The Forgotten Army revolves around historical Indian figure Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army, which was forged out of Britain's defeat in Singapore during World War II while India was still under British colonial rule.
Status: In Development
Runtime: None minutes
The Forgotten Army - British Army during the Second World War - Netflix
The British Army was, in 1939, a volunteer army, that introduced limited conscription in early 1939, and full conscription shortly after the declaration of war with Germany. During the early years of the Second World War, the British Army suffered defeat in almost every theatre of war in which it was deployed. With mass conscription, the expansion of the British Army was reflected in the formation of larger armies and army groups. From 1943, the larger and better-equipped British Army never suffered a strategic defeat (although there were failures, most notably the Battle of Arnhem, part of Operation Market Garden, in September 1944). The pre-war British Army was trained and equipped to be a small, mechanised, professional army. Its main function was to garrison the British Empire. It became evident early in the war that its initial structure and manpower was woefully unprepared and ill-equipped for a war with multiple enemies on multiple fronts. The British Army, an all-volunteer force until 1939, was small in comparison to its enemies at the start of the Second World War in 1939, as it had been in the First World War. By the end of the Second World War, however, over 3.5 million men had served in the British Army.
The British Army was called on to fight around the world, starting with campaigns in Europe in 1940. After the Dunkirk evacuation, the army fought on in the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre, and in the Burma Campaign. After a series of setbacks, retreats and evacuations, the British Army eventually, with its Allies, gained the upper hand. This started with victory in the Tunisian Campaign, and then Italy was forced to surrender after the invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy itself in 1943. In 1944, the army returned to France, driving the German Army back into Germany, while in East Asia the Japanese were driven back from the Indian border into eastern Burma. Both the Germans and Japanese were defeated by 1945 and surrendered within months of each other. With the expansion of the British Army to fight a world war, new armies were formed and eventually army groups were created to control even larger formations. In command of these new armies, eight men would be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. The army commanders not only had to manage the new armies, but also a new type of soldier in formations like the Special Air Service, Special Boat Service, Commandos and the Parachute Regiment.
The Forgotten Army - 1941 - Netflix
Operation Compass was a success and the Western Desert Force advanced across Libya capturing Cyrenaica, 115,000 Italian soldiers, hundreds of tanks and artillery pieces and more than 1,100 aircraft with very few casualties of their own. Following the operation the Western Desert Force, now renamed XIII Corps and reorganised under HQ Cyrenaica Command, adopted a defensive posture. Over the next few months O'Connor became commander of British Troops Egypt while Lieutenant-General Henry Maitland Wilson became military governor of Cyrenaica. Two experienced divisions were redeployed to Greece and the 7th Armoured Division was withdrawn to the Nile Delta for refitting. XIII Corps was left with the newly arrived 2nd Armoured Division and the 9th Australian Division; both formations were inexperienced, ill–equipped, and in the case of the 2nd Armoured, under strength. In Egypt the British 6th Infantry Division was being formed from various battalions, but had no artillery or support arms. After Operation Compass the Italians despatched the Ariete and Trento Divisions to North Africa, and from February to early May, Operation Sonnenblume saw the German Afrika Korps arrive in Tripoli to reinforce the Italians. Commanded by Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel, the 5th Light and 15th Panzer Divisions went on the offensive. The offensive destroyed the 2nd Armoured Division and forced the British and Commonwealth forces into retreat. During the offensive, Lieutenant-General Philip Neame and Lieutenant-General Richard O'Connor were captured, and the British command structure had to be reorganised. HQ Cyrenaica was dissolved on 14 April and its command functions taken over by the reactivated HQ Western Desert Force, under Lieutenant-General Noel Beresford-Peirse. The Australian 9th Division fell back to the port of Tobruk, and the remaining British and Commonwealth forces withdrew a further 100 miles (160 km) east to Sollum on the Libyan–Egyptian border. In May, the 22nd Guards Brigade and elements of the British 7th Armoured Division launched Operation Brevity. It was conceived as a rapid blow in the Sollum area, and intended to create advantageous conditions from which to launch Operation Battleaxe, the main offensive that was planned for June. Its objectives were to recapture the Halfaya Pass, drive the enemy from the Sollum and Capuzzo areas, and deplete Rommel's forces. A secondary objective was to advance towards Tobruk, although only as far as supplies would allow, and without risking the force committed to the operation. However the operation was inconclusive and only succeeded in retaking the Halfaya Pass.
The Syria-Lebanon Campaign was the invasion of Vichy French controlled Syria and Lebanon in June–July 1941. The British and Commonwealth forces involved were the British 1st Cavalry Division, British 6th Infantry Division, 7th Australian Division, 1st Free French Division and the 10th Indian Infantry Division. The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in August–September by British, Dominion and Soviet Union forces was to secure the Iranian oil fields and ensure supply lines in the Persian Corridor. The invasion from the South was known as Iraqforce, under the command of General Edward Quinan. Iraqforce was made up of the 8th and 10th Indian Infantry Divisions, Indian 2nd Armoured Brigade Group, British 4th Cavalry Brigade and the 21st Indian Infantry Brigade. In the South-East Asian theatre, the Battle of Hong Kong began on 8 December 1941, a day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into the conflict. The British defenders were from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots and the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, with supporting artillery and engineer units. The garrison also included British Indian Army battalions, two Canadian Army battalions and the locally raised Hong Kong Chinese Regiment and the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps. By the afternoon of 25 December 1941, it was clear that further resistance would be futile and after holding out for 17 days Hong Kong surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army. On the Malay Peninsula the Japanese invasion of Malaya also started on 8 December 1941. Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Malaya Command, had nearly 90,000 troops from Britain, India, and Australia. During the Malayan Campaign the Japanese advanced 600 miles (970 km) in 70 days and forced Singapore to surrender in the new year.
The Battle of Crete followed. The force consisted of the original 14,000 British garrison and another 25,000 Commonwealth troops evacuated from Greece. The units involved were the British 14th Infantry Brigade, 2nd New Zealand Division (less the 6th Brigade and division headquarters), and the 19th Australian Brigade Group. In total, about 15,000 British and Commonwealth infantrymen, reinforced by about 5,000 non infantry personnel, and one composite Australian artillery battery were involved. After a brief campaign 15,000 men were evacuated by the Royal Navy, leaving some 12,000 Allied troops behind, most taken as prisoners of war. The British in the Anglo-Iraqi War had to contend with the four infantry divisions of the Royal Iraqi Army (RIrA). The war lasted from 2–31 May, with the British forces grouped together in Iraqforce.
The followup to Brevity was Operation Battleaxe, involving the 7th Armoured Division, 22nd Guards Brigade and 4th Indian Infantry Division from XIII Corps commanded by Lieutenant-General Noel Beresford-Peirse. Battleaxe was also a failure, and with the British forces defeated, Churchill wanted a change in command, so Wavell exchanged places with General Claude Auchinleck, as Commander-in-Chief, India. The desert force was now reorganized into XXX Corps and XIII Corps and renamed the Eighth Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Alan Cunningham. Their next attack, Operation Crusader, was a success, and Rommel withdrew to the defensive line at Gazala, and then all the way back to El Agheila. Crusader was the first victory over the Germans by British-led forces in the war. On 11 December, General Wavell ordered the 4th Indian Infantry Division to withdraw from Operation Compass to take part in an offensive against Italian forces in Italian East Africa alongside the 5th Indian Infantry Division. Both divisions faced vastly superior Italian forces (ten divisions in total) that threatened the Red Sea supply routes to Egypt as well as Egypt and the Suez Canal itself. The East African campaign culminated in March 1941 with a British victory in the Battle of Keren. Having guaranteed to come to the aid of Greece in the event of war, Britain became involved in the Battle of Greece, and on 2 March Operation Lustre began which sent 62,000 troops to Greece. The Commonwealth force comprised the Australian and New Zealand Divisions withdrawn from the desert, and the British 1st Armoured Brigade. 'W' Force, as they became known after their commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, was too small and could not stop the Axis advance and was ordered to evacuate. The evacuation began on 24 April and by 30 April about 50,000 troops had been evacuated. The remaining 7–8,000 troops were captured by the Germans.
The Forgotten Army - References - Netflix