Im­pe­rial Ja­pan’s swift in­va­sion

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malayan Cam­paign be­gan when troops of the Japanese 25th Army, un­der the com­mand of Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral To­moyuki Ya­mashita, in­vaded Malaya on Dec 8, 1941.

It was one of sev­eral mil­i­tary oper­a­tions launched al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously by the Japanese, which in­cluded the at­tack on the United States naval base in Pearl Har­bour, Hawaii, which oc­curred on Dec 7.

The cam­paign was fought in a se­ries of bat­tles be­tween the Al­lied and Japanese forces, and be­gan when Japanese forces landed in Sin­gora and Patani in Thai­land and Kota Baru in Malaya.

De­spite valiant ef­forts by Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth forces, the Im­pe­rial Japanese Army man­aged to smash through de­fences from north­ern Malaya down­wards to Jo­hor, cap­tur­ing the penin­sula by the end of Jan­uary 1942.

It is widely ac­cepted that the cap­ture of the Malayan penin­sula was seen as a vi­tal step for Ja­pan in cap­tur­ing Sin­ga­pore, then a bas­tion of the Bri­tish in the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion.

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