WW2 in South-East Asia | The Fall of Singapore (1942)
- Published on: 4/20/2019
- The fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army on February 15th 1942 is considered to be one of the greatest military defeats in the history of the British Empire.
Just like her Axis counterparts Japan launched a Blitzkrieg upon the Pacific making huge territorial gains as she strove to develop The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Singapore, an island at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, was considered a vital part of the British Empire and supposedly impregnable as a fortress. The British saw it as the "Gibraltar in the Far East".
The surrender of Singapore demonstrated to the world that the Japanese Army was a force to be reckoned with, though the defeat also ushered in three years of appalling treatment for the Commonwealth POW's who were caught in Singapore.
Improvements to Singapore as a British military base had only been completed at great cost in 1938. Singapore represented what the British Empire was all about a strategically vital military base that protected Britain's other Commonwealth possessions in the Far East.
Once the Japanese expanded throughout the region after Pearl Harbour (December 1941), many in Britain and Australia felt that Singapore would become an obvious target for the Japanese. However, the British military command in Singapore was confident that the power they could call on there would make any Japanese attack useless.
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