The largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history

Today is the 67th anniversary of the fall of Singapore to Japan empire, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. Today is also Total Defence Day. Don’t ask me what they do on Total Defence Day. I already left school when they started observing this day. (Aww… I’m old already)
It’s always interesting to read about the battle of Singapore. World War 2 is one of my favorite topic in History. Yes, I studied history back in Secondary School and got A2 for that crazy subject in O level when 99% of my class flunk it.
One of the greatest misconception about the battle of Singapore is the large-calibre coastal guns. History books said that it was pointing towards the wrong direction. But in actual fact, the guns can be turn around and fired inland (and they really did that). But the British only had armour-piercing rounds, which are ineffective against the advancing troops. Well, the battle would be slightly different if the guns were supplied with high explosive rounds.
There are several important battles in Singapore. Battle of Pasir Panjang where the Malay Regiment fought bravely against the Japanese soldiers and Battle of Bukit Timah where the Japanese suffered their heaviest casualties in the campaign.
Despite the efforts by our brave defenders, Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival formally surrendered to General Tomoyuki Yamashita on 15 February 1942, 5:15pm. And Singapore began it’s 3 years and 8 months of Japanese occupations. But unknown to many, the Japanese are running low on supplies when British surrendered. The attack on Singapore was a bluff that worked.
The fall of Singapore plays an important part in Singapore history. Some historian believes that if the British didn’t surrender to the Japanese, Singapore might still be under British rule. It’s a part of history that shape us to who we are now.
On the side note, the Singapore Civil Defence Force sounded the Public Warning System today to commemorate the fall of Singapore.


  1. There’s a book on the guns at Pulau Blakang Mati (Sentosa). I think you can find it in Borders. It was a little to my surprise that the guns COULD not only turn around, they also turned around and engaged some ships near what is P. Bukom. 🙂

  2. If you are keen of the details pertaining to the reasons and factors contributing to the British defeat, the book “Operation Matador” will be a good read. During my time, to pass that paper you got to write about British being unprepared and guns pointing awfully at the wrong side. Oh buy, that’s really history.

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