Friday, 2 August 2013

Japanese assault craft moving up - Dec. 1941

Japanese Assault Craft moving through Tai Po

This picture was posted on a Facebook 'Battle of Hong Kong' site by Wilfred Pau. I have never seen it before. I believe it was taken from a book.  It's a great photograph showing Japanese assault craft being trucked through the market town of Tai Po towards Kowloon to be used by the Japanese Imperial Army,  still flushed with success in taking Kowloon in a week, to cross the narrows and bring destruction and devastation to the Island of Hong Kong.


Looking closely we can see a Japanese soldier on horseback. They brought with them horses and mules. Judging by the ears this is probably a mule. You can see on the hill,  a colonial style house peeping out of the tree-line. At street level, a truckload of soldiers and a Chinese civilian walking by.

There is a sense of menace as the boats pass through the town heading to the crossing point, and thence across the narrows for the invasion of the Island, which took place on the night of 18th December 1941. A week later on 25th December Hong Kong surrendered almost one hundred years after  Hong Kong had been granted to Great Britain following the First Opium War - but that's another story !

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Photo:              Posting on Facebook site "Battle of Hong Kong" by Wilfred Pau