C Force to Hong Kong: A Canadian Catastrophe (Canadian War Museum Historical Publication)

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Was Canadian Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar, guilty of putting his own interests above those of his men in telling the minister of National Defence that there was "no military risk" in sending the "C" Force? The book recounts the formation of the "C" Force and its departure to Hong Kong where it arrived just three weeks before the Japanese attack.

It outlines the course of the battle from December 8, , until the inevitable surrender of the garrison on Christmas Day. It places appropriate emphasis on the Canadian contribution, refuting allegations by the British General-Officer-Commanding - allegations which were only made public in - that the Canadians did not fight well.

Greenhous attacks these charges with solid evidence from participants and eye-witnesses.

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Brereton Greenhous. Finally, the book tells the story of life and death in the prison camps of Hong Kong and Japan. With guns blazing from both hands, Lawson and his men shot it out with the Japanese before he was killed, the area around his shelter littered with bodies of the enemy.

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As the C Force war diary recorded, conditions in the gap grew steadily worse. It might be compared with the lower part of a bowl, the enemy looking down and occupying the rim.

Books by Brereton Greenhous (Author of The Making of Billy Bishop)

The main road running through the position was cluttered for hundreds of feet each way with abandoned trucks and cars. The Japanese were using mortars and hand grenades quite heavily. Casualties were steadily mounting, but at the same time reinforcements were trickling in the form of stragglers, so that at the end of the day, while the killed and wounded were approximately twenty-five, the effective fighting strength was about the same. Efficient and aggressive, Japanese troops rush into Hong Kong in early December Reports of widespread atrocities were received as the invaders took control of the city.

By the 20th, things had gotten very desperate. Shortly afterward, they surrendered. Even before the fall of the Wong Nei Chong Gap, the Japanese had managed to get around it and by nightfall of the 19th were looking down on the Repulse Bay Hotel at the junction of the coast road and the north-south road that ran through the gap. They soon brought artillery to bear, effectively cutting the Allied garrison in two while the gap defenders still fought on. The end was near for Hong Kong. For the next three days the pattern continued—the wasting of men in futile and useless actions that could never hope to change or even significantly delay the final outcome of the battle, ordered by commanders who seemed to grow more out of touch with reality with every passing hour.

On Christmas morning Wallis ordered a company-strength attack on a ridge above Stanley village, ignoring the protests of Lt. Home that it would be another senseless waste of men. In the action that followed, D Company of the Royal Rifles was wiped out after a bayonet charge and vicious hand-to-hand fighting. Around pm, A Company of the Royal Rifles had just begun an attack up the main road in Stanley when the enemy guns fell silent and a car flying a white flag appeared carrying two British officers. They brought the news that the colony had been surrendered about three hours earlier.

The fighting was over, but the killing was not. The horror of Japanese occupation and captivity was only beginning for the defeated at Hong Kong. In St. It was only one example of numerous savage atrocities committed by Japanese troops against soldiers and civilians alike after the surrender. The Canadians had suffered badly: men and 59 officers killed or wounded in the battle. Another would die in the miserable conditions behind Japanese wire.

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Sutcliffe, who died as a POW. Many of those who did make it home were broken in body and spirit for the rest of their lives, which were often shorter than what they would have been because of the years of malnourishment, overwork, and disease. In Canada, no one ever really had to answer for the tragedy of Hong Kong, including the man who had said it had no military risk, Lt. Henry Crerar. In the months to come he would be instrumental in pushing ahead Operation Jubilee, the disastrous raid on the French coastal town of Dieppe.

Jerome M.

Books by Brereton Greenhous

Baldwin is a resident of Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. He is a veteran of the Canadian Army, having served as a fire control systems technician. Your email is never published nor shared. The Confederate provost guard functioned as a combination rear guard and prison keeper during the American Civil War. Sherman hold onto his. Remember Me. Forgot your Password? Site Navigation Menu.

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Posted June 29, at am Permalink. Gold brocade Qing armour. Qing Dynasty was in place from — But opium was a form of payment that the two decided would work. China used it medicinally for stress then. However, there became a surplus of opium and it became a problem. The treaty leaned heavily in favour of the British and China ceded Hong Kong.

Hell in Hong Kong

Britain later asked for China to renegotiate the treaty, legalizing the opium trade among other things. That started some conflict.

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  8. The Chinese government seized a ship The Arrow flying the British flag and took it down. This happened near Canton on the mainland. That caused a lot of trouble and the U. Around the same time, France teamed up with Britain and together they attacked Canton now Guangzhou on the mainland.

    Russia joined the conflict as a British ally in the Second Opium War from to Part of the Convention of Beijing ending the conflict included a perpetual lease over the Kowloon Peninsula for Britain. Memorial records tallying how much opium was destroyed in by Commissioner Lin Zexu — about 1.


    L in wrote Queen Victoria asking her to stop the opium trade. His message never reached her but it was published in the Times of London. Opium trade wares: 1. Pipe, 2. Number 2 is a lamp. Kowloon Walled City was demolished in the s and now is a park. The Walled City started out as a salt outpost in the Song Dynasty — Then it became part of fortifications against the British in , followed by being handed over to the Brits in and then occupied by the Imperial Japanese forces in the Second World War.

    The Japanese army took parts of the wall down. After Japan left, the city became a haven for drugs and crime up until