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Tony Rao

on 20 August 2013

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The Fall of Singapore began on February 8 1942 and lasted 7 days until February 15 1942. The battle was fought between the Japanese Empire and the British Empire in Singapore. Australia also fought in the war, helping the British Empire to defend Singapore against the Japanese.
What happened and why?
The Japanese invaded Singapore because it was a vital part in the British Empire's oil production. It's also the major British military base in South-East Asia.
The first Japanese landings began on February 8. Elements of the Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions landed on Singapore's northwest coast. They were able to overwhelm the Australian forces and forced them to retreat. The next day, the Japanese landed on the southwest coast and again they were able to drive back the Indian defense forces. Even though the defenders outnumbered the attackers, the Japanese forces were unstoppable, the British and Australian troops were forced to retreat towards the city. After the Japanese controlled the island's water supply and massacred around 200 patients and staff in Alexandra Hospital on February 13, the British and Australian forces didn't have any choice other than surrender. The formal surrender was completed on February 15.

Primary Sources
Primary Sources
The Battle of Singapore, also known as the Fall of Singapore is probably the worst defeat of the British Empire in WWII. This battle is a great example of the way Japan fought in the East, fast and ferocious.
80,000 British soldiers surrender to Japan
The conference at which Singapore surrendered on February 15, 1942.







On the 12th of February 1942, the Daily Express reports on the situation just days before the 'Fall of Singapore'
Lieut. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese Commander faces Lieut. Gen. A. E. Percival, British commander during the final meeting to arrange the surrender.
Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer, walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore, on 15 February 1942.
1942 Australian propaganda poster used on the home front saying that the Japanese Empire is coming soon, everyone has to prepare to fight.
This primary source is not very reliable since it's a propaganda poster found on the internet and the website doesn't have much evidence to prove that this primary source is reliable.
Impact on Australia and its Involvement in the War
During the Fall of Singapore, around 22,000 Australians were captured by the Japanese and became the POW. It's a tragical fact that 8,000 of them died at the POW camps in Singapore.

People in Australia were shocked and scared at the way Japan fought in the east, their wartime morale was weakened. They knew they'll be Japan's next target as Mr. Curtin, Australia's PM said" Just as Dunkirk opened the battle for Britain, Singapore opened the battle for Australia."

Every citizen devoted their leisure time to war duties. Propaganders of recruiting soldiers for the army and pilots for the RAAf were everywhere. However Australia alone was not enough to defend against the Japanese, so Mr. Curtin looked to America since Australia just turned away from the British Empire. The US sent large amout of troops, navy and fighter bombers to Australia to reinforce the defense force since an attack on Austraia may also leads to an attack on the US. The Fall of Singapore led to greater Aus-US cooperation.
After the Fall of Singapore, more and more men were recruited into the army. That means again women had to enter the workforce as they did in WWI. This time, the number of women who were employed to do men's work was huge. They saw this as the jobs for the war, not for life. Even though women were paid less than men and they were expected to return to their home duties after the war, the number of female workers was still increasing. They worked in factories to make bomb casings, tanks and parachutes, worked in shipyards to make ships. They even established the Australian Women's Land Army (AWLA) to fill the labour shortages in country areas.
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