The 3 photos below are from the FDR Presidential Library & Museum and show scenes from an aerial reconnaissance flight after a raid on Hong Kong during WWII. Often, after a bombing mission, one lucky pilot would get to stick around to try and survey the damage to targets in order to report back to command.
The initial Japanese attack took place just 8 hours after the bombing Pearl Harbour. The Gin Drinker’s Line set up over 2 years by the British was expected to protect the territory for months – however, it fell in the space of 3 days with troops outnumbered 2:1. Within 18 days, Hong Kong itself had fallen and the Japanese ceased control at the Peninsula Hotel on Christmas Day, 1941.
Despite an impressive continued resistance by Gangjiu Da Dui Guerillas, the brutal Japanese occupation lasted for 3-and-a-half years (for which there is still residual resentment amongst many Hong Kongers today).
Unexploded bombs from WWII are still occasionally uncovered, especially around areas of reclamation, and war remnants can be spotted and explored on various historical hiking trails around the city.
- Hong Wrong entry featuring a video of the Gin Drinker’s Line trenches and tunnels.
- Wikipedia – The Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong and the Battle of Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong History Museum, TST (includes an excellent section on the WWII Japanese Occupation)
- A 2005 protest calling on Japan to acknowledge and apologise for its actions in WWII.
- Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association
Map of the Japanese lines of attack…
WW2 Hongkong 1941 (Part 1) – documentary about Canadian troops defending HK…