By Benjamin Lai
On eighth December 1941, as a part of the simultaneous mix assault opposed to Pearl Harbor, the Imperial eastern military (IJA) invaded the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia and the British colony of Hong Kong. After simply 18 days of conflict the defenders, a susceptible, undermanned brigade used to be beaten through a great strength of 2 battle-harden IJA divisions. What makes the conflict of Hong Kong was once now not the size - simply 14,000 defended the colony - however the depth of this conflict fought not just by means of the British military, army and Air strength but additionally Canadians, Hong Kong's personal defence strength, the Indian military in addition to many civilians.
The crusade itself is characterised by means of a fierce land conflict, with lengthy artillery duals and in addition to quickly naval activities with severe 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 complete eastern regiment. much less identified yet both vital are person valour equivalent to CSM John Robert Osborne profitable a posthumous VC, throwing himself over a eastern grenade to avoid wasting fellow warring parties.
Capitulation via the defenders on 25 December 1941 marks the tip of 1 conflict and the start of one other. an issue 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 by means of 1945 grew from two 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 endured the struggle in a secretive new association - the British military reduction team (BAAG).
As the conflict 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 dying President of Roosevelt in 1945, decolonization misplaced its major champion and Britain used to be in a position to outmaneuver Chiang Kai Shek, the chinese language Generalissimo, and get well 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 authorized the formal hand over of Japan on sixteen September 1945.
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Additional info for Hong Kong 1941-45: First Strike in the Pacific War (Campaign, Volume 263)
The two Canadian regiments arrived in Hong Kong on 16 November 1941. The Gin Drinkers Line was located in a very commanding position, perched on a range of mountains that stretched across the northern part of the Kowloon Peninsula. The line had certain inherent weaknesses. It had little depth and could be easily outflanked, two locations being particularly dangerous: Customs Pass and the gap between Golden Hill and Laichikok Peninsula (the area around Gin Drinkers Bay). Owing to the extensive front, each battalion's layout consisted of a line of platoon placements, the gaps between which were covered by fire by day and by patrols at night.
H. Morgan 18th AA Bty – 8 x 40mm Bofors and 6 x Lewis Guns – Maj. C. RochfortBoyd Men of No. 2 (Scottish) Coy, HKVDC, parading in Wanchai on the last Sunday before the start of the Pacific War. The OC, Major Henry Russell Forsyth, was killed in a desperate rearguard action on the night of 23 December 1941. For his actions Forsyth was awarded a mention in dispatches. 7in. and 3in. guns – Maj. A. R. 5in. howitzer (I) No. 3, (D) No. 4 and (F) No. 25 Medium Bty HKSRA Each battery has 2 x 6in. howitzers (i) 1st (Coastal Artillery) Bty HKVDC – 2 x 4in.
The promise on the leaflets, that the Japanese will ‘guarantee’ lives for those who surrender, sounds particularly hollow. (Hong Kong Library) With the mainland in Japanese hands, the next phase was to launch an assault on Hong Kong Island. The first move was not military but took the form of a peace mission to attempt to persuade Governor Young to surrender. At 0900hrs on 13 December a small boat bearing a white flag crossed the harbour with Col. Toda, Lt. Mizuno12, Mr Othsu Dak and Mrs Macdonald, a prominent, highly pregnant European and her friend Mrs C.