15.02.

1942: The Biggest British Military Disgrace in History

1942: The Biggest British Military Disgrace in History
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bosbritsurrendergroup.jpg

The British commander, General Arthur Percival, surrendered himself and 80,000 surviving British soldiers. Prime Minister Churchill called it the “worst disaster” in British history.

On this day the greatest disaster in British military history happened. Namely, on that day the British forces in Singapore surrendered to the Japanese. Singapore was for decades acknowledged as the strongest fortress in the world. It was called “Gibraltar of the East”. It was in British possession and it was a strategic point through which most of the traffic between China and the Indian Ocean passed. The city’s garrison numbered as many as 85,000 soldiers.

The city was protected by huge 380 mm caliber guns, facing the sea, from where it was expected that the Japanese would attack. However, the Imperial Japanese Army used an unexpected strategy. They landed on the peninsula of Malaya and began to penetrate the mainland towards Singapore through the rainforest. They were led by the Japanese Imperial Guards. The British did not count that someone could lead a significant number of troops trough the jungle, so they were not defending that side of the city. Japanese siege resulted in the British surrender after only seven days. The British commander, General Arthur Percival, surrendered himself and 80,000 surviving British soldiers. Prime Minister Churchill called it the “worst disaster” in British history.

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