Originally Posted by Pruitt
The Japanese already had hatred and contempt for the British and their Indian Army. The Japanese expected to be treated just like one of the European powers in Asian affairs. When they did not get that, they blamed the Colonial powers. There was a good deal of racial bigotry on both sides. The inept showing of certain Indian Army troops in Malaya did not help.
Malaya did convince that the Japanese soldier could attack into enemies that sometimes outnumbered them three to one and win. What they overlooked is the British fed their defenders in one brigade at a time until they were rubbed out.
Burma also showed the Japanese that the British were soft and so was the Indian Army. It would take much combat and training until 1944 to reverse this trend.
Hatred the Japanese had, contempt I'm not so sure...they were going up against the British Empire. On the other hand, as you say, the Japanese Army was ingrained with an absolute belief in their own supremacy over everyone else, including the Japanese Navy.
The 1942 invasion of Burma and the 1943 Arakan campaigns did indeed add to the Japanese conviction in their own supremacy. It is to the credit of Field Marshal Slim and others that the British-Indian 14th Army rebuilt itself and fought so well.
The key Japanese planner of the Malaya invasion, Masanobu Tsuji, absolutely DID have contempt for the British at every stage of the campaign, before, during, and after. It shows in his book, which I picked up in Hong Kong in 1993. He avoided the war crimes investigators after V-J Day.
Unbelievable campaign in every way.
I think my favorite story about the Malaya campaign was how the British censors red-lined the names of towns that had fallen to the Japanese, but newspaper readers could check the ads placed by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, listing which branches had been "temporarily closed," and thus track the Japanese advance.