The “Empress of Japan” arrived in Liverpool around March 19th. The infantry positions were reinforced by the recently arrived Australian 2/4th Machine-Gun Battalion. - The sun was rising as I stepped on to the verandah outside my office in Fullerton Building and leant over the stone parapet to look out to sea. [172], Numerous British and Australian soldiers taken prisoner remained in Singapore's Changi Prison and many died in captivity. [145], A deputation was selected to go to the Japanese headquarters. [108] After brushing aside elements of the 6th/15th Indian Brigade, the Japanese again began attacking the Australian 22nd Brigade around the Reformatory Road. It left a scar on his mind. With his assent, the remaining flyable Hurricanes were withdrawn to Sumatra. The British army of 85,000 men was led by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, while the Japanese regiment of 36,000 men was headed by Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Midge’s daughter Jenny is a year older than me, but has a much better memory of events than I have. [178] Yamashita was tried by a US military commission for war crimes but not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaya or Singapore. By this time, Kallang Airfield was so pitted with bomb craters that it was no longer usable. Over a period of 15 hours,[62] starting at 23:00 on 8 February 1942, Yamashita's heavy guns laid down a barrage of 88,000 shells (200 rounds per tube)[4] along the entire length of the straits, cutting telephone lines and effectively isolating forward units from rear areas. During the Second World War these ships took part in the evacuation from Singapore, and the landings in Madagascar, Sicily and Southern France. [69][62], Blowing up the causeway had delayed the Japanese attack for over a week. RAF Kallang was the only operational airstrip left;[87] the surviving squadrons and aircraft had withdrawn by January to reinforce the Dutch East Indies. My father Robert Piriam N. (“Piri”) Napper was a Plant Pathologist at the Rubber Research Institute in Kuala Lumpur. [60] The two Australian brigades were subsequently allocated a very wide frontage of over 18 kilometres (11 mi) and were separated by the Kranji River. Dunkirk evacuation (May 26–June 4, 1940), in World War II, the evacuation of about 198,000 soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and 140,000 French and Belgian troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk to England. Find out how you can use this. The final naval evacuation from Singapore in February 1942 was a tragedy of epic proportions, resulting in death and misery with few redeeming features except … [71] But the bombardment of the Australians was not seen as a prelude to imminent attack—Malaya Command believed that it would last several days and would later switch its focus to the north-east, despite its ferocity exceeding anything the Allies had experienced thus far in the campaign; consequently, no order was passed to the Allied artillery units to begin targeting possible Japanese assembly areas. [110][111] By this stage, the fighting strength of the 22nd Brigade—which had borne the brunt of the Japanese attacks—had been reduced to a few hundred men, and the Japanese had captured the Bukit Timah area, including the Allies' main food and fuel depots. The Japanese authorities were suspicious of the Chinese because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and murdered thousands in the Sook Ching massacre. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites We travelled in the “Empress of Japan”, a large liner requisitioned from The Canadian Pacific Railways3. River gunboat DRAGONFLY (625t, 1939) - Sailing from Singapore and sunk by aircraft bombs. It parallel's our story, but with much more detail, so I have transcribed it, and added it to these pages, as ... Midge’s story is given on three pages, 6a, 6b and 6c. [61] As such, a large portion of defence equipment and resources had been incorrectly allocated to the north east sector, where the most complete and freshest formation—the British 18th Division—was deployed, while the incomplete Australian 8th Division sector with just two brigades had no serious fixed defensive works or obstacles. The ship was shockingly In the first encounter, the last ten Hurricanes were scrambled from Kallang Airfield to intercept a Japanese formation of about 84 planes, flying from Johor to provide air cover for their invasion force. [95][94], To the north, Maxwell's Australian 27th Brigade had not been engaged during the initial Japanese assaults on the first day. It consisted of a senior staff officer, the colonial secretary and an interpreter. There, they fell upon 'X' Battalion, which had camped in its assembly area while waiting to launch its own attack, and in the ensuing fight two-thirds of the battalion was killed or wounded. [131], The following day, the remaining Allied units fought on. Japanese land-based aircraft found and sank the two capital ships on 10 December,[27] leaving the east coast of the Malayan Peninsula exposed and allowing the Japanese to continue their amphibious landings. These are a set of letters covering June to August 1941 from our Dutch step-mother and our father back to his parents, 3a and 3b. No. These aircraft were operated by five squadrons: one Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and two Royal Air Force (RAF). Further fighting followed throughout the early morning of 9 February, and the Australians were pushed back further, with the 2/18th being pushed out of Ama Keng and the 2/20th being forced to pull back to Bulim, west of Bukit Panjong. [28], Although more Allied units—including some from the Australian 8th Division[Note 3]—joined the campaign, the Japanese prevented the Allied forces from regrouping. Our step-mother, being a trained nurse, also offered her services. He has complied this list only for vessels knwon to be carrying civilians and vessels carrying only servicemen have not been included where known. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the operation. The ship sailed on January 31st, a fortnight before the Fall of Singapore (Feb 15th 1942). Primary Homework Help Ww2 Evacuation. This was achieved by moving the defending forces from the beaches along the northern shore and from around Changi, with the British 18th Division being tasked to maintain control of the vital reservoirs and effecting a link up with Simmons' Southern Area forces. Peter Parkinson wrote:I think it boils down at the start of ww2 all the senior officers in all three services had to be replaced, I read a book about it and it makes for very somber reading. [146] They returned with orders that Percival himself proceed with staff officers to the Ford Motor Factory, where Yamashita would lay down the terms of surrender. [177] An unknown number were taken to Japanese-occupied areas in the South Pacific as forced labour. Lionel Wigmore, the Australian official historian of the Malayan Campaign, wrote, Only one of the Indian battalions was up to numerical strength, three (in the 44th Brigade) had recently arrived in a semi-trained condition, nine had been hastily reorganised with a large intake of raw recruits, and four were being re-formed but were far from being fit for action. Yamashita and his officers stationed themselves at Istana Bukit Serene and the Johor state secretariat building—the Sultan Ibrahim Building—to plan for the invasion of Singapore. At this time, Percival was advised that large amounts of water were being lost due to damaged pipes and that the water supply was on the verge of collapse. Some died during the night as a result of their treatment. This is only a suggestion and you had better do exactly what you think is right. I have no memory of the embarkation, which must have been chaotic and traumatic. Bennett attempted to reinforce the 22nd Brigade by moving the 2/29th Battalion from the 27th Brigade's area to Tengah, but before it could be used to recapture Ama Keng, the Japanese launched another attack around the airfield, and the 2/29th was forced to assume a defensive posture. The papers included much information about the weakness of the Singapore base. McKerron (1896 - 1964) Burning Oil Tanks, Singapore Singapore, Sunday morning, 15th February 1942. [144][140] Post war analysis has shown, though, that had Percival opted for a counterattack at that time, it might have been successful. This perimeter would be used to block Allied attempts to regain the lost territory and defeat their will to fight. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon, the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved. 2 Japan made surprise attacks on a number of places around the West Pacific on the same morning, but the date for Pearl Harbour is December 7th, as it is the other side of the date line. Possessing only two battalions, the 2/26th and 2/30th, following the loss of the 2/29th Battalion to the 22nd Brigade, Maxwell sought to reorganise his force to deal with the threat posed to their western flank. [141] Yamashita, the Japanese commander, laid the blame on the British "underestimating Japanese military capabilities", and Percival's hesitancy in reinforcing the Australians on the western side of the island. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war. The Fall of Singapore represented the collapse of British influence in South East Asia, and severely diminished the British Empire’s Asia-Pacific clout. However, the guns—which included one battery of three 15 in (380 mm) weapons and one with two 15 in (380 mm) guns—were supplied mostly with armor-piercing shells (AP) and few high explosive (HE) shells. By Mandy Barrow Evacuation World War 2. [K.L. [12] On 11 November 1940, the German raider Atlantis captured the British steamer Automedon in the Indian Ocean, carrying papers meant for Air Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the British commander in the Far East. 232 Squadron RAF, based at RAF Kallang, remained to provide air cover to the Allied forces on Singapore. [136] The remainder were bayoneted the following morning. Three small patrols were sent on the evening of 6 February; one was spotted and withdrew after its leader was killed and their boat sunk, while two others managed to get ashore. "[79], The next recorded raid on the city occurred on the night of 29 December, and nightly raids ensued for over a week, only to be accompanied by daylight raids from 12 January 1942 onward. I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten. During this time the Japanese had advanced a total of 650 miles (1,050 km) from Singora, Thailand, to the southern coast of Singapore at an average of 9 miles (14 km) a day. [160] Indeed, at Gemas, Bakri and Jemaluang "they achieved the few outstanding tactical successes" of the campaign in Malaya,[161] and although the Australians made up just 13 percent of the British Empire's ground forces, they sustained 73 percent of its battle deaths. A further requirement was that the Japanese Rising Sun Flag be hoisted over the tallest building in Singapore, the Cathay Building. [54][55] Although advised by his top military personnel that Istana Bukit Serene was an easy target, Yamashita was confident that the British Army would not attack the palace because it belonged to the Sultan of Johor. These units reached Bennett around midday, and, shortly afterwards Percival allocated the composite 6th/15th Indian Infantry Brigade to reinforce Bennett's force to move from their position around the Singapore racecourse. The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. WW2 broke out in Europe in 1939. skirts which she can wear in the morning He proposed two options: either launch an immediate counter-attack to regain the reservoirs and the military food depots in the Bukit Timah region, or surrender. Bennett decided to form a secondary defensive line, known as the "Kranji-Jurong Switch Line", oriented to the west, and positioned between the two rivers, with its centre around Bulim, east of Tengah Airfield—which subsequently came under Japanese control—and just north of Jurong. Internment in Hong Kong, Singapore and the NEI was immediate, whereas in the places where no fighting had occurred, it did not take place until late 1942 or the spring of 1943. Residents suffered great hardships under Japanese rule over the following three and a half years. [117], The next day, as the situation worsened for the Allies, they sought to consolidate their defences; during the night of 12/13 February, the order was given for a 28-mile (45 km) perimeter to be established around Singapore City at the eastern end of the island. A launch returning from an island in Keppel Harbour at Singapore after Royal Engineers had set fire to oil storage tanks there, January 1942. Suddenly the ship made a big roll to one side and all the crockery and cutlery from our set of tables slid down and landed in a heap in the passageway in the middle. I wonder if the Jan-Feb 1942 ships that arrived with the >30,000 troops evacuated any civilians, non-essential colonial officials and of course wounded. [70] Even at this stage, a counter artillery barrage as a response could have been mounted by the British on the coastline opposite the Australians that would have caused casualties and disruption among the Japanese assault troops. In doing so, the high ground overlooking the causeway was given up, and the left flank of the 11th Indian Division exposed. I suggest the best thing to do is to send them to Mrs. Napper and leave it to her what to do with them. Mr and Mrs Phillips [whose address was given at the end] were friends of Maude and perhaps they may have a suggestion. 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