Battle of Singapore: After almost 4 years of engagement in China, Japan thought of invading South Asian colonies of the West, as it would have given them the chance of retreat from China without being tagged as unsuccessful. The British were sure that in case of invasion, they would counter the attack as they had a strong naval fleet at Singapore naval base.
In 1940, Lieutenant General Lionel Bond conceded that securing Singapore requires securing whole of peninsula and thereby, the fleet in insufficient tin case if invasion. But everything was ignored because of the Churchill-Roosevelt consensus that in an event of break out of war in South East Asia, the war in Europe would be prioritized.
Battle of Singapore: Start of war
On December 8, 1941, the 25th Army of the Japanese Imperial Army commanded by Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita invaded Malaya. French Indo-China had little option, so they submitted to the Japanese and subsequently Japan used the ports as base. Later Japan attacked Singapore with a bomb in a first ever air raid on the colonies. At first, the invasion was resisted strongly by III Corps of the British Indian Army.
The British always thought that it would not be easy for Japan to invade Singapore due to the tropical forest. But the Japanese army used bicycles to ensure swift movement.
After days of Battle of Singapore, Yamashita knew that his force was outnumbered and hence he decided to conceive truce. But, the British, unaware of this future call, decided to surrender. The British surrendered and as many as 45,000 British soldiers of India became Prisoners of War.
The Japanese offered the Indian soldiers to fight for them against the British. There was a difference among the soldiers regarding the joining as they thought that it would be a treason to the country.
The Indian soldiers ultimately decided to join when they were convinced by Mohan Singh that they are not going to fight for Japan but for their motherland in order to gain independence.
All the Prisoners of War were suddenly filled with patriotism and decides to fight. They were grouped under the name of Indian National Army under Mohan Singh. Later, Ras Behari Bise took the command of INA before it finally came under Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. INA fought various war in South East Asia. It was the first independent force of India and became a nightmare for the British.
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