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    Hong Kong Hong Kong Special Administrative Region China

Palmer December 1941


IJA December 28, 1941


Royal Navy
September 16, 1945
Location
Hong Kong Island includes Lantau Island and a small portion of mainland China with Kaitak Airfield (Kai Tak) and Kowloon including the Kowloon Docks and Taikoo Docks. Borders Victoria Harbor, Takao Harbor and Hong Kong Harbor. Prewar and during the Pacific War, Hong Kong was a British colony. Today, part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 the Japanese aircraft attacked the Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft at Kai Tak Airfield on the mainland destroying all available aircraft. On December 13, 1941 the Japanese demand the surrender of British troops in Hong Kong. When their request is denied, the Japanese begin bombing.

On December 18, 1941 during the day, Japanese bombard the shore. At 8:00pm the west assault unit comprised the 228th and 230th Regiments from Kai Tak. The eastern assault unit comprised the 229th Regiment (less 1 Battalion held as reserve) from the Devil's Peak area. By midnight, six battalions were ashore but were delayed on the beaches by barbed wire defense, gunfire from 5/7th Rajputs but moved inland overwhelming the defenders to higher ground. British Army General Christopher Maltby incorrectly believed only two battalions in a diversion and sent only minimal reinforcements as he believed the main landing would be across Victoria Harbor. On December 25, 1941 after an eighteen day battle, the British surrender Hong Kong.

Occupied by the Japanese for the duration of the Pacific War. Starting in late 1942 until the end of the Pacific War targeted by Allied fighters and bombers that targeted the docks and other facilities.

American missions against Hong Kong
October 25, 1942–June 12, 1945

On September 16, 1945 at Government House, the Japanese surrendered Hong Kong to Royal Navy Rear Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt. During the surrender ceremony, Rear Admiral Ruitaro Fujita signed on behalf of the Navy. Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Major General U. Okada signed on behalf of the Army. After signing, both surrender their swords to Rear Admiral Harcourt. The ceremony was witnessed by Admiral Fraser, commander in chief of the British Pacific Fleet and officers from the United States, Canada and China.

Gin Drinker’s Line
British Army 1941 defensive line with its western flank on Gin Drinker’s Bay. The plan was that this line was to hold for three weeks during which the defenses of Hong Kong could be completed and the invading forces subjected to delay and attrition.

Kaitak Airfield (Hong Kong International Airport, Kai Tak)
Prewar airfield used during the Pacific War and postwar as an airport until closed July 6, 1998.

Chek Lap Kok Airport (Hong Kong International Airport)
New airport opened July 6, 1998 and still in use today.

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Last Updated
December 18, 2023

 

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