Fall of Singapore

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The fall of Singapore The fall of Singapore occurred on the 15th of February 1942 with the surrender of all British and Empire forces on the island. This was three years after Great Britain and France declared war on Germany and only two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Australia had immediately joined the war effort in order to aid Britain and the empire, but soon faced another formidable foe, considerably closer to home- the Japanese. The fall of Singapore brought the war closer than ever to Australia, and brought the prospect of fighting on Australian soil (for the first time) increasingly near. The fall of Singapore generated new opinions and perspectives on the war for all Australians. Firstly, with Britain recovering after her greatest military defeat of all time, Australia had to reconsider its position in the Empire. The fear of invasion, as mentioned above, resulted in ‘total war’ in Australia, with all resources available devoted to the war effort. Finally, in Australia’s desperation to have a solid fighting force against the Japanese, a partnership with America was formed to try and hold back the seemingly unstoppable force. The reasons for the fall of Singapore were many. Firstly, Singapore lacked a well-planned defense. In trying to defend the entire coastline, forces were stretched too thin, without enough weapons or support from planes or ships (1942: Singapore Forced to Surrender, BBC). The Japanese attacked with speed, riding on bicycles, taking the soldiers by surprise. When Singapore was first bombed, on the 8th of December 1941, no one heard the warnings (Chua, J 2005 ). There were no emergency blackouts, and nobody took shelter. Only a day earlier, Pearl Harbour in America had been bombed, which led to America entering the war against Japan- but it was already too late for Singapore. There was a
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