This day in 1942 saw the end of the Battle of Singapore, as Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in the heat of the Second World War. It was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of the war after the Empire of Japan invaded the Allied stronghold of Singapore because Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia.
Lasting exactly one week, the fighting resulted in the capture Singapore by the Japanese and the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. Approximately 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the earlier Malayan campaign. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the fall of Singapore to the Japanese the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British military history.
After the Japanese surrender in 1945, Imperial Japanese Army general Yamashita was tried by a US military commission for war crimes committed by Japanese personnel in the Philippines earlier that year, but not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaya or Singapore. He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February 1946.