#OnThisDay (15 Feb) in 1942, Singapore fell
#OnThisDay in 1942, Lieutenant-General Percival and 11 senior officers met in the Battlebox to assess the situation. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had given the order to fight the Japanese till the very end. It was 15 minutes of tense discussion. Food, water and ammunition supplies were depleted. The decision – surrender Singapore to the Japanese.
At 5.15 pm, Percival and his delegation of senior officers left for the Ford Motor Factory, the HQ of the Japanese. The British wanted to discuss the surrender terms. However, Japanese Lieutenant General Yamashita demanded an immediate, unconditional surrender, and threatened to launch a devastating attack on the city at night. Faced with this ultimatum, Percival signed the surrender document at 7.50 pm. The three and a half years of suffering and deprivation under the Japanese Occupation had begun.
Today marks Total Defence Day. It reminds us of what it takes to stay free – that we must be able to defend Singapore. Whatever we need to do, however hard it is, we vow #neveragainSG and #neverforget. #WeAreTotalDefence
📸: Lieutenant-General Percival (far right) and his party on his way to surrendering Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942; Imperial War Museum Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore