In late 1941, Japan began its war against the West, attacking the American base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, invading Malaya the next day, and marching on Hong Kong.
Canada had dispatched the Winnipeg Grenadiers and Royal Rifles from Quebec City to join 14,000 Allied defence troops in the Hong Kong garrison. They arrived Nov. 16, undertrained, poorly armed and without their transport and heavy equipment.
They were told there were only 5,000 ill-equipped and badly supplied Japanese troops nearby, which was far from the case: 52,000 seasoned, heavily armed Japanese invaders launched their assault on Hong Kong on Dec. 18.
The Hong Kong defence plan called for forces to be thinly spread; the Japanese overran the defences in just a week, despite courageous fighting, Sergeant-Maj...