By Benjamin Lai
On eighth December 1941, as a part of the simultaneous mix assault opposed to Pearl Harbor, the Imperial jap military (IJA) invaded the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia and the British colony of Hong Kong. After merely 18 days of conflict the defenders, a vulnerable, undermanned brigade was once crushed by means of a great strength of 2 battle-harden IJA divisions. What makes the conflict of Hong Kong used to be now not the dimensions - simply 14,000 defended the colony - however the depth of this conflict fought not just through the British military, army and Air strength but in addition Canadians, Hong Kong's personal defence strength, the Indian military in addition to many civilians.
The crusade itself is characterised through a fierce land conflict, with lengthy artillery duals and in addition to quickly naval activities with excessive activities on the Gin Drinkers Line in addition to the conflict of Wong Nai Chung hole the place a handful of defenders took on a whole jap regiment. much less recognized yet both very important are person valour equivalent to CSM John Robert Osborne successful a posthumous VC, throwing himself over a eastern grenade to avoid wasting fellow opponents.
Capitulation by means of the defenders on 25 December 1941 marks the top of 1 conflict and the start of one other. a topic no longer considerably coated by means of Western historian is neighborhood resistance to jap profession. Lead through the communist chinese language, many persevered to struggle the japanese forming the Guangdong people's Anti-Japanese East River Guerrilla Detachment that through 1945 grew from 2 hundred to a 6,000-strong strength. The guerrillas rescued downed allied pilots, confused the japanese with bombing and assassinated traitors and collaborators. these Allies POW that controlled to flee to China persisted the struggle in a secretive new association - the British military reduction crew (BAAG).
As the struggle draw to an in depth, the query of reestablishing British regulate grew to become a hugely contentious diplomatic twin among China, united states and Britain, yet with the loss of life President of Roosevelt in 1945, decolonization misplaced its major champion and Britain used to be capable of outmaneuver Chiang Kai Shek, the chinese language Generalissimo, and get better Hong Kong as a British Colony. After 3 years and 8 months of eastern career, Rear Admiral Sir Harcourt sailed into Hong Kong on board the cruiser HMS Swiftsure to reestablish keep watch over over the colony and accredited the formal give up of Japan on sixteen September 1945.
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Extra resources for Hong Kong 1941-45: First Strike in the Pacific War (Campaign, Volume 263)
One group missed a critical junction and split into two; one proceeded towards Devil’s Peak as planned but Bn. HQ came down to Kai Tak Airport and had to go through Kowloon City before being evacuated by Star Ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui, almost at gunpoint, fighting up to the final minute as the last man stepped aboard the ferry. On the night of the 12th the CO of the Rajputs, having failed to make contact with his counterpart in the Punjabis, decided to give up the Ma Lau Tong line and retire to the Hai Wan line, closer to Devil’s Peak.
At almost the same time, 2300hrs, L/Cpl J. Laird who was on sentry duty in PB-401b heard noises in the bush and opened fire. The Japanese responded with grenades and gunfire and immediately charged the pillboxes. 5. Cpl. Campbell at PB-402 on hearing the gunfire turned his Vickers machine gun and fired towards PB-401a and 401b. Members of the 3/228th HQ were caught in the open and became casualties. 6. Capt. C. Wilcox, the FOO of 1st HK Regiment HKSRA, called down FPF fire on the redoubt. 7. Some Indian sentries (from the FOO party) and four members of the Royal Scots on the northern most position abandoned their post and withdraw south to the OP.
The Canadians largely escaped any large-scale casualties except for the signal platoon’s Sgt. Routledge and Signalman Fairley. They became the first Canadian soldiers to be wounded in World War II. Despite the war, theatres, cinemas and restaurants were still functioning as if nothing had happened on Hong Kong Island! The demolition proved to be no more than a minor irritant to the Japanese. No sooner had bridges been blown, than the Japanese had installed replacements. The Japanese were crossing into Hong Kong on three fronts; on the western route came the 230th Regiment with a two-battalion frontage, proceeding westwards towards Yuen Long and the Castle Peak area.
Hong Kong 1941-45: First Strike in the Pacific War (Campaign, Volume 263) by Benjamin Lai