What if the British/Commonwealth forces stopped the Japanese in Johore and then made Sumatra the key to keeping Malaya/Singapore supplied? Let me expand. The Australians defeat the Japanese at Muar River in mid-January 1942, aided by tanks diverted from a Russian convoy and some Italian ones captured in North Africa. After about two weeks of heavy fighting Japanese logistics collapse and they dig in. Meanwhile, Churchill, under Australian Government pressure, sacks Pervical and appoints a "fighting general" who organises strong defensive measures. The key to this would be keeping Sumatra in Allied hands to allow resupppy and aircover for southern Malaya. To this end, an Australian division from the Middle East is sent to northern Sumatra, the rest of the British 18th Division to the south to protect the Palembang airfields. The Pensacola convoy is also diverted to southern Sumatra. In response, the Japanese shift their attack to East Java. As that front collapses the remaining Dutch air,sea and land forces also retreat to Sumatra. Unlike Bataan, the Allied forces in the area would be big enough and possess enough offensive capacity that Japan could not ignore them. So the big questions for you guys are 1/ How long could Sumatra/southern Malaya hold out? 2/Would it affect the battle for Burma? 3/ Would the South-West Pacific become a backwater?