The Fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army took place in the South-East Asian theatre of the Pacific War, with fighting in Singapore lasting through 8 to 15 February 1942. Nicknamed the “Gibraltar of the East,” Singapore was the foremost British military base and economic port in South-East Asia and was important to British interwar defence planning for the region. The British stronghold was captured by the Empire of Japan in what is considered one of the greatest defeats in the history of the British Army, and arguably Britain’s worst defeat in the Second World War. In the largest British surrender in history, sixty-two thousand Allied soldiers were taken prisoner, and more than half eventually died as prisoners of war.
Dan tells the story, explainer style, to mark this 80 year anniversary. This episode also features archive from Dan’s interview with the late Dr Bill Frankland (19 March 1912 - 2 April 2020), a veteran of World War II who lived through a Japanese prisoner of war camp and who also made important contributions to our understanding of allergies.