Canadians in East Asia
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and other Asian territories in late 1941, a true world-wide conflict began.
The Battle for Hong Kong
Canada immediately sent troops to help Britain defend Hong Kong. The deployment was so rapid that much of the troops equipment sailed on a second ship that was sunk by the Japanese. Not long afterwards the Japanese overran Hong Kong in just three weeks, killing or capturing the entire garrison.
Japan was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention and its old guard maintained that to be captured was to be disgraced. Prisoner of War camps were primarily brutal labour camps where prisoners were worked to death. The many who died did so in degradation rather than in battle. Those who survived the beatings, starvation diets and inhuman work conditions were inadvertent heroes who too often lived with the guilt of their own survival.