One of the more interesting Facebook posts I get is from the Centre for BattleField Archaeology out of the University of Glasgow. It’s a Scots\Brit outfit that reports on what is being found in battlefield digs around the world. They have a nifty FB page that feeds me updates.
It was the worst defeat in British military history. Over 80,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were taken prisoner. The fall of Singapore was to Britain what the fall of the Philippines was to the U.S. in the early days of the war with Japan.
The story of the Cambridgeshire Regiment in the defense of Singapore is slowly being told by a former RAF officer who has spent years studying the regiment’s part in the battle. Apparently the Cambridgeshires held out for three days against formidable odds before being ordered to surrender. The link will take you to the video.
The Fall of Singapore was in February, 1942. On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and drew America into the war that Britain and the Commonwealth countries had been fighting since 1939. When the Japanese struck the Singapore and Malaysia, British colonies, Britain was already heavily engaged against the Germans and Italians in North Africa. Little could be spared in the east and America had not yet emerged as the powerhouse it would become.
The heroic story of the Cambridgeshires shines as a light in those early days when Britain and the US suffered numerous catastrophes.