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Canadians at Hong Kong 1941 This is the tail end of an excellent Canadian documentary about the defense of Hong Kong in 1941. In December 1941, some 2,000 green Canadian troops were sent to bolster the exotic British outpost against an expected Japanese attack. It was a suicide mission. The Japanese attacked with about 90,000 battle-hardened troops. The heroic defense of Hong Kong lasted about three weeks before the inevitable surrender. Japanese troops brutally murdered wounded hospitalized defenders. Captured Canadian and British troops were shipped to slave labor camps where they existed in horrid conditions for nearly four years. Lest we forget...
Tags: Hong  Kong  Canadians 
Added: 8th May 2008
Views: 1328
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Naomi on 2008-05-09 
Two battalions, the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, were militia, but they had been graded by the Canadian military authorities as insufficiently trained and not fit for combat. None of the soldiers had trained on the mortar or anti-tank rifle. Many of the men who joined (almost two thousand young Canadian men, most of them teenagers or in their early twenties) had not even finished their recruitment training. They were given lectures on their way to Hong Kong, such as the size of the flannel to clean their rifles with. They were meant to be there for garrison duty and not to fight.

The casualty rate was more than 50%. Out of 1,975, more than 1,050 were either killed or wounded.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2008-05-09 
Canada's Hong Kong veterans were largely forgotten--even in Canada--for many years. When the war ended, the prisoners liberated form the labor camps in Japan were little more than living skeletons (as this video shows). If the war had lasted another six months, most would have died from starvation and disease.
Posted by: donmac101 on 2008-05-09 
It is very strange how historians write history. They often forget about allies because their forces were a small but never the less an important part of a conflict or war.

Just like a lot of them forgot that Australia and other countries were involved in the Vietnam war.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2008-05-09 
General MacArthur recognized the hardships the Hong Kong defenders went through in their three-plus years of captivity. He insisted that General Percivial, the British commander of the Hong Kong garrison, be one of the dignitaries onboard the U.S.S. Missouri when the Japanese formally surrendered to end the war.
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