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15 February 1941
The Italian 11th Army suffers a heavy defeat in the Moskopoli-Tepelini Area
War in the Air
The RAF attacks the Channel ports and the western Ruhr
Ford’s Anti-Union Game Is to Divide the Races
From The Militant, Vol. V No. 7, 15 February 1941, p.ن.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
For a long time it has been a. practice in this country for the bosses to refuse to hire Negro workers in their plants, placing the blame for this on the white workers: thus the bosses stored up a labor force among the Negroes that could be used for union-smashing and strike-breaking when the white workers began to organise. On certain occasions, employers have brazenly referred to this policy of creating resentment between black and white as “strike insurance.”
Henry Ford has played a shrewd variation of this same game. Realizing that the time would come when the unions would begin to make some headway in organizing his Empire he began to employ Negroes in his plants, to build up the idea that he was a friend and benefactor of the Negro people and deserved their support in his bitter struggles against unionization.
He established a special division of employment of colored personnel and through this began to hire Negroes in large numbers. Today it is estimated that he has 10,000 Negro employees, representing about 10% of his labor force. As part of his plan Ford has also contributed to certain Negro churches, organizations and individuals.
Uncle Tom Banquet
A highlight in Fords’ anti-union campaign was a recent banquet for 300 people in Detroit by Donald J. Marshall, director of colored personnel for the Ford Motor Company.
In attendance was “nearly every colored minister in the city, who came at special invitation to get the free meal and to listen to Marshall’s harangue against the CIO. Those Negro ministers in Detroit who have expressed sympathy for the CIO were not invited of them it was said, “The time has come to let our unfaithful leaders know we do not need them.”
“We are appealing to the ministers to try to help us keep our feet on the ground,” said Marshall.
He then launched an attack on the unions in which he blamed them because Negroes are not hired in great numbers in the other auto plants.
For instance, he showed that Knudsen, now head of the National Defense Commission, had refused to let Negroes hold skilled jobs in General Motors. What follows from that, according to Marshall? That the union which Knudsen fought so bitterly is responsible for this situation which existed long before the union was founded.
Ford Threatens Negroes
He finished this attack by making a not-too-veiled hint that if the Negro workers in Ford’s plants didn’t support him, they would be sorry:
By this he meant that if the CIO organizes the Ford plants, Ford will have no further use for Negroes and will try to get rid of them. “It will be a sad day for us if the Ford Company changes its policy,” moaned the Rev. Mr. Bradby, to emphasize the point.
Task of CIO
Horace R. Cayton, one of the authors of Black Workers in the New Unions, has in two articles in recent issues of the Pittsburgh Courier dealt with the subject in a way that could be of use to the CIO in tackling this problem.
After explaining how Ford by his financial contributions has “given substance to the myth that Ford had a sympathetic interest in the problems of the Negro,” and showing that “many Negro professional men and Negro leaders who lived on the back of these Ford employees, fearful of anything which might disrupt (even momentarily) their sources of income, are violently pro-Ford and anti-union.” Cayton goes on:
Why Negroes Hesitate
Cayton explains clearly why Negro workers are hesitant about joining the union. First of all, they’re glad they’ve got jobs, and they’re not sure that Ford would keep them on if the union won out. Secondly, the Negro is under terrific pressure from Harry Bennett’s thugs and from Donald Marshall and the other “leaders.” Thirdly, they don’t know whether they can trust the unions, because many of them have had experiences of discrimination, or have heard of discrimination, by white workers even in the union movement.
In this situation, it is imperative that the CIO pay special attention to the Negro workers. True, R.J. Thomas, president of the UAW, has written a letter which has received some publicity, in -which he promises that, there will bo ne discrimination by thee union against Negro Ford workers. He urges that those who are interested should check in the other plants that have been organized and determine for themselves whether the Negro worker has been discriminated against. “They will find upon checking that in the Detroit plants Negroes now receive more money and have better jobs than they had prior to the advent of the union . ”
But when the scoundrels who call themselves leaders are so active in prejudicing the Negroes against the union, it is not enough to suggest that “anyone who is concerned about such rumors, (of discrimination) check in other automobile plants . ” Every one of the 10,000 Negro workers in Ford is very much concerned about these vicious rumors. To tell them to go and check in the other automobile plants is not very helpful. It is up to the UAW lo bring them the proofs that there will be no discrimination, and to spend a lot of time combating these rumors and spreading the truth that, as Cayton puts it, “the CIO has made a desperate effort to break down color barriers and it presents the greatest hope for Negro laborers since the Knights of Labor” and that “certainly Negro workers in the Ford plant will suffer greatly, both as workers and as Negroes, in the long run if they are instrumental in defeating unionism in Ford’s plants.”
The Negro Struggle
From The Militant, Vol. V No. 7, 15 February 1941, p.م.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
Randolph, The Judas Goat
Four or five months ago A. Philip Randolph, head of the Pullman Porters union issued a statement called The Battle for Britain, which called for support by the Negro people of all aid, short of war, lo Great Britain.
Randolph was immediately answered by George Schuyler, Pittsburgh Courier columnist, who took up each of his arguments point hy point and tore them to pieces. Randolph did not try to answer Schuyler and Randolph’s statement was widely distributed hy the war-monger ins Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies.
This week again Randolph, undaunted by the weakness and falseness of his arguments, has issued another statement. England’s Fight Our Cause.
“Negroes.” he begins, “should support ‘all out aid.’ including the Lend-Lease Bill, to Great Britain, short of war, because she is fighting the cause of democracy, the only hope and salvation of minority groups.”
Did Randolph ever hear about the British Empire? Does he know that it is the greatest corporation of slave colonies the world has ever seen? Does he know that it has more than 400,000,000 colored people under its control, that the “cause of democracy” for which it is fighting is not intended to include these 400.000,000, that the democracy of Great Britain means oppression, exploitation, dictatorial rule, discrimination segregation, excessive taxation, denial of every kind of liberty but the liberty to work for the lowest wages in the world or starve?
Randolph of course must know what this democracy means to the Negro, not only in the British Empire, but right here in the United Slates where he is Jim-Crowed and discriminated against everywhere and in everything.
Two Kinds of Imperialism?
“Now, of course,” he continues, “there are those who say that this is an imperialist war . It is true . in the sense that Germany, Great Britain and Italy are imperialist nations, and that Great Britain has been and is an oppressor of the darker races. But it does not follow that Great Britain, Germany and Italy represent equal degrees of evil and danger to the darker races and to . progress and the cause of peace . ”
Then follows an attempt to differentiate between imperialist Germany and imperialist Britain.
Hitler has shown his contempt and disdain of the Negro people in Mein Kampf, where he calls them half-apes and sub-human. The Nazis in France pulled down Negro statues and drove the Negroes out of the country, “in other words, Hitler preaches and practices, unashamedly, his hellish hatred of all Negroes.”
Randolph then contrasts to this his version of the behavior of British imperialism. Does he say a word about the policies it is still carrying on in Africa and India and the West Indies, the denial of all rights of free speech, free press and free assemblage, the arrests of all who speak up against the war, the intensification during the war of the exploitation of the Africans to raise the money to run the war? Not a word. For then he would have to admit that while Hitler preaches and practices Negro oppression, England keeps quiet and practices it. that while Hitler calls the Negro inferior, England keeps quiet and treats him as an inferior.
Instead, Randolph points to the “co-operation Britain is giving Emperor Haile Selassie” in driving the fascists out of Ethiopia. He also points to the fact that since the raids over London, West Indian Negroes have been permitted to join the RAF. And beyond that he has nothing to say.
The fact that he can point to so few specific things which can be offered in England’s favor is proof Itself of the bankruptcy of Randolph’s position.
The Truth About Ethiopia
Imperialist Britain, which was largely responsible for Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, is now described as helping to free Ethiopia today! Even Randolph knows that this is a little too much to get people to swallow, so he tries to qualify it.
“There are those who cynically remark that England’s support of the freedom of Ethiopia is inspired by a selfish interest. There would be no point in denying this. It is true. But what is wrong with it? The motivation of all great power nations is self interest. Self interest is not to be condemned if it is not anti-social and reactionary. Here, the self interest of Great Britain takes the form of fighting to help restore the independence and liberty of a smaller, defenseless nation, and thereby serves the cause of humanity and justice, though, verily, this course of action be belated.”
Thus, according to Randolph, England isn’t fighting Germany because these two gangs of bandits each want control of the colonies and their to continue its exploitation of the 400,000,000 – it’s fighting because it is interested in the freedom of Ethiopia!
“Therefore,” he says, “the Battle of Britain is the Battle of America, and the Battle of America is the Battle of the Negro . ”
If England’s fight to maintain its death grip on the colonies is the Battle of the Negro, one may logically ask why give only aid “short of war”? Randolph’s only answer, when Roosevelt and the Sixty Families give the word, will be: That’s right, we’ve got to get into the war too. And again. Randolph will have no answer to those who try to point the correct path to the workers of the world: uniting Negro and white against the imperialist gangsters on both sides and taking power to set up a socialist society.
Historical Events In February - 15
0399 Philosopher Socrates sentenced to death on February - 15.
0590 Khosrau II is crowned as king of Persia on this day in history.
0732 Ho-tse Shen-hui, Zen teacher disputes founder of Northern Ch'an line on February - 15.
1043 Gisela, wife of RC-German emperor Conrad II the Salier, dies at 52 on February - 15.
1145 On this day in history bernardo elected Pope Eugene III
1145 On this day in history lucius II, [Gherardo Caccianemici], Italian Pope (1144-45), dies
1152 On February - 15 konrad III, Roman-German King (1138-1152), dies at about 58
1313 Peace of Angleur on this day in history.
1368 On this day in history sigismund, Nornberg Germany, Holy Roman emperor (1410-37)
1386 On February - 15 duke Philip the Stout forms Council of Flanders
1483 On this day in history babur, founder of Mughal dynasty in India (1526-30
1497 On this day in history philipp Melanchthon, German Protestant
1503 Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury (1501-03), dies on this day in history.
1519 Pedro Menendez de Aviles, explorer (found St Augustine Florida) on this day in history.
1524 Charles de Guise, archbishop/cardinal of Reims on February - 15.
1539 Emperor Charles receives Cardinal Pole in Toledo on February - 15.
1552 Dutch coast hit by heavy storm on this day in history.
1557 On this day in history alfonso Fontanelli, composer
1559 Hurricane wrecks Spanish expedition to start a colony near what is now Pensacola, Florida on this day in history.
1563 On February - 15 russian troops occupy Polotsk Lithuania
1564 On this day in history the birth of Galileo Galilei, Italian scientist and astronomer
1564 On this day in history galileo Galilei, Pisa Italy, astronomer/physicist
1568 On this day in history hendrik van Brederode, Dutch noble (Compromise of Nobles), dies at 36
1571 On this day in history michael Praetorius, Kreuzberg Germany, composer (Syntagma music)
1580 On this day in history cunerus Petri, Dutch theologist/bishop of Leeuwarden, dies
1597 On this day in history pieter J Kies, Dutch mayor of Haarlem (1572-73), dies at about 66
1600 On this day in history jose the Acosta, Spanish missionary (Peru), dies at 59(?)
1620 On February - 15 francois Charpentier, French scholar/archaeologist
1621 On this day in history michael Praetorius, German composer (In Dulce Jubilo), dies at 50
1637 Ferdinand III succeeds Ferdinand II as Holy Roman Emperor on this day in history.
1637 Ferdinand II, King of Bohemia/Hun/German Emperor (1619-37), dies at 58 on February - 15.
1650 Anne Jules duke de Noailles, marshal of France (hugenot) on this day in history.
1660 On February - 15 frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/dean of artisans
1660 Klaas Geritsz Compaen, Dutch buccaneer/merchant, dies at 72 on this day in history.
Southern Asia 1942: Fall of Singapore
By February 1942 the Japanese forces invading Malaya had reached the perimeter of Singapore, Britain’s most important military base in Southeast Asia and the keystone of British defences in the region. Despite facing just 36,000 Japanese, the 85,000 troops in Singapore capitulated after only a week of fighting - a humiliating defeat and the largest surrender of British-led forces in history.
Changes to the map 10 December 1941&ndash15 February 1942
Japanese invasion of Malaya: The Japanese have advanced down the Malay peninsula, capturing Singapore.
Japanese invasion of Thailand: Thailand has agreed to an alliance with the Japanese and declared war on Britain and the US.
Japanese invasion of Burma: Japan has moved into Burma from bases in Thailand, starting at Victoria Point in the far south and advancing up the Kra Isthmus to Thaton.
Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement: The British have agreed to restore Ethiopian independence but nonetheless continue to treat the country as a protectorate. They remain in occupation of Haud and the Ogaden, planning to transfer these ethnically Somali regions to the Somaliland colonies.
British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf
The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India&rsquos influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.
The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.
Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.
The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.
The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.
Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or &lsquoprincely states&rsquo. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.
15 Dec 1941 Japanese invasion of Burma▲
Japanese troops cross from Thailand into the British colony of Burma, seizing Victoria Point at the southernmost tip of the country. On 15 January 1942, they begin a general offensive up the Kra Isthmus, capturing the British airfields around Tenasserim four days later. in wikipedia
1 Jan 1942 ABDACOM▲
The United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the Commonwealth of Australia form ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) Command in an attempt to halt the Japanese advance. in wikipedia
31 Jan 1942 Anglo–Ethiopian Agreement▲
Major General Sir Philip Mitchell of the United Kingdom signed an interim agreement with the government of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, confirming Ethiopia’s status as a sovereign state following the British conquest of Italian East Africa. However Britain still influenced Ethiopia through advisors and retained control of security, banking and finance. It also continued to administer the Ogaden from occupied Italian Somaliland, and Haud and the ‘Reserved Areas’ adjacent to French Somaliland from the Somaliland Protectorate. in wikipedia
15 Feb 1942 Fall of Singapore▲
Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, commanding officer in Malaya, surrenders the stronghold of Singapore—the most important British naval and military base in South-East Asia—to the invading Japanese after two months of British resistance in Malaya and 8 days fighting in Singapore itself. About 80,000 British, Indian, and Australian troops become prisoners of war—the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history. in wikipedia
Chronology of the Japanese Invasion in Singapore (1942)
This chronology of the Japanese invasion was compiled by James Tann, a heritage blogger, in the lead up to the 72nd anniversary of the fall of Singapore on 15 February, 1942.
Feb 8, 1942.
The Japanese Army invasion of Singapore Island begins with the crossing at Lim Chu Kang.
Photo credit Australian War Memorial
February 9, 1942.
Having landed the night before along the Lim Chu Kang coast, by the afternoon of 9th Feb, Tengah Airfield was in the hands of the invading Japanese Imperial Army.
Also on 9 Feb, the Japanese Army opened a 2nd battle front by landing the Imperial Guards Division at Kranji and the Causeway. This Division was to move east heading towards the Sembawang & Thomson regions.
The Jurong-Kranji Line – 9th February, 1942.
The Allied forces formed a futile blockade called the ‘Jurong Line’ stretching east of Tengah Airfield, through Bulim to the Jurong River (where Chinese Garden is today) to try and contain the Japanese forces within the western sector of Singapore.
By evening of 9th Feb 1942, the Jurong Line had collapsed completely due to miscommunication. The main Australian 22nd Brigade retreated, resulting in a domino effect leading other units to retreat as well.
Luckily for them, the Japanese forces did not press their advantage as they had to wait for reinforcements and logistic supplies to follow up across the Straits to continue the invasion.
Map of the battle lines by James Tann
You can also read how a jungle dirt track saved the lives of 400 soldiers by James Tann here
10th Feb 1942.
The capture of Bukit Panjang and the massacre at Bukit Batok.
With the overnight collapse of the ‘Jurong Line’ blockade, the Japanese 5th Division easily manoeuvred down Choa Chu Kang Road and overpowered the defences by the Argylls & Sutherland Highlanders and the Hyderabad Regiment at Keat Hong. Pushing them back all the way to Bukit Panjang Village. It was the first encounter with Japanese tanks in Singapore by the British.
By the early afternoon, Bukit Panjang Village had fallen to the Japanese. Some British units managed to escape through the farmlands of Cheng Hwa and eventually followed the water pipeline down to British lines near the Turf Club region.
Intending to re-establish the ‘Jurong Line’, the British High Command despatched 2 battalions from Ulu Pandan to Bukit Batok (West Bukit Timah).
X Battalion made it way to 9ms Jurong Road (opp today’s Bukit View Sec Sch), while Merret Force lost its way and camped at Hill 85 (Toh Guan Road today).
The Japanese 18th Div coming down Jurong Road encountered both X Battalion and Merret Force during the night. X Bn, caught totally off guard, was annihilated and lost over 280 men, while Merret Force had half its force killed in the ambush.
The Japanese Commander, Gen Yamashita, had ordered both his 5th and 18th Division to take Bukit Timah Village and Bukit Timah Hill by the 11th Feb. Thus, both units were in a frenzied rush to capture the strategic high point.
By midnight of 10th Feb, Bukit Timah Village was ablaze and effectively conquered by the invasion force.
Photo credits: Australian War Memorial
1. Japanese soldiers at Bukit Timah Hill
2. Japanese Type 95 HaGo Light Tanks in Bukit Timah Village
10 Feb Japanese soldiers at Bukit Timah hill (photo Australian War Memorial)
10 Feb Japanese Type 95 HaGo Light Tanks in Bukit Timah Village (photo Australian War Memorial)
Map of battle lines on 10 Feb by James Tann
11th February 1942.
The Fall of Bukit Timah Hill and the Tragedy at Sleepy Valley.
By the time Gen.Yamashita’s army crossed into Singapore, he was critically short of supplies, fuel, ammunition and even food for his troops. His strategy was thus to conduct a tropical blitzkrieg – ‘hit them fast hit them hard’ – to capture Bukit Timah. It being the high point for observation also held the British ammunition, food and fuel depots which he coveted.
To raise morale of his troops, he set Feb 11 as the day to capture Bukit Timah Hill. The significance of Feb 11 was that it was the Japanese Kigensetsu, the day they celebrate the ascension of the 1st Emperor and the founding of the Japanese Empire. The task was assigned to competing 5th and 18th Divisions with untold glory going to the unit achieving the objective first.
By midnight of 10th Feb, both units had already reached Bukit Timah Village and the resultant battle against the British defenders set the entire region ablaze. The British retreated and held their line at Reformatory Road (Clementi Road)
By early morning of the 11th, the Japanese had secured Bukit Timah Hill.
Meanwhile back at Bukit Batok…
By the morning of 11 Feb, the senior commander of 15th Brigade, Brigadier Coates, who was to lead the re-taking of the Jurong Line, knew that the Japanese had surrounded his position. He cancelled the order and proceeded to retreat, together with the Special Reserve Battalion, back to allied lines at Ulu Pandan.
Forming 3 columns consisting of 1500 men from the British, Indian and Australian units, they proceeded from Bukit Batok to cross an area called Sleepy Valley.
Unknown to them, the Japanese 18th Division was already waiting to spring their trap on the British soldiers.
What happened next is a seldom mentioned debacle which actually had the highest number of casualties of any skirmish within Singapore during the war. The firefight that took place at Sleepy Valley took the lives of 1100 allied soldiers out of the 1500 who entered that valley of death.
Throughout the day, the British sent in reinforcements to try and re-take Bukit Timah. However, both Tomforce and Massey Force could do little to dislodge the Japanese.
When Bukit Timah Hill fell, Gen Percival moved his HQ from Sime Road to Fort Canning. The fear of the approaching Japanese Army also led them to destroy the infamous 15” Guns at Buona Vista Camp at Ulu Pandan that morning. It was a sign that things had come to bear…
Japanese soldiers at Bukit Timah Village (photo Australian War Memorial)
General Tomoyuki Yamashita (photo Australian War Memorial)
Johore Battery 15″ Gun. Changi (Australian War Memorial)
12th Feb 1942.
Tomforce’s attempt to re-take Bukit Timah and Bukti Panjang ended in futility. Unknown to them, they were up against the battle hardened Japanese 56th and 114th Regiments of the 18th IJA Division, Yamashita’s crack troops, who had fought all the way from China.
By the morning of 12th Feb, the British lines were being pushed backed.
Tomforce fell back from Reformatory (Clementi) Road to Racecourse when the Japanese overran the supply depots at Rifle Range. By the end of the day they would retreat all the way back to Adam and Farrer Road.
By then, Gen Percival had redrawn the defence line.
Massey Force would protect the waterworks from Thomson Village to the east of the MacRitchie golf links, where the former HQ at Sime Road was.
Gen Heath’s British units would fall back from Nee Soon, having abandoned the Naval Base, and form the line from Braddell to Kallang.
In the west, the Australians fell back from Reformatory Road to Holland Road (Old Holland Road), while the 44th Indian Brigade formed the line from Ulu Pandan to Pasir Panjang. Sporadic fighting occurred throughout the day along the line.
Elated with the capture of Bukit Timah, Gen.Yamashita was still faced with logistical problems including a critical shortage of ammunition. He knew he wouldn’t be able to last out in a war of attrition and thus resorted to his plan to bluff the British into surrendering, by dropping ultimatum notes into the British lines.
“To the High Command of the British Army, Singapore”
I, the High Command of the Nippon Army have the honour of presenting this note to Your Excellency advising you to surrender the whole force in Malaya.
My sincere respect is due to your army…bravely defending Singapore which now stands isolated and unaided…..futile resistance would only serve to inflict direct harm and injuries to thousands of non-combatants….Give up this meaningless and desperate resistance…If Your Excellency should neglect my advice, I shall be obliged, though reluctantly from humanitarian considerations to order my army to make annihilating attacks..”
(signed) Tomoyuki Yamashita”
Getting no response to his ultimatum message, Yamashita sent his units on probing incursions along the line.
These took place mainly at Sime Road and Pasir Panjang near Normanton.
He had no intention to enter the city as he knew he did not have the resources to fight a street to street battle.
Major Bert Saggers was CO of the Special Reserve Bn that was ambushed at Sleepy Valley. He survived and made his way to Ulu Pandan where he found only 80 of his 420 men alive but all his officers killed. (photo Ian Saggers, Perth Australia )
Lt Jimmy Till was an officer in Bert Sagger’s unit. He was buried near the spot where he was killed. This was near where today’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic Alumni Clubhouse stands. Picture is his grave now at Kranji War Memorial. (photo James Tann)
13th Feb 1942.
The noose tightens around Singapore City.
With the core of Singapore Island firmly in the hands of the Japanese Army, Gen.Yamashita moved his HQ from Tengah to the Ford Motors factory at Bukit Timah.
Strangely, the previous day ended somewhat with a lull in the fighting.
This allowed Gen Percival to continue finalising his last line of defence.
From Kallang Airfield to Paya Lebar, Paya Lebar to Braddell, Thomson Village to Adam Park, Adam Road to Farrer Road to Tanglin Halt, from Buona Vista across Pasir Panjang ending at Pasir Panjang Village.
The last unit to pull out , the 53rd Brigade, left Ang Mo Kio area around noon and the traffic along Thomson Road was so choked that Japanese planes had an easy time strafing the columns along the route.
Gen.Yamashita had actually feared that Gen.Percival would dig in and fight to the last.
In order to continue his feint, despite running low on ammunition and men, he launched attacks to give the British the appearance of Japanese strength.
He ordered the crack 18th Division to take Alexandra Barracks and the 5th Div & the Imperial Guards to attack the Waterworks at MacRitchie and the pumping station at Woodleigh.
Alexandra Barracks was the main British Army Ordnance Depot, where most of their equipment, stores and fuel storage, as well as the main Alexandra Military Hospital, were located
The attack on Alexandra Barracks began from Pasir Panjang (Kent Ridge) after 2 hours of heavy shelling at noon.
Waves of Japanese soldiers fought determined defenders from the 1st Malaya Brigade and the 44th Indian Brigade. Fighting was vicious and often hand to hand. The Malay Regiments were slowly overpowered with the Japanese winning height after height. The Gap, Pasir Panjang Hill III, Opium Hill, Buona Vista Hill, would fall one after the other but fighting would continue till the following day.
Over at MacRitchie, the Japanese 5th Division fought the 55th Brigade (1 Cambridgeshire & 4 Suffolk Regiments) to gain control of the reservoir. An all night tough fight including tanks forced the British Regiments all the way back to Mount Pleasant Road across Bukit Brown cemetery. The Suffolks lost over 250 men defending their ground.
The Japanese Army was now within 5 kilometres of the City on 2 fronts.
All this while, civilians casualties were mounting in the collateral damage from the Japanese shelling.
The City now had up to 1 million evacuees, most in dire straits without shelter, food nor water.
An Officer was to record travelling down Orchard Road:
“Buildings on both side went up in smoke…civilians appeared through clouds of debris some got on the road, others stumbled and dropped in their tracks, others shrieked as they ran for safety. We pulled up near a building which had collapsed, it looked like a slaughter house blood splashed, chunks of human being littered the place. Everywhere bits of steaming flesh, smouldering rags, clouds of dust and the groans of those who still survived.”
At the Battlebox, the new HQ at Fort Canning, Gen.Percival and his senior commanders were contemplating the latest orders from Gen.Wavell as well as an order from Churchill.
13 Feb: Smoke arising from bombardment of Singapore City Feb 1942 (photo Australian War Memorial
14th Feb 1942.
Prelude to Capitulation
Throughout the night of 13/14th Feb, sporadic skirmishes occurred both at Pasir Panjang and Adam Road.
At daylight 8.30am at Pasir Panjang Ridge , the Japanese charged up for a final assault on Hill 226 and Opium Hill facing heavy resistance from the 1st Malay Regiment. Bitter hand to hand combat lasted till 1.00pm in the afternoon when the Japanese gained control of the hills and in the process annihilating the Malay Regiment.
As the loss of the strategic ridge gave way, the Japanese advanced along Ayer Rajah in pursuit of Indian troops towards the British Military Hospital. It was then that the tragic incident occurred at the BMH with the senseless slaughter of wounded patients and medical staff.
There was also little relief along Adam Road. The Japanese, with Col Shimada’s Tank Regiment, pressured the line with a bulge through Bukit Brown, towards Caldecott Hill and Adam Park. Bitter fighting occurred around Hill 95 and Water Tower Hill (today’s Adam Park/Arcadia).
The Imperial Guards Division harried the eastern battle line at Paya Lebar and were near to capturing the Woodleigh pump station by mid day.
At British HQ in the BattleBox at Fort Canning, Gen.Percival conferred with his field commanders.
Brigadier Simson advised that the water situation was extremely grave with the threat of epidemic.
Gen Heath, commander of British Forces, and Gen Bennett, commander of Australian Forces, urged Gen Percival to surrender. Percival refused to yield, having direct orders from Churchill via Gen.Wavell, the Commander in Chief based at Java, not to surrender and to fight to the last man.
However, Gen.Percival informed Gen.Wavell that the enemy was close to the City and that his troops were no longer in a position to counter attack much longer.
Gen. Wavell sought permission from PM Churchill to allow Gen.Percival to consider the option of surrendering.
Churchill replied to Gen. Wavell:
“You are, of course, sole judge of the moment when no further result can be gained at Singapore., and should instruct Percival accordingly, C.I.G.S. concurs”
With that, the final key was inserted into play for Singapore. (But the permission for Percival to consider surrendering did not go out to Percival until the next morning of the 15th.)
*CIGS = Chief of Imperial General Staff
Lieutenant-General A E Percival, General Officer Commanding Malaya at the time of the Japanese attack.(photo Imperial War Museum London)
General Sir Archibald Wavell, C-in-C Far East, and Major General F K Simmons, GOC Singapore Fortress, inspecting soldiers of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders, Singapore, 3 November 1941. (photo Imperial War Museum London)
15th Feb 1942.
Chinese New Year – The Year of the Horse
There was absolutely no joy in celebrating Chinese New Year in 1942. The country was in shambles.
The foreboding fear of the encroaching Japanese military, preceeded by tales and rumours of their atrocities in China all portent the unknown that lay ahead.The British masters and their families had all bugged out. What did this mean for the locals now?
A Japanese flag could he seen flying from the top of the Cathay Building! Was this the end?
For the locals, especially for the Chinese, it was going to be the start of three and a half horrifying years.
Morning of 15th Feb saw the opposing forces holding most of their ground, with infiltration mainly by the Japanese within the eastern sector reaching Kallang Airfield. In the west, Japanese troops reached Mount Faber.
Gen. Percival convened his most senior officers at the Battlebox at 9.30am for the latest status reports.
Brigadier Simson reported that water supply could not be maintained for more than a day due to breakages everywhere which could not be repaired. Water was still flowing despite the pumps and reservoir being in enemy’s hands!
The only fuel left were what remained in each vehicle and at a small pump at the Polo Club.
Reserved military rations could last for only a few more days.
With unanimous concurrence of all present, the decision to cease hostilities and to capitulate was made.
A deputation comprising Brigadier Newbigging, HQ Chief Admin Officer, the Colonial Secretary Mr Fraser and Major CH Wild as interpreter, left Fort Canning for the enemy lines at Bukit Timah Road.
At the junction of Farrer Road, they proceeded on foot with Union Flag and a white flag across the defence line for 600 yards where they were met by the Japanese soldiers. They were later met by Col Sugita who refused their ‘invitation’ to the City for negotiations. Instead, Col Sugita demanded that Gen.Percival was to personally surrender to Gen.Yamashita.
To acknowledge this condition, the British were to fly a Japanese Flag from the top of the Cathay Building.
At 5.15pm, the British surrender party drove up to the Bukit Timah Ford Motors factory.
The delegation was made up of Lt-Gen AE Percival, Brigadier Newbigging, Brigadier Torrance, Gen Staff Officer Malaya Command, and Major Wild, the interpreter from III Corps.
Though Gen.Percival tried to negotiate for some terms for his men, Gen Yamashita thought that he was playing for time and pressed Percival for an unconditional surrender, telling him that a major attack on the City was scheduled for 10.30pm that night and any delay, he might not be able to call off the operation in time.
“The time for the night attack is drawing near! Is the British Army going to surrender or not?”
Banging the table he shouted in English “Answer YES or NO.”
At 6.10 pm. Gen.Percival signed the surrender document, handing Singapore over to the Japanese Empire.
15 February, 1942 Singapore Falls (photo Imperial War Museum London)
15 February, 1942 The Surrender (photo Imperial War Museum London)
Read about the Battle at Bukit Brown on 14 February, 1942, a day before the surrender to the Japanese, here
15 February 1941 - History
- Saturday, February 15 1941 -
Tennessee - 28 (Head Coach: John Mauer)
Kentucky - 37 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp)
Marvin Akers (#13) runs in for a "crip" against Tennessee
UT's Mike Balitsaris looks to set up a play as he's faced by (from left) UK's Lee Huber, Lloyd Ramsey (#26), Mel Brewer (#15) and Ermal Allen. To the right is Tennessee's Doc Clark (#4). In the background are UT's Gil Huffman and Frank Thomas.
Little Ermal Allen tries to dribble around Tennessee's Bernie Mehen
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Benavides Facts (Benavides, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 52, Ed. 1 Friday, February 28, 1941
Weekly newspaper from Benavides, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.
four pages : ill. page 22 x 16 in. Scanned from physical pages.
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- Main Title: Benavides Facts (Benavides, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 52, Ed. 1 Friday, February 28, 1941
- Serial Title:Benavides Facts
Weekly newspaper from Benavides, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.
four pages : ill. page 22 x 16 in.
Scanned from physical pages.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
University of North Texas Libraries Browse Structure
Unique identifying numbers for this issue in the Portal or other systems.
- Library of Congress Control Number: sn86088307
- OCLC: 14053098 | External Link
- Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metapth884500
- Volume: 15
- Issue: 52
- Edition: 1
This issue is part of the following collections of related materials.
Texas Borderlands Newspaper Collection
Newspapers from the 19th to the 21st centuries serving counties along the Texas-Mexico border. Funding provided by three TexTreasures grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, awarded through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
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The Texas Digital Newspaper Program (TDNP) partners with communities, publishers, and institutions to promote standards-based digitization of Texas newspapers and to make them freely accessible.
1 Louis Fisher, Presidential War Power (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995): 1–4.
2 Abraham Lincoln to William H. Herndon, 15 Feb. 1848, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 1, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln1/1:458.1?rgn=div2view=fulltext (accessed 28 May 2015).
3 Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 1 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911, 1966): 18–23.
4 Farrand, ed., Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 1: 64–66, 70.
5 Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 2 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911, 1966): 318–319 Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010): 43 Jack N. Rakove, Original Meaning: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997): 263.
6 James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 2 April 1798, in The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 3, Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds. (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1987): 96. See also, Fisher, Presidential War Power: 6.
7 Fisher, Presidential War Power: 10–11 Fisher, Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President, 4th ed. (Lawrence: University of Kansas, 1997): 256–295.
8 Linda L. Fowler, “Congressional War Powers,” in The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress, ed. Eric Schickler and Frances E. Lee (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011): 813 Fisher, Presidential War Power: 11–13. For a look at how this process, especially secretive operations by the President, have played out during the nuclear age, see Garry Wills, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State (New York: Penguin Press, 2010): 148–160.
9 Fowler, “Congressional War Powers”: 815–816. “With neither statutory authority nor a declaration of war, Presidents have used force abroad on many occasions, ostensibly to protect life and property. They have justified their actions on the basis of executive responsibilities they find inherent in the Constitution.” See Fisher, Constitutional Conflicts between Congress and the President: 263–264, 266 (quote).
10 Mariah Zeisberg, War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2013): 5–6. Louis Fisher has also written that “the President acquired the responsibility to protect American life and property abroad. He has invoked that vague prerogative on numerous occasions to satisfy much larger objectives of the executive branch.” See Louis Fisher, President and Congress: Power and Policy (New York: The Free Press, 1972): 175.
11 Linda L. Fowler, “Congressional War Powers”: 815.
12 Deschler’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. 3 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1977): Ch. 13 §5 Garry Wills, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State (New York: Penguin Press, 2010): 105–119.
13 Linda L. Fowler, “Congressional War Powers”: 816 Fisher, Constitutional Conflicts between Congress and the President: 256, 274–277 “War Powers,” Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/law/help/war-powers.php (accessed 1 June 2015) Robert Katzmann, “War Powers Resolution,” in The Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, vol. 4, ed. Donald C. Bacon, et al. (New York Simon & Schuster, 1995): 2100–2102 William G. Howell and Jon C. Pevenhouse, While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007): 4. On U.S. involvement in Korea and the precedent it set regarding undeclared war, see Larry Blomstedt, Truman, Congress and Korea: The Politics of America’s First Undeclared War (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2016). On the failure of the War Powers Resolution, see also Louis Fisher, “Clinton’s Military Actions: No Rivals in Sight,” in Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations, ed. James A. Thurber (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002): 229. On the reaction by the White House since the War Powers Resolution, see Wills, Bomb Power: 184–196.
14 Jennifer K. Elsea and Matthew C. Weed, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications,” Congressional Research Service, 18 April 2014, RL31133: 4.
15 Elsea and Weed, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications”: 1.
16 Elsea and Weed, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications”: 5 Deschler’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. 3 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1977): chapter 13, §8 Curtis A. Bradley and Jack L. Goldsmith, “Congressional Authorization and the War on Terrorism,” Harvard Law Review 118 no. 7 (2005): 2073–2074. For more information on the use of military force abroad following World War II, see Barry M. Blechman and Stephen S. Kaplan, Force without War: U.S. Armed Forces as a Political Instrument (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1978).
18 Bradley and Goldsmith, “Congressional Authorization and the War on Terrorism”: quote 2060, on the change to broad authorizations, see 2075–2076, 2078.
19 The earliest mention in a congressional source appears to occur in Senate debate in 1982. See Congressional Record, Senate, 97th Cong., 2nd sess. (14 April 1982): 6808. The short title for empowering the President to fight in Iraq in 1991 was “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.” See H.J. Res. 77, P.L. 102–1. The earliest mention of “authorization for use of military force” in our ProQuest newspaper database comes from November 15, 1990, in an article in the Austin American Statesman about the Gulf War. It shows up again in the New York Times a few months later. See, “Bush Tries to Ease Congress’ War Fears,” 15 November 1990, Austin American Statesman: A1 Adam Clymer, “Confrontation in the Gulf,” 11 January 1991, New York Times: A1.
20 Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. 4 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1907): §4164 Deschler’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. 3: Ch. 13 §5 on Military Affairs, see Cannon’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. VII (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1935): §1894. For an example from the 19th century, see J.C.A. Stagg, Mr. Madison’s War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Warfare in the Early American Republic, 1783–1830 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983).
21 Deschler’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, vol. 3 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1977): chapter 13, §5, p. 1793.
22 House votes from Elsea and Weed, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications”: 4.
Buffy Sainte-Marie Born
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Native-Canadian singer-songwriter and Sesame Street regular, is born Beverly Sainte-Marie in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan.
Raised in Massachusetts by her adoptive parents, Sainte-Marie earns degrees in teaching and philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, but is continually drawn to her childhood passion of creating music. In 1964, she makes waves in the folk community with the release of her debut album, It's My Way!, a scathing treatise on a variety of topics, including the mistreatment of Native Americans ("Now That The Buffalo's Gone") and the perpetuation of the Vietnam War ("Universal Soldier"). Her own drug addiction inspires the track "Cod'ine," which becomes a folk standard, with covers from Donovan, Janis Joplin, and The Charlatans. Although the album doesn't chart, it does earn her the title of Best New Artist by Billboard magazine. It also earns her the admiration of fellow folk musicians: Joni Mitchell writes her first song after she watches Sainte-Marie perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival that year. The incendiary release is also an indicator of what's to come in Sainte-Marie's career, which spans five decades. She's deeply committed to sharing the plight of Native Americans, with sorrowful tunes like "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" and "Soldier Blue" (the theme song to the 1970 film of the same name) documenting the violent atrocities endured by her people at the hands of white oppressors. At the same time, she's not afraid to venture into lighter pop fare, writing the Elvis Presley hit "Until It's Time For You To Go" and co-writing the An Officer and A Gentleman theme "Up Where We Belong." When the latter wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Sainte-Marie becomes the first indigenous person to ever win an Oscar. Sainte-Marie was already familiar to TV viewers through her appearances on Sesame Street throughout the late '70s, where she played a singer who taught kids about the joys of country life with "I'm Gonna Be A Country Girl Again," and demonstrated breastfeeding with the help of her infant son. But, curiously, despite her TV presence and a continuous stream of releases – including the experimental electronic album Illuminations – her career was relatively quiet in the States. Years later, she learned why: She had been blacklisted. "I found out 10 years later, in the 1980s, that President Lyndon B. Johnson had been writing letters on White House stationery praising radio stations for suppressing my music,” she told Indian Country Today in 1999. While President Johnson, and later President Nixon, upheld the ban on Buffy, it didn't stop the singer from becoming a folk icon who continues to fight for peace through her uncompromising music – only she doesn't quite see it that way. "When somebody says, 'Oh, Buffy, you're such a warrior for peace,' I stop them and say, 'No, I'm not really a warrior for peace. What I promote is alternative conflict resolution.'"