The Invasion

On the morning of December 7, the entire garrison was ordered to war stations. At 8 a.m., December 8, Japanese aircraft reached their first Hong Kong target, the Kai Tak airport, and either destroyed or damaged all the RAF aircraft.

From first light the Japanese ground forces moved across the frontier of the New Territories where they met the forward forces of the Mainland Brigade. In the face of strong enemy pressure these advance units, while inflicting casualties and carrying out demolitions, fell back to the Gin Drinkers' Line. On the night of December 9-10, the Japanese captured the key position of Shing Mun Redoubt. In the darkness, D Company of The Winnipeg Grenadiers was dispatched to the mainland to strengthen this sector. This company saw some action on the 11th, becoming the first sub-unit of the Canadian Army to fight in the Second World War. Further Japanese attacks made the Gin Drinkers' Line untenable and the troops were ordered to withdraw to their defence positions on the island.

On December 13, a Japanese demand for the surrender of Hong Kong was brusquely rejected.

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