This day in history – 15 February 1942


On 15 February 1942, the first day of the Chinese New Year, Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival, General Officer Commanding of Malaya Command, led a surrender delegation from the Battlebox to Ford Factory in Bukit Timah to discuss terms with Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the invading Japanese 25th Army.

At 6.10pm, LG Percival signed a document of surrender, sealing the fate of a city of 1 million and an army of 120,000 men – the largest capitulation in British military history.

Today, we remember not just the surrender, but its factors and causes, and the sacrifices of the men and women who fought so hard to delay the inevitable.

Battle of Singapore 2018 promotion

To commemorate the Fall of Singapore in World War II, the Battlebox is having a special promotion for its A Story of Strategy & Surrender™ Tour. From 14 – 16 Feb, 21 – 23 Feb and 28 Feb – 2 Mar 2018, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) may enjoy a special discount of 50% on the 9.45am tour slot. (Usual price $18 for adults and $9 for children aged 7 – 12 years old.) Visitors joining the promotional tour will also receive a postcard with compliments of the Battlebox.

Validity dates: 14 – 16 Feb, 21 – 23 Feb and 28 Feb – 2 Mar 2018
Tour time slot (subject to availability): 9.45am only

To enjoy this special price, you need to register for the tour beforehand. Please email and include the phrase “BFS2018” in the email head or body to enjoy the promotion. This promotion is open to all Singapore Citizens and PRs. Spaces are limited, so register today!

Terms and conditions:
– This promotion is only valid from 14 – 16 Feb, 21 – 23 Feb and 28 Feb – 2 Mar 2018, and only applicable for the 9.45am tour slot.
– This promotion is applicable for Singapore citizens and PRs only and is subject to availability.
– Please register by email at least 48 hours before the date of your choice. Email registrations received less than 12 hours before the date of your choice will not be entertained.
– This promotion is limited to four tickets per registration. Please provide your IC number, mobile phone number and full names of all the tour participants in the email.
– Registration is confirmed only after you have received a confirmation email from the Battlebox Team. Please come at least 15 minutes before the start of your tour to the Battlebox Visitor Centre to show your IC, confirmation email and make payment for your tickets.
– This promotion is not valid with other discounts, vouchers or membership privileges.
– The Battlebox Team reserves the right to close a particular slot without advance notice.


This day in history – 8 December 1941

On 8 December 1941, war broke out in the Pacific when Japan landed troops on the beaches of Kota Bharu, in the north of the Malayan Peninsula.

This attack was meant to coincide with the bombing of the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor which was going on simultaneously, on the other side of the International Date Line, but instead commenced over an hour earlier.

At about 1.00am, beneath the full moon and monsoon rain, Japanese soldiers from the 56th Regiment of the 18th Division comprising of nearly 5300 men clambered ashore amidst a barrage of machine-gun and mortar fire, fired from Allied pillboxes and other fixed defence positions along beaches of Sabak and Badang.

As the Japanese troops swarmed the beaches of Kota Bharu in the north, the population of Singapore found themselves rudely awakened and greeted to this new state of war by the thunderous blasts and shockwaves from bombs dropped by Japanese twin-engined Nell bombers that flew overhead.

As there were no orders for a blackout, the street lights of Singapore were not switched off and thus carelessly providing the Japanese bombers with a convenient, shining beacon beneath the night sky.

Requests to scramble and intercept these enemy bombers were turned down out of fears of friendly fighter planes being caught in the crossfire from defending anti-aircraft guns. This was despite experienced pilots such as Flight Lieutenant Tim Vigors, a veteran of the Battle of Britain, being the one who made the request.

By daybreak, the bombing raid had left the population of Singapore reeling with over 60 dead and more than 700 injured.

To learn more about what happened in Singapore during WWII, join the Battlebox Tour: A Story of Strategy & Surrender ™. Not only that you get to explore a former WWII underground command centre, but this is also your chance to discover the tactics that were used by both the Allied and the Japanese forces which ultimately led to the Fall of Singapore in 1942. There can be no better way to learn about this important part of Singapore history than inside the very place where the momentous decision to surrender Singapore was made more than 70 years ago!