75 Years Ago – Pearl Harbor (and more)

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Ford Island, Oahu, just before the Japanese attack

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the pacific war started. A war that changed the world forever. The Japanese conquest of most of South-East Asia heralded the downfall of the mighty British, Dutch and French colonial empires in the Far-East. And it took nearly four years of hard fighting and two atom bombs to drive them back.

The oil-rich Dutch and British posessions in the “Malayan Barrier”, as some historians have called this area, were the real  Japanese  objective. A very large area that could only be effectively protected by a large fleet. And thus, as the US fleet was the largest in the Pacific, Pearl Harbor and the American fleet became the prime targets on this fateful day.
But the Japanese plan of attack asked for much more, such as an amphibious attack on the coast of Malaya and  a bombing of the “impregnable fortress” Singapore

Here’s what I wrote in “A Rude Awakening”

singapore_bombed

Singapore´s North-Bridge Road after the surprise bombing Dec 7/8, 1941

The first Japanese bombs dropped on Singapore hit Raffles Place exactly at 04.20 the morning after the major’s declaration. There had been no warning, just a feeble air-raid alarm that nobody took seriously. Its wail was soon drowned out by thundering explosions, the dry rattle of falling masonry and the shattering crash of bursting and splintering window glass. The Japanese bombers then continued to their next target, helped by the city lights that remained switched on during the air raid, as no one in the power station could find the keys to turn them off.

On this day,  we honour those who gave their lives on that fateful day.
Their sacrifice has  ensured that we, of a later generation, could live in a world free of oppression.

May we never forget them!

Seven other authors and I have paid homage to the unsung heroes of December 7, 1941 in our anthology:

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About Kingsleyr

Thank you for visiting my blog! The posts you find here are a direct result of my research into aviation and military history. I use the information I gather as a foundation and background for my books. You may call the genre historical fiction, a story woven into a background of solid and verifiable historical facts. However, the period and region I have chosen to write about (late 1930's - 1950's in South-East Asia) are jam-packed with interesting information and anecdotes. If I'd used them all I would swamp the stories. So this blog is the next best thing. It is an "overflow area" in which I can publish whatever I think will interest you. And from the reactions I get, I deduce I am on the right track. A lot will be about aviation in the former Dutch East Indies. This, because my series of books ("The Java Gold") follows a young Dutch pilot in his struggle to survive the Pacific War and its aftermath. But there's more in the world and you'll find descriptions of cities, naval operations and what not published on this blog. Something about myself; I am a Dutch-Canadian author, living in, and working out of the magical city of Amsterdam. My lifelong interest in history and aviation, especially WW2, has led me to write articles and books on these subjects. I hope you'll enjoy them!
This entry was posted in Historical Background, Malayan Campaign 1941-42, Pacific War and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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