On this day in 1942, Singapore “Gibraltar of the East” falls to the Japanese. 85,000 Commonwealth troops become POWs. Churchill calls it the worst wartime disaster in British history.
Battle of Singapore
The Empire of Japan captured the British stronghold of Singapore—nicknamed the “Gibraltar of the East”—with fighting in Singapore lasting from 8 to 15 February 1942. Singapore was the foremost British military base and economic port in South–East Asia and under the Singapore strategy was important to British interwar defence planning for the region. The capture of Singapore resulted in the largest British surrender in history.