November 1941, Canada sent 1975 troops
to help garrison the British colony of
Hong Kong. Although dispatched as part
of a plan to deter Japanese aggression,
the Canadians were not fully equipped
and still undergoing training. On 7 December
1941, Japan entered the war with a series
of successful offensives in Asia and
across the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese
invaded Hong Kong on 8 December and overran
its meagre defences in 17 days.
their first land combat of the war, Canadian
troops fought valiantly in a vicious,
unequal struggle. Losses were heavy:
290 killed in action and hundreds wounded.
The survivors were all taken prisoner.
Suffering from malnutrition, disease,
overwork, and brutality, nearly 300 more
Canadians died in captivity.
See also :
Newspapers and the Second World War : Hong Kong, December 1941