The Japanese Occupation: Fall Of Singapore

Civilian War Memorial [via]

On February 15, 1942, the British surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army due to the shortage of food and ammunition.

Thus began the horrifying Japanese Occupation which lasted three years and eight months.

In February 1962 - twenty years after the war has ended, remains belonging to civilian victims of the Japanese occupation were unearthed. The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce& Industry undertook the responsibility of gathering the remains and creating a memorial.

In February 15, 1967, the Civilian War Memorial was built and the remains were buried under it.

This monument is composed of four similar pillars, symbolizing Singapore's four major races.

On this day every year (also known as "Total Defence Day"), the Government would hold a memorial service to remember the thousands of people killed during the occupation.

Timeline of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore:

December 8, 1941
The Japanese launched air raids and begin bombing all over Singapore.

January 8, 1942
Japanese troops penetrated the outer lines of defence at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.

January 11, 1942
The Japanese discovered food, ammunition and military maps of Singapore in the railway yards of Kuala Lumpur.

January 17, 1942
The British blew up the causeway linking Malaya and Singapore to stop the Japanese from advancing.

January 30 & 31, 1942
British troops completely withdraw from Malaya into Singapore. In just 55 days, the Malay Peninsula was lost.

The siege of Singapore begun.

February 1, 1942
The Japanese troops repaired the destroyed causeway and reached Singapore.

February 08, 1942
Japanese troops landed on Singapore Island. The British were both outmanned and outgunned.

February 11, 1942
The Japanese 5th Division attacks Indian, Chinese, and British troops along Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Timah.

February 13, 1942
The Japanese reached Pasir Panjang Ridge.

Led by Lieutenant Adnan Bin Saidi, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Malay Regiment put up a good fight even though they were outnumbered.

The ratio of the Malay Regiment against the Japanese was 1:10.

February 14, 1942
After the fall of Bukit Chandu, the Japanese stormed into nearby Alexandra Hospital, bayoneting patients and staff on sight.

200 died in the massacre.

February 15, 1942
Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, the British commander in Singapore,  surrendered unconditionally at Ford Motor Factory in Bukit Timah.

In just seven days, Singapore, the "Impregnable Fortress", had fallen.

February 17, 1942
Singapore was renamed Syonanto (昭南岛), meaning "Light of the South".

February 18, 1942
The first round of execution took place at Changi Beach.

August 6, 1945
Atomic bomb "Little Boy" exploded 1,900 feet above Hiroshima at 8:15 am.

August 8, 1945
Atomic bomb "Fat Man"exploded 1,650 feet above Nagasaki at 11:02 am. 

August 15, 1945
Japan surrendered.

I hope the post-war generations will not forget how our forefathers have suffered during the war and not taking the peace we had today for granted.

Thanks to the selfless sacrifice of the men from our Singapore Armed Forces for being vigilant and keeping our shores safe.