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Heroes Remember Presents The Battle of Hong Kong

Heroes Remembers Presents


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Heroes Remember Presents The Battle of Hong Kong

I’m going to China, they are not at war so no problem there. Even the newspapers said that the arrival of the Canadians might make Japan think twice before declaring a war. It was right there in the newspaper headlines. What a joke. We would do drill, okay, up and down but that wasn’t training for fighting the war. You see the Japs, they were trained for guerrilla warfare, we weren’t. They knew how to fight, we didn’t. We saw them coming. And thought it was our guys practicing. But it was the Japanese coming to drop bombs on our heads. The war started in Hong Kong and from the 7th to the 25th we were fighting. "Hopeless" First of all we could not be supplied. The Japanese controlled the air and the sea. We couldn’t be reinforced, additional troops couldn’t be sent to us. We had no planes to defend us. We had no warships. We had nothing like that. I’m looking out to sea there what was behind us on this side and I said to him, “Lance, this is one God awful trap." So I just figured I guess we’ve had the biscuit. If we make it, okay and if we don’t, well what the hell. This was a one way trip. "Poorly Armed" We only had very limited amounts of mortar ammunition which in infantry fighting is very important. We had no artillery go over with us, no, no. We had to rely on what British artillery was there. The Japanese flew so low, you could see the pilots. We had nothing to fire at them with. Unless you picked up a handful of rocks. The rifles that we were issued with was old Enfield rifles and they had a red band painted around the muzzle. Some of them you couldn’t even open the bolt on them. The only thing any good on them was a bayonet. Me, I had a revolver. That's all we had. Like me, many of the guys made themselves grenades. I had them in my pockets. I had never seen that before in my life. They gave me a Thompson machine gun, something I had never seen in my life. We were at a great disadvantage because of the difficulty of running out of ammunition and water. Finally we got to a reservoir, there was floating bodies in there and everything but we just pushed them aside and we just drank, holy gosh. "Outnumbered" It was very difficult to hold any position with our limited man power. They put on forty thousand men against our six and they had another forty thousand waiting on the other side to take the ferries and come across. And I could see the whole bay in there and I swear to God, you could have walked across that bay on dead Japs. Had two Bren guns in that corner and two there and we were in the center with the rifles that would just go like that there and they were going down like a field of hay. When you’re firing and you know for sure you killed a man, it’s hard to take. "Outflanked" Even though we were holding the front in some position or some peak given to us, the Japanese infiltrated behind us and suddenly the fire started to come from the rear and we were trapped. Well, there was fighting everywhere. In Hong Kong, it wasn't a war. It wasn't them on one side and us on the other, you know. They were all over the place. We were in a bomb hole and this sniper must have been way up high because he sniped and killed three guys on the one side of that hole. He was laying alongside me when a Jap threw a hand grenade over, blew the top of his head off. One minute we were talking, the next minute his head’s gone, you know, and things like that you don’t forget. And we had a lot of fellows that had gotten into these pill boxes. They dropped a Molotov cocktail down through that ventilator and that was the end of the fellows inside them pill boxes. They kept shelling this building and apparently it caught fire and you could hear them screaming but there was nothing you could do about it. "Final Battle" Totally exhausted in broad daylight without any artillery support or any heavy machine gun support, the Canadians attacked Stanley Village. When they give you orders to attack in the army, you have to go. That was hand to hand fighting; bayonets and it wasn’t very nice. Major Parker turned around and started counting and he counted 45 of us left. And the war ended on Christmas Day, they sounded the bugles and they said to go as prisoners of war to the Japanese Imperial Army.

Canadian veterans describe their first-hand experiences in the deplorable conditions of the Battle of Hong Kong

Meta Data
Scott MacLean
November 28, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Heroes Remember Presents
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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