SOOK CHING MASSACRE
The Sook Ching Massacre
Battle of Singapore - Background:
The Battle of Singapore Begins:
-18 feb 2013
Key Battles of Malaya
The invasion of Malaya began shortly after midnight on 8 December 1941. Two hours later, No 1 Squadron RAAF, based at Kota Bahru, in north-east Malaya, was airborne. Soon, two of the Hudson bombers were shot down, and Flying Officer John Dowie, the only survivor of the two crews, became the first Australian prisoner of war captured in Malaya. That same morning, an Australian corvette, HMAS Maryborough, patrolling off south-east Malaya, intercepted a Japanese fishing boat, the Fukuyu Maru, the first Japanese vessel captured by an Allied warship. On the west coast of Malaya, No 21 Squadron RAAF at Sungei Patani suffered devastating air raids and by the evening of 8 December both Sungei Patani and Kota Bharu airfields had been evacuated.
On 9 December, No 8 Squadron, which also had gone into action, was evacuated from Kuantan airfield. On 10 December, the destroyer HMAS Vampire became the first Australian ship in action against the Japanese when HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales were sunk off the east coast of Malaya by enemy aircraft. Vampire and the three other escorting destroyers were able to rescue over 2000 survivors from the two British ships.
On the ground, British and Indian troops were also pushed back during December and early January. Some Australian transport and ambulance drivers saw early action alongside Indian troops, but the first major Australian battle was not until 14-15 January 1942. A company of the 2/30th Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Galleghan, mounted an ambush which cut down hundreds of Japanese soldiers riding bicycles through a cutting and over a bridge on the Sungei Gemencheh river. Their plan was to withdraw and let the main battalion group at Gemas fight the main battle. As the ambush party withdrew, they found themselves encircled by Japanese patrols but most managed to get through. The battle for Gemas raged that night and next day and on the afternoon of 15 January the Japanese called in aircraft and tanks and the Australians withdrew.
On 15 January 1942, the 45th Indian Brigade on the west coast, defending the line of the Muar River, was also involved in a battle with the veteran Japanese Imperial Guards Division. Two battalions from the 8th Australian Division were despatched as reinforcements: the 2/29th and the 2/19th Battalions. The Indian brigade was pushed back towards Bakri where, north of the village, the 2/29th and some gunners of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment provided blocking action. Japanese forces penetrated between the 2/29th and the 2/19th at Bakri. The 2/29th had to fight their way back to Bakri. The Australians held on to enable some Indian troops to also reach them, but they came under heavy ground and air attacks. Nearly all staff at the 45th Indian Brigade's Headquarters were wounded or killed when a bomb hit their headquarters. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Anderson, Commanding Officer of the 2/19th Battalion, took command of all troops and decided to withdraw towards Parit Sulong. While he waited for a missing Indian unit, the Australians became heavily engaged front and rear, and on 20 January they had to start fighting their way south through Japanese positions. Anderson's men attacked to re-open their escape route, and by the early morning of 22 January they had reached the village of Parit Sulong, but were in a parlous situation. A strong enemy force blocked their escape route, many of the Australian and Indian troops had been killed or wounded, and a British relief force was blocked. Anderson was forced to order his men to escape in small parties through the countryside, first destroying all guns and vehicles, and had to leave the wounded behind. Just 271 members of the 2/19th and 130 of the 2/29th - less than a quarter of the Australians at the start of the battle - escaped. For his valour and leadership, Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for valour.
The 110 wounded Australians and 40 wounded Indians left behind at Parit Sulong were brutally stabbed and incinerated by the Japanese with just one man, badly hurt, surviving to tell the story at war's end.
Over on the west coast, on the night of 26-27 January, the Australian 2/18th Battalion successfully ambushed a Japanese force at Jemaluang, south of Mersing. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Varley, supported by two batteries of the 2/10th Field Regiment, the 2/18th sprang their ambush between 2 am and 3 am. Brigade headquarters ordered Varley to withdraw after first light, after they encountered heavier attacks from the enemy. Nevertheless, the Australian action was a stunning success which turned the Japanese force inland, rather than continue pushing south along the west coast. The 2/18th lost 98 troops killed or missing, but Japanese losses were heavier.
Air and naval forces also continued to be heavily engaged. Hudson bombers of Nos 1 and 8 Squadrons RAAF bombed enemy positions, and patrolled out to sea, and Nos 21 and 453 Squadrons RAAF with Buffalo fighters, outclassed by Japanese 'Zero' fighters, fought on. Other Australians flew in British squadrons, some in outdated Vildebeest biplane torpedo-bombers that lost heavily. On 27 January, HMAS Vampire, together with HMS Thanet, took part in an attack on a superior Japanese surface force off Endau on the east coast. The British ship was lost during the battle and HMAS Vampire only narrowly escaped being sunk. Australian corvettes endured many air attacks escorting incoming convoys, one of which included the cruiser HMAS Hobart.
OPINION:The Japanese people start a war with Malaya to occupy the resources Malaya have to the extent where people would not easily beat them in a war such as their weapons,armor,planes,etc.In my opinion,i think that the Japanese are too violent with their methods to get those resourcesMany Locals who tried to fight back were still capture and were made to be the Prisoners of War(POW).Many have tried to defend their homeland but thier attemptes were in vain.
HOW AND WHEN DID THE BRITISH SURRENDERED
How could this happen? How could the British be defeated in this way?
Well, the roots of this military disaster lie to a large extent in British complacency about the Japanese threat – a complacency that was born of racism. ‘The [attitude was that the] British were superior to everyone,’ says Anthony Hewitt, a British officer serving in South East Asia at the time, ‘and it was ridiculous for anyone to say that the Japanese were so good – some little nation like Japan couldn’t possibly be better.’
But Hewitt learnt first hand the inaccuracy of this view when he visited Japan himself in the late 1930s. ‘I saw a Japanese force carrying out an exercise and I realized that, from a military point of view, they were very advanced… They had excellent weapons, their soldiers were very highly trained, and they were really outstanding.’ When he returned to Hong Kong, where he was stationed at the time, he reported this news to his superiors, but received the response that he was ‘probably exaggerating the problem.’
‘The army and the navy that they took into action in 1941-42 were quite strong. 51 divisions, 1.7 million troops, well armed, well equipped, there was some element of mechanization, there with a decent airforce. And what happens is that they overwhelm these US or Dutch or French or British contingents wherever they find them as they are relatively demoralised and distracted by events in Europe and have had their numbers and equipment drawn down because of the demands of the war in Europe.’
It is easy to understand why the British military and political leaders underestimated the threat from Japan. The direct threat to immediate British interests – and, indeed, to the territory of Great Britain – came from Nazi Germany. And Japan, after all, was on the other side of the world. As a result, British defences in South East Asia had not received priority during the build up to war. The British plan had always been that a strong naval force would act as the prime deterrent to Japanese aggression, rather than extensive land forces. But here too, British arrogance would prove costly.The tragic symbol of this refusal of the British to take the Japanese seriously as a military power was the sinking on 10 December of two major battleships - HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse. These two ships had been dispatched to Singapore in the autumn of 1941 in order to deter the Japanese. But allowing them to sail in hostile waters without adequate air support was a catastrophic error of military judgement, and they were both destroyed by Japanese warplanes. Typically, one Royal Navy officer on HMS Repulse had said the day before the fatal attack, after being told that the Japanese were in the area, ‘Oh, but they’re Japanese. There’s nothing to worry about.’ii
‘They [the Japanese] had been preparing for war in South East Asia since about 1936,’ says Professor Akira Iriye, ‘and so my understanding is that the naval strategic thinking, even before they thought about going against the United States, had been preparing for a war against the British. They must have further refined that when the European war came, and must have planned for an assault on Singapore and prepared for the attack against the British warships if they should come that way.’
On 8 December 1941 – which, because of the time difference with Hawaii, was actually the same day the Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbour – Japanese troops under the command of Lt General Yamashita attacked Malaya. Japanese forces – including units battle-hardened by years of campaigning in China – managed to push the British army back down the Malay Peninsula, with Penang falling to the Japanese on 11 January. By the end of the month the British had retreated across the narrow stretch of water separating Singapore Island from the Malayan mainland.
But the problem now was that Singapore lacked adequate land defences on the northern shore, opposite Malaya. The British assumption had always been that any attack would most likely come from the south or west, against the sea-facing coast of Singapore.Faced with this unpleasant new military reality, the British commander, Lt-General Arthur Percival, spread his available defence forces across the whole coastline of Singapore. This meant that though Percival’s soldiers outnumbered the attacking Japanese nearly two to one, the Japanese were stronger at their chosen point of attack. And so it proved, with units of Yamashita’s 25th Japanese Imperial Army landing on the north-west coast of Singapore on the night of 8 February 1941.
Just seven days later, on 15 February, Percival surrendered the island of Singapore, and all the inhabitants, to the Japanese invaders. ‘At Singapore the Japanese had a brilliant general and a terrific army up against one of the most incompetent range of commanders that the British army has ever put in the field,’ says Sir Max Hastings. ‘The truth is, I’ve written somewhere rather brutally, that I think if the British, Indian and Australian soldiers who fought in Malaya had had any inkling of the treatment they would receive in Japanese captivity they might have fought a good deal harder. That sounds a rather brutal thing to say but I think it’s true.’Hastings also believes that that attitude of British forces in Singapore was not unique in the context of the Second World War: ‘The other thing that seems to me pivotal all through the war is that the British in particular convinced themselves that if the other side had air superiority then they were entitled to expect to lose the ground battle.
‘Well, the Germans and the Japanese didn’t think like that in 1944 and 45. When the Allies had overwhelming air superiority the Germans and the Japanese still fought brilliantly, but to this day you still hear people saying, well, how can you possible expect the British army in Malaya to put up much of a show when the Japanese had all those aeroplanes? Well, what’s changed of course is that it’s not very nice being dive bombed by Japanese Zero, but the fact remained that the British army just put up an unbelievably poor performance against a vastly more determined and skilful Japanese enemy. One fundamental problem all through the war, and even British training manuals dwelt on this by '43-'44, was that British forces had this frightful habit that if they found their flanks turned, whether this was in Italy or in North Africa or in Burma, their instinct was, ‘oh well chaps, we’re surrounded, it’s all over and we’d better surrender’. And its not me making this up, Ian Jacobs of the war cabinet secretariat writing in August 1942 from the desert, said that after talking at length to senior officers in Cairo one has to face the fact that again and again British forces were surrendering to inferior numbers of the enemy who, in Jacob’s words, in the First World War ‘would have stuck it out’ and ‘fought it out’.
SINGAPORE CAPTURED BY JAPANESE
Adapted from-18 feb 2013
Mr Yew and eight others were taken from their dorm at night
to be beheaded one by one the next day. He survived.
A Japanese soldier wielding a metre-long sword then beheaded the group one by one.
Mr Yew was the last in line, but the blade did not go deep enough to kill him.
Today, he still bears the scar at the back of his neck.
OPINION:Many of the Locals were forced to hard labour and did not get enough food to eat,thus they will starve to death.Some of the POW were forced to sent to the Death Railway in thailand as well as the Locals.They were also living in the life of Syonan -To andwere forced to learn Japanese and understand everything about them.They were also forced to learn and memorised the Japanese anthem while facing the direction of Japan and obbey to whatever rule they given.
HOW AND WHEN DID THE JAPANESE SURRENDERED
On 6 and 9 August 1945, U.S. B-29 bombers dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On 8 August 1945, Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with the entry of Soviet Union into the war ended the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia. By then, the Japanese allowed the Allies to send in forces and food supplies.
Prisoners-of-war were checked by medical officers and arrangements were made to send them home.On 15 August, Japan announced its surrender. The formal signing of the surrender instrument was held at City Hall, Singapore, then known as "Municipal Hall", on 12 September. This was followed by a celebration at the Padang, which included a victory parade. Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia Command, came to Singapore to receive the formal surrender of the Japanese forces in the region from General Seishirō Itagaki on behalf of General Hisaichi Terauchi.
A British military administration utilizing surrendered Japanese troops as security forces was formed to govern the island until March 1946.After the Japanese surrendered, there was a state of anomie in Singapore, as the British had not yet arrived to take control. The Japanese occupiers had a considerably weakened hold over the populace.
Adapted from-18 FEB 2013
OPINION:I think that its such a relief that the Japanese finaly surrendered after all the suffering the British people and Locals faced.What the USA did was,they create a bomb.It's not just any ordinary bomb but it is like a nuclear bomb which releases radio active gases,acids which will kill thousands of people in Japan.I think that the Japanese learn their lesson and would understand that we are also doing all this for their good in the future as we would not want any more war to continue for the rest of our entire life.