to refer to the conflict.
The insurgent army called it the Anti-British National Liberation War. The rubber plantations and tin mining industries convinced the government to use the word "emergency" instead of "war" since their losses would not have been covered by Lloyd’s insurers if it had been called a "war." Although the communists had been defeated by 1960, communist leader Chin Peng renewed the war seven years later. That new war would last until 1989, and became known as the Communist Insurgency War. Despite the fact that Australian and British armed forces had fully withdrawn from Malaysia years earlier, the insurgency was again defeated by the Malaysian government.

Background to the Malayan Emergency
After World War II the Malayan economy lay in shambles as major social problems broke out, such as unemployment, low wages, scarce food, and high inflation. These economic problems caused social malaise and considerable labor unrest. From 1946 to 1948, a large number of strikes took place in Malaya. The British administration tried to mend Malaya’s economy quickly, as revenue from Malaya’s tin and rubber industries was important to Britain’s own post-war recovery. In order to deal with the protesters who rioted and caused problems, the colonial government passed several measures which included arrests and deportations. As a result, protesters became increasingly ideological militant and biased to the extreme left.

Summary of the Malayan Emergency War
The Malayan Emergency War broke out on June 16, 1948, when three European plantation managers were killed at Sungai Siput, Perak, by the Malayan National Liberation Army. It was the first overt act of war. To counteract the insurgent attacks, the British Army’s Director of Operations in Malaya, Harold Briggs, developed an overall multi-faceted strategy called the Briggs Plan. One aspect of it was the forced relocation of some 500,000 rural Malayans from squatter communities on the fringes of the forests into guarded camps known as New Villages. These villages were newly constructed in most cases, and were surrounded by barbed wire, police posts and floodlit areas, the purpose of which was both to keep the inhabitants in and the guerrillas out, cutting off the insurgents from their supporters amongst the population. Although People resented it at first, the majority soon became content with the better living standards in the villages. They were given money and ownership of the land they lived on. Removing a population which might be sympathetic to guerrillas was a counter-insurgency technique which the British had used before, notably against the Boer Commandos in the Second Boer War (1899–1902).

At the beginning of the Malayan Emergency conflict, the British deployed 26 British infantry battalions in Malaya: 7 Gurkha battalions, 3 British battalions of Guards, two battalions of the Royal Malay Regiment and a British Royal Artillery Regiment, which was used as infantry. Nevertheless, this force was too small to effectively fight the communist terrorists, and more infantry battalions were needed in Malaya. So, the British brought in more units, such as the Royal Marines, three battalions from Royal Australian Regiment, and a Special Air Service unit. The Australians would become extremely skillfull in this counter-insurgency war. Along with the SAS, they became the British lethal weapons in the jungle guerrilla war against the Malayan National Liberation Army. Operating deep in the jungle behind the enemy lines, the Australians and SAS wreaked havoc on the enemy.

By 1960, after twelve long years of savage fighting, the National Liberation Army had been defeated and the commander of the leftist guerrilla army, Chin Peng, had left the country for Beijing where he was given political asylum by the Chinese authorities in the International Liaison Bureau, where many other Southeast Asian Communist Party leaders were housed. With the independence of Malaya under Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman on August 31, 1957, the communist insurrection had lost its rationale as a war of colonial liberation. The last serious resistance from MRLA guerrillas ended with a surrender in the Telok Anson marsh area in 1958. The remaining MRLA forces fled to the Thai border and further east.

jainso31

Last edited by jainso31 : 15-12-2012 at 18:55.
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  #2  
Old 15-12-2012, 18:58
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: THE MALAYAN EMERGENCY...1948-1960

ROYAL NAVY UNITS INVOLVED

HMS Amethyst
HMS Charity, 8th. Destroyer Flotilla, During 1952 HMS CHARITY carried out a couple of bombardments of positions in Western Malaya at the request of the British Army.
H.M.S. Comus, 8th. Destroyer Flotilla. Comus also carried out patrols during 1949 often hosting crews of the R.N. Motor Launches which patrol up rivers.
HMS Consort, 8th. Destroyer Flotilla, patrolled off the Malayan coast as well as being involved in the Yantse incident and in action off the Korean coast during a ten-year delpoyment in the far east.
HMS Crane based at Hong Kong 1953-55 and Sembawang, Singapore 1959-60.
HMS Defender
HMS Dragonfly
HMS Eagle, served off the coast of Malaya 1965 and sent landing parties ashore during hostilities. Also many hellicopter drops to British and Allied forces in the jungle.
HMS Hart HMS Hart served on the east and west coast doing bombardments taking Gurkha troops up rivers and landing them in the ships own boats, operations with scots guards etc screening operations with the army or police exerting a stabilising influence by showing the flag on both coasts sept 1950 1951.
HMS Llandaff (Type 61 frigate) did bandit patrol in the Malacca straits 1959 stopping local Chinese junks and searching them for arms coming over from Sumatra. Thanks to ME1 Fleming G.E PK 973824 for this entry.
HMS Newcastle, served on station (May 1957 to October 1958) both patrolling and "PLASTERING THE COMMUNIST CAMPS", with 6" broadsides. I for one was sleeping on a mess table at the time of one bombardment, which brought down all the plate and cups from the bulkhead mounted mess locker. I suffered multiple small lacerations and lots of humiliation. It was also, during a refit period that one of the ships cooks and I took leave with 40 Commando way up past KL. By way of the rail link and a present of an ex WWII 303 Enfield, still with the grease filled barrel.
HMS Newfoundland
HMS PUncheston M1174 104th minesweeping squadron. Capt. Lt.Cdr. Hancock. I served from our arrival from Malta in Nov 1959 - to Oct 1960. My Rating at the time was - Marine Engineering Mechanic(Mechanical) 1st.Class.
HMS St. Brides Bay far east station 1957-59.coastal patrols,at Malacca for Malayian indepence day,ratings going from Singapore to Penang on rest leave,standing armed guard on the train journey,
HMS Triumph, 800 (seafires) and 827 (Firefly) NAS carried out strikes communist terrorists in September 1949.
848 Naval Air Squadron
6th Minesweeping Squadron Squadron was recommissioned from reserve at Singapore in 1950, served on Malayan & Borneo patrol until 1953.
HMS Jaseur
HMS Michael
HMS Maenad
HMS Magicienne

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Old 15-12-2012, 19:08
johnny07 johnny07 is offline
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Default Re: THE MALAYAN EMERGENCY...1948-1960

My memory of the emergency was when my mother took my brother and me out to Hong Kong in 1949 to join my father who was in Tamar.
We sailed out in the troopship Empire Orwell which was packed with a commando brigade en route to Malaya.
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Old 16-12-2012, 08:57
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency..1948-1960

Thank you for the comment Johnny-Yes,as you say Empire Orwell was the trooper for No4 Commando and Tamar was in Hong Kong at the time.

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Old 17-12-2012, 13:48
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Forester Forester is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency 1948-1960

The Malayan Emergency was far more complicated than a military action. As usual, it was all about the politics and it was politics that ended it. Support for the government increased and support for the insurgents declined until they no longer had anywhere to hide, nor any food to eat. The core of the guerilla army were the same resistance units formed and armed by Force Z to harrass the Japanese occupiers. Their initial objective was to continue resistance - this time against the return of colonial rule and, when that failed, to try and prevent the formation of a Malay dominated government in the UK parliamentary model.

The military acted against the communist forces outside the towns, but the 'hearts and minds' struggle took place in the towns and villages and was carried out by the civil power using the police force. By the late 1950s half of the soldiers engaged in the struggle were locals serving in the Malayan Army's own regiments. My father-in-law was killed in an ambush in Johor in 1960 while he and his Royal Malay Regiment platoon were escorting a British Royal Signals working party repairing cut telephone lines. This was a common tactic by the CTs and they knew perfectly well they'd be ambushed at some point in the detail, as usual. Do a job like that often enough and fate will get you in the end.

It always fascinates me that my wife, then a little girl in primary school, never noticed any fighting - even though a two hour gun battle between CTs and the police took place in the family's rubber smallholding at Ayer Kuning in Perak. I suppose she thought it was just firecrackers.


CTs = Communist Terrorists. They were always referred to as CTs.
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Old 19-12-2012, 09:35
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency 1948-1960

Many thanks for your testament and comment Forester

"The military acted against the communist forces outside the towns, but the 'hearts and minds' struggle took place in the towns and villages and was carried out by the civil power using the police force. By the late 1950s half of the soldiers engaged in the struggle were locals serving in the Malayan Army's own regiments. My father-in-law was killed in an ambush in Johor in 1960 while he and his Royal Malay Regiment platoon were escorting a British Royal Signals working party repairing cut telephone lines. This was a common tactic by the CTs and they knew perfectly well they'd be ambushed at some point in the detail, as usual. Do a job like that often enough and fate will get you in the end."

As you say it was a struggle for the hearts and minds of the populace which the CT's lost.


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Old 03-11-2013, 02:52
merryblessed merryblessed is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency 1948-1960

Are we allowed to post a link ??
This is a great film on the Malayan Emergency

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It4OHz4Gz8c
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:00
merryblessed merryblessed is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency 1948-1960

Other ships in the Malyan Emergency included HMAS Voyager, HMAS Warramunga, HMAS Anzac, HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Melbourne,
Don't forget the Aussies were there !
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:17
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: The Malayan Energency 1948-1960

Indeed Merryblessed and by October 1955 Australian troops of the 2nd Royal Australian Regiment arrived,along with a field battery; to form the nucleus of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade-a title made famous in Korea.This Brigade became operational in early 1956 and took over an area in Perak.It's Commonwealth units gradually built up with NZ,Gurkha,Malay troops and British battalions during that year.

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