Malaya and Singapore were two important targets of the
|Malaya was rich in
raw materials while Singapore was a busy port and
strong fortress. The British defences in Malaya
and Singapore proved no match for the Japanese
"Zero" fighters defeated the outdated
British planes easily. The Japanese also
destroyed two British warships, the Prince of
Wales and the Republic sent from the Singapore
naval base to defend Malaya.
Japanese forces landed on the east coast of South
Thailand and North Malaya.
At Jitra (in Kedah) the British were defeated by
the Japanese. The Japanese were armed with tanks.
They were also well-trained in jungle warfare.
The British troops retreated, leaving behind
ammunition for their enemies. A British map in
north Malaya was also left behind. The Japanese
made use of the map to plan its attack.
15-16 December 1941:
The Japanese bombed Penang and killed many
people. Many ships and boats in the harbour were
seized by the Japanese.
7 January 1942: At the Slim
River in Perak, the British fought a losing
battle against the Japanese. The Gurkhas
(Nepalese soldiers employed by the British)
fought bravely but were eventually defeated.
11 January 1942: In the railway
yards of Kuala Lumpur, the Japanese discovered
supplies of food and ammunition. They also gained
possession of the military maps of Singapore.
17 January 1942: In Johor, the
Allied forces tried to stop the Japanese from
invading Singapore. They bombed the bridge which
the Japanese crossed, killing many of them.
However, they were eventually defeated by another
Japanese troop which landed in Johor from the
31 January 1942: The Allied soldiers
retreated to Singapore and blew up the Causeway which
linked Malaya and Singapore. This was to slow down the
Japanese advancement to Singapore.
INVASION OF SINGAPORE
The British expected
the Japanese to enter Singapore by sea. They
stationed big guns near the sea to shoot the
enemies ships. The British also did not put
up a strong defence in northern Singapore. They
felt that the jungles of Johor were too thick for
the Japanese to cut through. However, the
Japanese did the exact opposite.
MOVE BY THE JAPANESE I:
Yamashita set up his headquarters at the
Sultans palace in Johor. The palace had a
tall tower to give the Japanese a good view of
The outdated British
warplanes were of no match for the Japanese
modern "Zero" fighters. To prevent the
Japanese from using the Singapore Naval Base, the
British destroyed the area themselves. Hence, the
British were crippled both by air and sea. They
were left with no strong defence to fight the
MOVE BY THE JAPANESE II:
mislead the British, the Japanese deliberately
bombed Changi and Pulau Ubin heavily. Their aim
was to lure the British into shifting their
defence supplies like petrol and explosives to
the northeast of Singapore. In this way, the
northwest would be weak in defence and the
Japanese could invade from that direction easily.
THE DIARY OF
Route of Japanese
|8 Feb 1942: The
Japanese started their attacks in Singapore after
a weeks wait in Johor Bahru. They started
firing with their artillery guns along the Strait
||9 Feb 1942: Large
Japanese troops began to cross the Strait of
Johor using motor-boats and rubber boats after
midnight. They landed in the northwest coast of
Singapore. The Japanese met fierce opposition
upon landing but they managed to push back the
11 Feb 1942: The Japanese reached Bukit
Timah. The fiercest fighting took place here. The
Chinese volunteers, together with the Allied
soldiers, fought bravely. Many on both sides were
Allied soldiers fighting
13 Feb 1942: The Japanese reached Pasir
Panjang Ridge. The Malay Regiment, led by
Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi, fought bravely.
However, they were outnumbered by the Japanese
soldiers and were eventually defeated. Lieutenant
Adnan was first hit by the Japanese fire and
later stabbed to death by the Japanese.
14 Feb 1942: The entire Japanese army
had crossed over to Singapore. They had captured
most of Singapore except the south, where the
British forces were.
15 Feb 1942: The British Commander in
Singapore, general A.E. Percival surrendered Singapore to
the Japanese. The British troops were too tired to fight
on. They also did not have enough fighting equipment,
food and water.
Actually, unknown to the British, the Japanese had
also used up their ammunition. The Japanese soldiers were
also outnumbered by more than three to one. In order to
win the battle, General Yamashita applied pressure on
Who knows? If the British had not surrendered and
fought on instead, the defeated party could be the