Imperial Japan’s swift invasion
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.