RAF Hawker Tempests in the Malayan Emergency

Following the outbreak of the Malayan Emergency in 1948, Tempest IIfighter-bombers became the backbone of the RAF’s response to the terroristsuntil they were finally displaced by jets in 1952.

When the Japanese armed forces invaded Southeast Asia in 1941, they found many willing allies among the colonialised nationalists who wanted independence from the French, British and Dutch empires that had controlled the region for centuries. There was only one political force in Asia that willingly fought with the Allies: the communists, who were following the orders of the Comintern and the example of the Soviet Union. The communist insurgent forces were strongest in French Indochina and Malaya. Following the end of the war against the Japanese, anti-colonial struggles broke out in both places. While the French would lose the First Indochina War by 1954, the British forces eventually prevailed against the communists in a counter-insurgency campaign that lasted from 1948-60.

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