The attack on Singapore begins
9th February 1942: After an intense artillery bombardment the Japanese make landings across the Straits of Johore and find the British in disarray
The Japanese had fought their way down the Malayan peninsula and were now poised to invade the island of Singapore itself. Chaos reigned in the city as Japanese aircraft bombed at will, air raid casualties rose from 500 a day to 2000 a day during this period.
The Singapore Government had discouraged civilians from departing in December because they did not want to cause alarm - then many of the liners and troop transport ships had left empty. Now crowds of men, women and children were lining the quaysides struggling to get on any ship or boat that was available. Many fell victim to the bombing.
More troops were still arriving in the port, some of them barely trained, none of them ready for the desperate situation that greeted them.
The High Command in Singapore believed the Japanese would most likely to attack the northeast coast of the island. Instead an intense artillery bombardment opened up on the northwest coast on the 8th.
During my four years of service [in] 1914–1918 I never experienced such concentrated shell fire over such a period.1
Over the night of the 8th/9th the Japanese began their amphibious assault in this unexpected quarter.