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Chapter 6 - How did World War II Affect Singapore?

To what extent was the Fall of Singapore the fault of the British?
What did the British do to defend Singapore efore the War?
Britain de!eloped the "#ain Fleet to Singapore$ strateg%& 'eaning( Britain would send ships
fro' )urope to Asia if there was troule
*a!al ase was constructed in Singapore( co'pleted in +,-.
/efense s%ste' in Singapore&
+0-inch guns 'ounted on Singapore( facing the sea to pre!ent an% attac1 fro' the sea
#ilitar% airfields uilt in Tengah 2 Se'awang
3nderground un1ers uilt at Fort Canning( 4arador 2 Se'awang
As a result Singapore was 1nown as the "i'pregnale$ fortress of the British )'pire in the )ast
)!ents in other parts of the world&
+,-5( 6apan in!aded China
3SA 2 'an% other countries cut off oil suppl% to 6apan in protest
6apan egan to plan to sei7e Southeast Asia for its oil 2 other raw 'aterials
Sep +,-,( war ro1e out in )urope
Sep +,89 6apan( Ital% 2 :er'an% signed treat% of friendship 2 called the'sel!es the Axis
+,8+( 'ore troops fro' India( Britain 2 Australia arri!ed in Singapore
< /ec +,8+( H#S ;rince of Wales 2 H#S =epulse also arri!ed
5 /ec +,8+( 6apan attac1ed ;earl Harour in Hawaii
6apan attac1ed #ala%a 2 other parts of Southeast Asia at the sa'e ti'e
+9 /ec +,8+ the 6apanese san1 ;rince of Wales 2 =epulse off the coast of >uantan
Wh% did the British fail to stop the 6apanese?
Before the war the 6apanese set up intelligence ser!ices in Singapore 2 #ala%a to gather info
on British defense 2 readiness
The British also under esti'ated the 6apanese that the% were inferior 'ilitaril%
In fact the British were wrong as the 6apanese had a large 'odern air force 2 na!al fleet
The British on the other hand had old 2 outdated planes
The 6apanese were etter trained in ?ungle warfare
The 6apanese used tan1s 2 ic%cles to 'o!e around in the #ala%an ?ungles@
The Battle of #ala%a lasted onl% 5 wee1s ATextoo1( p@+9-B
The Battle for Singapore lasted < wee1s ATextoo1( p@+98B
+0D<D+,8+( :eneral ;erci!al wanted to fight on ut his co''anders ad!ised otherwise
En the sa'e da%( :eneral ;erci!al 2 :eneral Fa'ashita 'et at Ford Factor% and signed
the agree'ent of surrender
How did the people of Singapore react to the 6apanese attac1?
#an% did not expect an attac1 fro' the 6apanese
)!en after the 6apanese attac1 had started( 'an% Singaporeans thought that the British
would e ale to hold the 6apanese ac1
#ost did not expect the defeat 2 fall of Singapore
Changes the 6apanese Eccupation 'ade
Singapore was re-na'ed S%onan-to or 4ight of the SouthDthe =adiant South
Fear and punish'ents
The 6apanese 'ilitar% police( the >e'peitai were sent to Singapore to "'aintain law 2
The )uropean soldiers 2 ci!ilians had to 'arch for a long distance to reach their prisons
"Fear$ was used to rule 2 control Singapore
;unish'ents were fast 2 harsh for e!en the s'allest offense
#an% suspects were tortured or 1illed at the >e'peitai centre
The )urasians
The )urasians were harshl% treated as the% were in!ol!ed as 'e'ers of the Singapore
Golunteer Corps 2 the% fought hard against the 6apanese
#an% were sent to prison 2 those suspected of helping the British were executed
#ala%s and Indians
The #ala%s 2 Indians were treated etter as the% were not !iewed as threats to the 6apanese
The% tried to win the support of the #ala%s 2 Indians % pro'ising the' that the% would e
freed fro' British rule
The Indians were gi!en the pro'ise that 6apan would help free India
Howe!er so'e still suffered if the% did not oe% or please the 6apanese
#an% #ala%s were sent to the "/eath =ailwa%$ in Thailand
The Chinese
The Chinese howe!er were !icti's to the 6apanese rule
This was due to the strong support the local Chinese ga!e to the Chinese go!t when the
6apanese attac1ed China in +,-5
#one% was raised 2 sent ac1 to China to help in the war
#an% went ac1 to ?oin the war against the 6apanese
4ocal Chinese usiness'en organi7ed o%cotts of 6apanese goods
When the 6apanese too1 o!er Singapore( the ">e'peitai$ carried out the "Soo1
Ching$ca'paigns to identif% 2 eli'inate all suspected anti-6apanese Chinese
All Chinese 'en etween +. 2 09 %ears of age were su''oned to reporting centres at the
F#CA uilding 2 the Central ;olice Station
The% were "exa'ined$ % infor'ers who wore hoods or 'as1s 2 the anti-6apanese ones were
The luc1% ones who were not "identified$ were gi!en a s'all piece of paper with the Chinese
word "exa'ined$ ruer-sta'ped on the' 2 sent ho'e@
Those "identified$ were loaded up onto lorries 2 the% were sent to Changi 2 other eaches
where the% were executed
The Chinese were 'ade to pa% the 6apanese H09 'illion as a punish'ent for their
in!ol!e'ent in the anti-6apanese war in China
The 6apanese tried to influence the 'inds of Singaporeans % using the newspapers( the
schools 2 the radio
The Straits Ti'es changed its na'e to the Shonan Ti'es
=eports were in fa!our of the 6apanese 2 the West was constantl% conde'ned in the papers
Schools had to teach the 6apanese spirit A*ippon SeishinB
#orning asse'l% would start the da% 2 the whole school had to face the direction of 6apan
2 sing the 6apanese national anthe' A>i'iga%oB
Taisho or 'ass drill was co'pulsor% for e!er%one in the school
Teachers had to learn 6apanese 2 all students had to stud% the language on the school$s
roadcasting ser!ices
=adio stations were controlled % the 6apanese 2 people could onl% listen to these stations
Those caught listening to foreign ones would e harshl% punished or 1illed
Enl% 6apanese 'o!ies 2 propaganda fil's were allowed in the cine'as
The Hard 4ife
;eople faced food shortages ecause trade was disrupted 2 all resources were ta1en % the
6apanese for their war efforts elsewhere
=ationing introduced for asic goods li1e rice( salt 2 sugar
)ach household gi!en a ";eace 4i!ing Certificate$
3sing the certificate the% were gi!en ration cards to purchase essential goods
The% would lined up at the 1u'iai shopDdistriution association for hours to u% those
#an% suffered fro' 'alnutrition 2 diseases
)ssential goods were sold at high prices in the "lac1 'ar1et$@
Situation eca'e worse when the 6apanese printed the anana notes without an% li'it
The notes were not serialised( printed on poor Iualit% paper 2 could e easil% forged
Within 'onths the !alue of the anana notes dropped 'a1ing prices of goods !er% high 2
thus people suffered e!en 'ore
Anti-6apanese Acti!ities
#ala%an Co''unist ;art% A#C;B for'ed the #ala%an ;eople$s Anti-6apanese Ar'%
Force +-6 for'ed with the support fro' the British with 4i' Bo Seng as + of its leaders
Both carried out espionage( saotages 2 guerilla warfare
/id life return to nor'al after the end of the 6apanese Eccupation?
The 6apanese surrendered in August +,80 after the dropping of the < ato'ic o's on
August 6 2 ,
+< Sep +,80 'an% Singaporeans were the ;adang cheering for the return of the British
A pro!isional Ate'porar%B go!t called the British #ilitar% Ad'inistration AB#AB was set up
to rule Singapore till + Apr +,86
The people in Singapore faced 'an% prole's after the war&
E!ercrowded li!ing conditions( poor sanitation( lac1 of healthcare ser!ices(
But 'ore seriousl%( shortage of food 2 lac1 of housing
Shortage of water( electricit% 2 telephone ser!ices
Streets were dirt% 2 !irtuall% no law and order in the night
The 6apanese ;EWs were 'ade to restore electricit%( gas 2 other asic ser!ices
The harour was cleared to allow ships to co'e in to unload the food supplies
;ort facilities were graduall% restored
Food rationing was introduced to ensure e!er%one had so'e asic food
;eople$s =estaurants were set up to sell food at reasonale prices
Food supplies increased after trade lin1s re-estalished with other countries
=ental of houses were high as there were shortage of housing
;eople were forced to li!e in s'all 2 congested en!iron'ent
A law on rent control was introduced to stop exploitati!e landlords
So'e flats were uilt to help soothe the prole'