Battle of Singapore

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The Battle of Singapore was a battle of World War II from 8 to 15 February, 1942. The British army of 85,000 men was led by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, while the Japanese regiment of 36,000 men was headed by Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Japan captured the British naval base in Singapore, built as a protectionary agent for dominions in the Pacific. Japan defeated the inadequate forces at Singapore, allowing the Imperial Japanese forces to move further south in its war against the Allied powers. The defeat of the "Singapore Strategy" meant that thousands of British and Australian POW's were taken.[1]

At the beginning of December 1941, on the same day that Japan was attacking Pearl Harbour half a world away, the Japanese simultaneously bombed the Royal Air Force bases to the north of Singapore on the Malay coast, thereby eliminating the Air Force’s ability to either retaliate or protect the occupying troops on the ground. Their tactics were shrewd and incredibly well thought out. Before a Japanese soldier set foot on Singaporean soil, Britain’s naval and aerial capabilities had both been destroyed.[2]

The worst defeat in the history of British arms, the Battle of Singapore and the preceding Malayan Campaign saw Percival's command suffer around 7,500 killed, 10,000 wounded, and 120,000 captured. Japanese losses in the fighting for Singapore numbered around 1,713 killed and 2,772 wounded. While some of the British and Australian prisoners were kept at Singapore, thousands more were shipped to Southeast Asia for use as forced labor on projects such as the Siam–Burma (Death) Railway and Sandakan airfield in North Borneo.

Many of the Indian troops were recruited into the pro-Japanese Indian National Army for use in the Burma Campaign. Singapore would remain under Japanese occupation for the remainder of the war. During this period, the Japanese massacred elements of the city's Chinese population as well as others who opposed their rule.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Battle of Singapore | Infopedia". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  2. "WWII: Battle for Singapore". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2021-09-04.
  3. "What Happened During the Battle of Singapore in World War II?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2021-09-04.