Squeaking Wheels

Cycling home from the office last night it struck me how many people seemed to have nice bicycles but had failed to oil them, one after the other they squeaked past.

I’m sure I’ve read somewhere, or perhaps seen it on the TV (The World at War perhaps?), that during the fall of Singapore in 1942 the Japanese used bikes in large numbers which lacked lubrication. These large numbers of troops all squeaking along created a noise not dissimilar to tanks squeaking on the move. Which had a detrimental effect on the already demoralised British defenders, who now believed they also faced Japanese Armour.

So I’ve two questions. A cursory search of the internet has failed to turn up any reference to squeaking Japanese bikes attacking Singapore, have I invented this story? It sounds like nonsense, though often these ridiculous stories do have an element of truth.

My second query is, how big would a unit of squeaky cyclists need to be to sound like a tank?

It would have to sound like a very squeaky tank to over power the noise of the engine!