Welcome to the Museum of [Battle for Malaya & Singapore] Room Three Room TwoRoom One Room Four Museum Entrance Room Five Curator’s Offices
Zhen Yang & Yinn Ray Curator’s Office We are a pair of students interested to teach other students about the Japanese Invasion Place your picture of Malaya and Singapore through the use of here. this virtual museum. Enjoy! Contact me at [Your linked email address] Return to EntryNote: Virtual museums were first introduced by educators at Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham,Pennsylvania. This template was designed by Dr. Christy Keeler. View the Educational Virtual Museumswebsite for more information on this instructional technique.
Landings at Kota BahruOn 8 December 1941, the Japanese 25th Armylanded at Kota Bharu. While they faced someresistance from the Indian and British soldiers,the Japanese troops were able to surround themand forced them to surrender. They thendestroyed British airfields and command centersin Kota Bharu before heading south towardsSingapore. At the same time, Japanese troopsfrom the 5th division landed in Singora andPattani and made a deal with Thailand to landtheir troops and use their airfields there. Duringthe battle of Malaya, despite the Japanese being Linked citation goes hereoutnumbered more than 3 to 1 by the British,they had several advantages, namely the close Return toairfield in Thailand and also a good supply line. ExhibitThe Japanese also made use of bicycles traveldown swiftly through the coasts of Malaya andultimately reach Singapore.
HMS Repulse and Prince of WalesThe ship that you just saw was HMS Repulse,one of the heavy battle cruisers sent to protectSingapore and Malaya in late 1941, togetherwith HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Electra, HMSExpress, HMS Encounter and HMS Jupiter.However on 10 December 1941, Prince ofWales and Repulse were sunk off the coast ofKuantan. These ships did not have aerialsupport at all and were thus sunk easily byJapanese bombers. This was one of thegreatest disasters in WW2 and because of this,the Japanese could enjoy aerial and naval Linked citation goes heresuperiority over the British. They could alsoestablish a good and reliable supply line from Return toJapan to send in food, ammunition and Exhibitreinforcements.
Battle at JitraThis is one of the first big scale militaryengagement between the Japanese andBritish. Jitra was mainly held by the 11th Indiandivision which comprises mainly Indian troops.These troops were neither well equipped norprepared and when the Japanese startedattacking on 11 December 1941, they were stillsetting up traps and communication systems.Despite this, they still put up a good fightagainst the well trained Japanese troops. The11th Indian Division was pushed back quicklyby the Japanese as they did not have heavy Linked citation goes herearmour or artillery. The Japanese on the otherhand had tanks and thus managed to overrun Return tothe Indian troops, securing their victory in Jitra. ExhibitFollowing that they headed south towardsPenang.
Capture of PenangPenang was one of Britain’s first ports in South EastAsia and during the WW2, it was called FortressPenang. Despite its name, it only had 4 anti-aircraftguns and 500 untrained troops. When the Japanesebombed Penang on 10 December 1941 withapproximately 27 bombers, the British could not domuch. Although the bombing did not result in toomany casualties, there was chaos throughout the cityemergency services were not of much use as theChinese manning these were incompetent anduntrained. This was made worse when the main firedepartment was bombed down and destroyed in the Linked citation goes heretime it was needed the most. On the 17 December1941, the Japanese landed on Penang from small Return toboats. The British soldiers escaped quickly and left Exhibitbehind many supplies and important buildings suchas the radio station intact. Their opening words were“Hello, Singapore. This is Penang calling. How doyou like our bombing.”
Scramble OrderThis picture shows pilots of No.453 SquadronRAAF in Ipoh responding to a scramble order.These pilots have to be alert at all times andrespond to scramble orders quickly in an eventof a Japanese invasion from the air. Despitethe bravery and willingness to participate inthese scramble orders, they were ultimately notable to stop the Japanese as the Japanesehad superior planes as compared to the oldand outdated British planes such has theBrewster Buffaloes. Linked citation goes here Return to Exhibit
Capture of Kuala LumpurDespite the dense jungles and the Britishtroops’ attempt to slow them down, theJapanese were surprisingly still able to movedown Malaya extremely quickly with the use ofbicycles and tanks. Just after a month since thelandings, the Japanese troops made it all theway to Kuala Lumpur. On 11 January 1942,Yamashita’s army move into Kuala Lumpur andtook over it with relatively little resistance.Yamashita also managed to find a lotresources left behind by British soldiersretreating into Singapore solving his problems Linked citation goes hereof low supplies. Yamashita wasted no time andcontinued travelling south to Johor Bahru and Return tofinally Singapore. Exhibit
Force 136Force 136 was a secret organization set up bythe British in the 1940s and comprised manlysenior British officers trained in jungle warfare.However, they could not move around Malayadressed like locals or lead sabotages easily,hence they needed to find suitable Asians. Oneof them was Lim Bo Seng. Despite his wealthybackground, he was totally against theJapanese and wanted to stop them. Hebecame the leader of the Malayan Chinesesection and under his leadership, they carriedout sabotages against the Japanese which Linked citation goes hereslowed them down, although not by much.Sadly in 1944, the Japanese captured him and Return tohe was tortured before he eventually died of Exhibitdysentery.
Johor BatteryMost of the batteries pointing towards the seawere placed in Singapore in places such asChangi and Sentosa. However some of thebatteries were also placed at places such asPengerang, Malaysia. These batteries,however, were not very useful because insteadof landing from the south of Singapore, theJapanese landed from the north, catching theBritish by surprise. Although these huge gunscould be turned inland, they were not effectiveas these guns are meant for destroying shipsand not soldiers. Thus the fall of Singapore Linked citation goes herewas partially the British’s fault as they onlyprepared for a sea invasion from the south but Return tonot an invasion form the north in Malaya. Exhibit
Bombing of the CausewayThis picture of the blown up Johor-Singaporecauseway was an effort by the British to delaythe Japanese invasion while they retreatedfrom Malaya into Singapore. It did: but only for9 days, as the Japanese had other methods ofcrossing into Singapore, such as inflatableboats. The Japanese also quickly repaired thebombed section of the Causeway by usingcivilians from Johor Bahru. As such, it was notvery effective in delaying the Japanese landfall,and they were able to quickly continue their Image from :invasion of Singapore. This futile effort is prove http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Singapore_causeway_bloof the British weakness and unpreparedness wn_up.jpgfor war. Return to Exhibit
8 Feb 1941 Air RaidsThis picture of firefighters putting out the fire,results of the Japanese air raids on 8 February1941, depicts the Bombing of Singapore.These air raids happened shortly after theJapanese landings at Kota Bahru, and it wasthe first knowledge the Singaporean populationhad that they were now involved in World WarII. There were many casualties, including 61deaths and more than 700 injured. The airraids successfully damaged airfields at Seletarand Tengah, and also affected the morale ofthe British defense, as they did not expect the Linked citation goes hereJapanese to have any long-range aircraftcapable of striking Singapore from far. Return to Exhibit
Battle at Bukit TimahThe is the picture of the battle at Bukit TimahHill, one of the major victories of the Japanesethat was instrumental to their capture ofSingapore. This victory was mainly because thetanks used by the Japanese were able tooverwhelm the British, who were poorlyequipped. This is, once again, prove of theBritish weakness and unpreparedness for war incontrast to the Japanese. However, theJapanese also suffered one of their heaviestcasualties in their invasion of Singapore here.The Battle at Bukit Timah Hill was also important Linked citation goes hereto the Japanese, as they were able to capturevital supplies left behind by the British, such as Return tofood and ammunition, and also a reservoir. Exhibit
Fall of Pasir PanjangThis is the picture of the Fall of Pasir Panjang,one of the most famous battles in the Japaneseinvasion. The Malay Regiment were valiantlydefending Bukit Chandu, which included amajor Allied ammunition store that held vitalresources. The Malay Regiment fought to thedeath under the encouragement andleadership of Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi, whowas extremely brave and patriotic. Eventually,the Japanese outnumbered the defenders andoverran them, torturing Lieutenant Adnan binSaidi as he inflicted many casualties on the Linked citation goes hereJapanese army. After this loss, most of theBritish commanders reported that the soldiers Return towere demoralised and exhausted, and thus a Exhibitsurrender was considered.
The Battle BoxThis picture of the modern Battle Box, anunderground command centre constructedunder Fort Canning before WWII, was theheadquarters of the British Army during thelater stages of the war, since the Japanesewere moving towards the central area ofSingapore. It served as headquarters of theBritish defense by housing many defenseoperations rooms such as the Naval ExtendedDefences office. Important decisions weremade in the Battle Box. For example,Lieutenant-General Percival and his Linked citation goes herecommanders decided to surrender to theJapanese here in the Battle Box as their Return tosoldiers were demoralised and exhausted, and Exhibitthey wanted to minimise civilian casualties.
Suffolk Regiment’s SurrenderThis is a picture of the Suffolk Regiment beingheld at gunpoint by the Japanese soldiers. Twobattalions of the Suffolk Regiment helped todefend Singapore briefly during the Japaneseinvasion, but the Japanese army was simplytoo strong, and they had no choice but tosurrender. This was typical of the situation atthat time, in the sense that most of the battlesin Singapore ended up with the Japanesedefeating the British as they were betterequipped and had experience fighting inMalaya and China. Most of the Suffolk Linked citation goes hereRegiment would die while captured asprisoners of war, and only few survived the war. Return to Exhibit
Final ConferenceThis picture is a reconstructed scene showingLieutenant-General Percival having the finalconference with his men before the surrenderin the Battle Box. Lieutenant-General Percivalwanted to discuss ways to counter-attack, butthe other commanders were against the ideaas they felt that the soldiers were exhaustedand instead advocated surrender to preventfurther bloodshed. This is an example ofLieutenant-General Percival’s weak leadership.He was not decisive enough and often simplyagreed with his commanders, jumping on the Linked citation goes herebandwagon rather than leading. This decisionmade here turned out to be extremely Return toimportant, as it put the people under three-and- Exhibita-half years of hardship under the JapaneseOccupation.
Surrender NegotiationsThis is the picture of the negotiations betweenLieutenant-General Percival and GeneralTomoyuki Yamashita during surrendernegotiations. It was arguably the mostimportant event during the Japanese invasionof Singapore. It was here that Lieutenant-General Percival agreed to an unconditionalsurrender because he buckled under GeneralYamashita’s forceful and insistent tone. Lateron, General Yamashita admitted that the attackon Singapore was a bluff, as the Japanesetroops were outnumbered by more than 3 to 1, Linked citation goes hereand they would be defeated by the British giventheir lack of supplies. Therefore, this surrender Return towas a sign of the British weakness, as they Exhibitgave in to the Japanese without finding out theexact situation.
Lim Bo Seng’s Letter to his WifeThis is a letter by Lim Bo Seng written to his wifeGan Choo Neo in 1944 before he died. He said “Ifully realised the risks involved, but once the jobwas started, it must be pushed to a successful end.My duty and my honour would not permit me tolook back. Every day tens of thousands are dyingfor their countries. It is very painful for me to put thewhole burden on your shoulders, but I am confidentyou are capable of bearing it and bearing it well. Ifthere is a God in Heaven, there should be a drop ofdew for each blade of grass. Who am I to doubt hisexistence? You must not grieve for me. On the Linked citation goes hereother hand you should take pride in my sacrificeand devote yourself to the upbringing of the Return tochildren. Tell them what has happened to me and Exhibitdirect them along my footsteps.” He also wrote inhis letter “What a pity I could not live to realise mydreams. But I have no doubts you will do your bestfor them.”
Newspaper Article on Japanese LandingThis is a picture of The Oregonian, a dailypaper found in the USA West Coast back in the1940s, publishing the Japanese landings onSingapore. This primary source describes howthe Japanese landed on Pulau Ubin on thenight of 7th February 1942, where the Britishdid not defend strongly as they had fell for theJapanese trick and moved all their artillery andsoldiers to the northeast. Thus, by earlymorning the next day, the Japanese had easilycaptured Pulau Ubin and landed on the mainisland of Singapore at Sarimbun. This primary Linked citation goes heresource is one of the few newspapers availablethat describes the capture of Singapore by the Return toJapanese. Exhibit
War Flag of the Imperial Japanese ArmyThis is the war flag used by the JapaneseImperial Army in between 1870 (After MeijiRestoration) to the end of World War 2. It has16 rays and this symbolizes Land of the RisingSun. This was solely used by the imperialJapanese Army, although the navy had asimilar design, with the center red circleskewed to the left. After the Japanese weredefeated in WW2, the flag was disused but ithas now become the flag for the Maritime Self-Defense Force. It is a symbol that representsthe Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia. Linked citation goes here Return to Exhibit