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Canadian Participation in the Defence of Hong Kong, December 1941

Type: Document

This report deals with the organization and despatch of a Canadian Expeditionary Force to Hong Kong in October 1941, and the Force's subsequent operations during the siege of that island by the Japanese.

Site: National Defence

Attack on the Island - Hong Kong

Type: Document

A description of the invasion of the island of Hong Kong in World War II, from the time the Japanese forces landed on December 18, 1941 until the Allied surrender on Christmas Day.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Canada and the Second World War - The Battle for Hong Kong. 1941

Type: Document

In November 1941, Canada sent 1975 troops to help garrison the British colony of Hong Kong. Despite fighting valiantly, 290 Canadians were killed in action and 300 more died in capitivity.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Defense of the Island of Hong Kong - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

As the Japanese advanced and their attack intensified, the beleaguered allies' defences crumbled and their counterattacks failed. Against an overwhelming enemy and with no hope of relief the defenders were finally overrun and forced to surrender.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Aftermath of Hong Kong - Canada and the Second World War, 1939-1945

Type: Document

The fall of Hong Kong cost Canada hundreds of casualties. Long and brutal imprisonment ensured that many of the survivors would not live to return to Canada.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Hong Kong, December 1941 - Operations - Democracy at War

Type: DocumentImage

It seemed unlikely that the Pacific Ocean British colony of Hong Kong, guarded by only four battalions at the outbreak of war, could be held if the Japanese chose to mount a serious attack. Nevertheless, military leaders in London convinced themselves that the Japanese might be scared off by a show of force. They asked Canada for help. Prime Minister Mackenzie King, usually cautious but not this time, agreed. For this duty, the army staff selected the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Ms. Kay Christie - My Grandmother's Wartime Diary - Canada and the Second World War

Type: Document

Some Canadians became prisoners of war, including noncombatants, and the living conditions of their internment were harsh. The interned sometimes felt their situation went unappreciated by those at home.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Defence of the Island - Hong Kong

Type: Document

A description of how Allied forces defended Hong Kong against Japanese attack in the Second World War.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Canadians in Hong Kong - The Defence of Hong Kong

Type: Document

It was in the defence of Hong Kong in 1941 that Canadian soldiers were first committed to battle during the Second World War. The battalions chosen to represent Canada in Hong Kong were The Royal Rifles of Canada and The Winnipeg Grenadiers. The Canadians, commanded by Brigadier J.K. Lawson, sailed from Vancouver on October 27, 1941 in the Awatea, escorted by HMCS Prince Robert. On November 16, the Awatea reached Hong Kong.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

Threat in the Pacific

Type: Document

Canada's Defence Plan No. 2 envisaged a war in the Pacific between Japan and the United States, and laid plans to protect Canada in such a conflict. In 1941, Canada sent two battalions to Hong Kong to support the British. The Pacific coast was ill-prepared until the invasion of the Aleutian islands and the shelling of Estevan Point in British Columbia by the Japanese Navy. Fear of a Japanese invasion created a panic and 22,000 Japanese-Canadians were interned.

Site: National Defence