The Battle of Bukit Timah (10–12 February 1942), was part of the final stage of the Empire of Japan's invasion of Singapore during World War II.
The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
The Battle of Singapore, also known as the Fall of Singapore, was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore—nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the key to British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific. The fighting in Singapore lasted from 8 to 15 February 1942, after the two months during which Japanese forces had advanced down the Malayan Peninsula.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew.
On 8 February 1942, the Japanese landed a large force on the western side of Singapore Island. Throughout the following days, further troops were landed and heavy fighting followed as they pushed the mainly Australian defenders from the 22nd Brigade back from their positions on the coast. On 10 February further landings were made against the northern positions occupied by the 27th Brigade between the River Kranji and the Causeway, and steadily the British and Commonwealth lines were pushed back south-east towards the centre of the island.
The 22nd Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. It was briefly raised in 1912 as a Militia formation providing training as part of the compulsory training scheme. Later, during World War II, the brigade was raised as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force in April 1940. Assigned to the 8th Division, in early 1941 the brigade was deployed to British Malaya where it formed part of the defensive garrison that was established there by the British, eventually establishing its headquarters in the Mersing–Endau area.
The 27th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. The brigade was the last Second Australian Imperial Force infantry brigade raised for service during World War II. Initially assigned to the 9th Division, the brigade was transferred to the 8th Division shortly after it was raised. Training was undertaken around Bathurst, New South Wales throughout early 1941, before the brigade was sent to British Malaya in August 1941 to reinforce the 22nd Brigade, which had been dispatched earlier in the year. Following the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the brigade went into action in January 1942, taking part in the fighting along the western side of the Malay Peninsula. Its main action during this period came around Muar before the withdrawal to Singapore. In February, the brigade took part in the short lived Battle of Singapore. When the garrison surrendered on 15 February, the majority of the brigade's personnel were taken prisoner. They subsequently spent the remainder of the war in captivity before being released in August 1945.
As the Japanese began advancing towards the strategically important Bukit Timah which offered vital supplies including water, British, Indian, and Australian troops from a variety of units fought actions along the Bukit Timah Road in an effort to blunt the advance. As the Japanese 5th Division, with armoured support, advanced down the Choa Chu Kang Road, British troops and Chinese volunteers from the irregular Dalforce engaged in desperate hand-to-hand fighting, but being poorly equipped, they were forced back and by midnight the Japanese had occupied Bukit Timah.
Bukit Timah Road is a major road in Singapore extending from the city centre to Woodlands Road on the way to Johor Bahru in Malaysia. The road has a length of 25km, which makes it one of the longest roads in Singapore, and the road takes its name from the hill. En route, it passes through the areas of Little India, Newton Road, Farrer Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah.
Dalforce, or the Singapore Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army was an irregular forces/guerrilla unit within the British Straits Settlements Volunteer Force during World War II. Its members were recruited among the ethnic Chinese people of Singapore. It was created on 25 December 1941 by Lieutenant Colonel John Dalley of the Federated Malay States Police Force. The unit was known to the British colonial administration as Dalforce, after its chief instructor and commanding officer, John Dalley, whereas the Chinese in Singapore only knew it as the Singapore Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army. This formation took part in the Battle of Singapore and some members conducted a guerrilla campaign against Japanese forces during the Japanese occupation.
On 11 February, two British brigades attempted a counter-attack, but this was turned back; the following day, the Japanese Imperial Guards, outflanked the British positions from the north, and forced them to withdraw. Dalforce was engaged in further fighting, which resulted in heavy Japanese casualties; in revenge the Japanese killed a large number of Chinese civilians nearby after the fighting.
The Japanese Imperial Guard is the name of two separate organizations dedicated to the protection of the Emperor of Japan and the Imperial Family, palaces and other imperial properties. The first was a quasi-independent branch of the Imperial Japanese Army which was dissolved at the end of World War II. The second is the Imperial Guard Headquarters, a civilian Imperial Guard formed as part of the National Police Agency of Japan.
The written history of Singapore may date back to the third century. Evidence suggests that a significant trading settlement existed in Singapore during the 14th century. In the late 14th century, Singapore was under the rule of Parameswara until he was expelled by the Majapahit or the Siamese. It then came under the Malacca Sultanate and then the Johor Sultanate. In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated a treaty whereby Johor allowed the British to locate a trading port on the island, leading to the establishment of the British colony of Singapore in 1819.
The Japanese Imperial Army landed the 25th Army under the command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita on the east coasts of Malaya and Thailand on the night of 7 December 1941.
The Malaya Command was a formation of the British Army formed in the 1920s for the coordination of the defences of British Malaya, which comprised the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States and the Unfederated Malay States. It consisted mainly of small garrison forces in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Taiping, Seremban and Singapore.
The 8th Division was an infantry division of the Australian Army, formed during World War II as part of the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force. The 8th Division was raised from volunteers for overseas service from July 1940 onwards. Consisting of three infantry brigades, the intention had been to deploy the division to the Middle East to join the other Australian divisions, but as war with Japan loomed in 1941, the division was divided into four separate forces, which were deployed in different parts of the Asia-Pacific region. All of these formations were destroyed as fighting forces by the end of February 1942 during the fighting for Singapore, and in Rabaul, Ambon, and Timor. Most members of the division became prisoners of war, waiting until the war ended in late 1945 to be liberated. One in three died in captivity.
The Battle of North Borneo took place during the Second World War between Allied and Japanese forces. Part of the wider Borneo campaign of the Pacific War, it was fought between 10 June and 15 August 1945 in North Borneo. The battle involved a series of amphibious landings by Australian forces on various points on the mainland around Brunei Bay and upon islands situated around the bay. Japanese opposition to the landings was sporadic initially, although as the campaign progressed a number of considerable clashes occurred and both sides suffered relatively significant casualties. Ultimately, however, the Australians were successful in seizing control of the region, although to a large extent the strategic gains that possession of North Borneo provided the Allies with were ultimately negated by the sudden conclusion of the war in August 1945.
The 18th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the British Army which fought briefly in the Malayan Campaign of the Second World War. In March 1939 following the re-emergence of Germany, and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the British army increased the number of divisions within the Territorial Army (TA) by duplicating existing units. The 18th Infantry Division was formed in September 1939, as a second-line duplicate of the 54th Infantry Division, from men from the East Anglian counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, as well as Essex.
The 2/18th Battalion was an Australian Army infantry unit that served during World War II. Formed in June 1940, the battalion was assigned to the 22nd Brigade, which formed part of the Australian 8th Division. After completing basic training, the 2/18th was sent to Singapore and Malaya to strengthen the defences of the British colonies in February 1941 against a possible Japanese attack. The 2/18th Battalion subsequently undertook garrison duties throughout the year at various locations in Malaya, where it conducted jungle training and constructed defences along the eastern coast.
The 17th Brigade was an infantry brigade in the Australian Army. First raised in 1912 as a Militia formation to provide training under the compulsory training scheme, the brigade was later re-raised as part of the First Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Established in 1917 in the United Kingdom, it was broken up and disbanded without seeing action, and its personnel used as reinforcements for other formations. Reformed during World War II, it took part in fighting in Libya, Greece, Crete, Syria in 1941–1942. Following Japan's entry into the war, the Australian government pressed for the 6th Division's return, and the 17th Brigade was subsequently brought back from the Middle East, via Ceylon where they undertook defensive duties until July 1942. Following the brigade's return to Australia, it was deployed to New Guinea for two campaigns: the Salamaua–Lae campaign in 1943 and the Aitape–Wewak campaign in 1944–1945. After the war, the brigade was disbanded in January 1946. Today, its name is perpetuated by the 17th Combat Service Support Brigade, which was raised as a logistics formation in May 2006.
The Battle of Kranji was the second stage of the Empire of Japan's plan for the invasion of Singapore during the Second World War. On 9 February 1942 the Imperial Japanese Army assaulted the north-western front of the British colony of Singapore. Their primary objective was to secure a second beachhead after their successful assault at Sarimbun Beach on 8 February, in order to breach the Jurong-Kranji defence line as part of their southward thrust towards the heart of Singapore City. Defending the shoreline between the Kranji River and the Johor–Singapore Causeway was the Australian 27th Brigade, led by Brigadier Duncan Maxwell, and one irregular company. On 10 February the Japanese forces suffered their heaviest losses while moving up the Kranji River, which caused them to panic and nearly aborted the operation. However, a series of miscommunications and withdrawals by Allied forces in the ensuing battles allowed the Japanese to swiftly gain strategic footholds, which eventually led to the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942.
The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, took place during Operation Michael, part of the German Spring Offensive on the Western Front. The offensive began against the British Fifth Army and the Third Army on the Somme and pushed back the British and French reinforcements on the north side of the Somme. The capture of Villers-Bretonneux, close to Amiens, a strategically-important road- and rail-junction, would have brought the Germans within artillery-range. In late March, Australian troops were brought south from Belgium as reinforcements to help shore up the line and in early April the Germans launched an attack to capture Villers-Bretonneux. After a determined defence by British and Australian troops, the attackers were close to success until a counter-attack by the 9th Australian Infantry Brigade and British troops late in the afternoon of 4 April restored the situation and halted the German advance on Amiens.
The 2/30th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army that served during World War II. Raised in late 1940 as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force, the battalion formed part of the 27th Brigade, which was assigned to the 8th Division. In mid-1941, the battalion was deployed to Malaya, as the garrison there was increased amidst rising tensions in the Pacific. In early1942, it fought against the Japanese during the Malayan Campaign and the Battle of Singapore, where it was captured in February 1942. Many of the 2/30th's personnel died in captivity before the war ended in August 1945.
The 24th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. Formed on 1 July 1940 as part of the Second Australian Imperial Force, the unit was raised for service during World War II. Originally formed as part of the 8th Australian Division the brigade was subsequently transferred to the newly created 9th Australian Division in December. The brigade served during the Western Desert Campaign, forming part of the Allied garrison during the Siege of Tobruk. Later, the brigade was withdrawn to Syria for occupation duties, but then later took part in the First and Second Battles of El Alamein. In early 1943, the brigade was returned to Australia to fight against the Japanese in the Pacific. In 1943–1944, the brigade fought in New Guinea, taking part in the landing at Lae and the Huon Peninsula campaign. Its final campaign came late in the war, when it took part in the Labuan landings and the Battle of North Borneo in mid-1945. After the war, the brigade was disbanded in early 1946.
The 20th Brigade was a brigade-sized infantry unit of the Australian Army. First raised in 1912 as a Militia formation to provide training under the compulsory training scheme, the brigade was later re-raised on 7 May 1940 as part of the all volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force for service during the World War II. The brigade was initially assigned to the 7th Division, but was later transferred to the 9th Division in early 1941. They subsequently took part in the Siege of Tobruk that year, and then the First and Second Battles of El Alamein in 1942. In early 1943, the brigade was returned to Australia to join the fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific. In late 1943, the brigade took part in the capture of Lae and then the Huon Peninsula campaign. Withdrawn to Australia in early 1944, its final campaign came during the Battle of North Borneo in the final months of the war. It was disbanded in February 1946.
The Battle of the Pimple was part of the Markham and Ramu Valley – Finisterre Range campaign, which consisted of a number of battles fought by Australian and Japanese troops in Papua New Guinea in World War II. Fought on 27 and 28 December 1943, the battle took place as the Australians advanced towards the Japanese strong hold around Shaggy Ridge, and was a preliminary phase in their eventual capture of that position in January 1944. Supported by artillery, mortars, machine guns and fighter-bomber aircraft, the assault was made across a narrow frontage, which was usually not much wider than a single section. Two companies of Australian infantry were committed to the attack, with one securing the initial crest, while the other exploited the position and secured several other smaller features throughout the two days of fighting. In the aftermath, Japanese artillery harassed the Australians holding the position, and subjected them to several counter-attacks, which were eventually defeated.
The Battle of Lababia Ridge was fought from 20–23 June 1943 in the Territory of New Guinea during World War II. Part of the Salamaua–Lae campaign, the battle involved Australian and Japanese troops who clashed on the ridge, which was about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Salamaua, near Mubo, over the course of several days. The battle was fought in conjunction with several other actions in the region as the Allies attempted to draw Japanese attention away from Lae, where they launched seaborne landings in mid-September 1943, in conjunction with airborne landings around Nadzab. The fighting around Lababia Ridge took place at the same time as the Battle of Mubo, after two battalions of Japanese infantry launched a counter-attack on a depleted Australian company. The Australians, supported by Royal Australian Air Force fighter-bombers, managed to hold off the initial Japanese attacks before being reinforced by another depleted company. Fighting continued over the course of three days before the Japanese withdrew.
The Battle of Mount Tambu was a series of actions fought in the Salamaua area of the Territory of New Guinea between Allied and Japanese forces, which took place between 16 July and 18 August 1943, during World War II. The battle formed part of the wider Salamaua–Lae campaign and was fought in the final stages of the campaign, which had seen a combined Australian and US force advance from Wau towards Salamaua following the repulse of the Japanese attack on Wau in late January and early February 1943. After several frontal assaults on the position by Australian and US infantrymen were rebuffed by determined Japanese defenders, an indirect approach was sought and flanking moves were undertaken to cut off the Japanese supply route along the Komiatum Track. This succeeded in eventually forcing the Japanese off the position as they withdrew to avoid encirclement.
The Battle of Oivi–Gorari was the final major battle of the Kokoda Track campaign before the Battle of Buna–Gona. Following the capture of Kokoda by Australian forces on 2 November, the Allies began flying in fresh supplies of ammunition and food to ease the supply problems that had slowed their advance north after the climactic battle around Ioribaiwa, which coupled with reverses elsewhere, had stopped the Japanese advance on Port Moresby.
The Battle of Ioribaiwa took place between 14 and 16 September 1942, during the Kokoda Track campaign of the Second World War. Involving forces from Australia, the United States, and Japan, the fighting centred on a high feature known as Ioribaiwa Ridge, south of Ofi Creek on the Kokoda Track, in the Territory of Papua. It was the last of three defensive battles fought by the Australians along the Kokoda Track to halt the Japanese advance from the north coast of Papua towards Port Moresby.
The First Battle of Eora Creek – Templeton's Crossing was fought from 31 August 1942 to 5 September 1942. Forming part of the Kokoda Track campaign of the Second World War, the battle involved military forces from Australia, supported by the United States, fighting against Japanese troops from Major General Tomitaro Horii's South Seas Detachment who had landed in Papua in mid-1942, with the intent of capturing Port Moresby. The battle was one of three defensive actions fought by the Australians along the Kokoda Track. The fighting resulted in the delay of the Japanese advance south, which allowed the Australians to withdraw to Efogi. Eora Creek village and Templeton's Crossing was subsequently the site of a battle in late October 1942 as the Australian forces pursued the Japanese forces retiring back toward the north coast of Papua.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.