One thing that most visitors find about Singapore is that it looks like a place that has never seen war. However, it is only because of such an impression because of how the country has undergone great changes under a very powerful leader. These days, Singapore is one of the most peaceful and livable countries in the world. However, one must not forget the history that Singapore took a part of. Singapore was also dragged into the World War II, and you will learn more about what their role was if you visit Fort Siloso. Here is some insight from our crew.
This place is the only coastal gun battery that was restored from 12 batteries that completed the “Fortress Singapore” during the breakout of World War II. The fort can be found in Sentosa, which was known before as Pulau Blakang Mati, which is an island located south of mainland Singapore. Today, the fort is turned into a military museum made open for the public to visit. One of the areas of this place that just got its fresh renovation recently is the Surrender Chambers, which is a must-see for history lovers that want to witness what it was like in the war before.
Siloso is a derivation from the Malayan word that means “rock.” That time when the fort was under construction, there was a very big rock right at the mouth of the harbor of Singapore, which was considered before as very dangerous for shipping. When trade flourished quite well in Singapore because of the opening of Suez Canal back in 1869, the people back then realized that it was necessary to protect the port of Singapore. As one that has finished reading a report made by Major Edward Lake from the Madras Engineers, the fort was then completed in 1874 in the very same place mentioned. The top of Mount Siloso has blown apart as part of the place’s fortification. It was to flatten the surface of the gun platform to get installed. In the 1880s, the gun batteries were then mounted in Mount Serapong and Mount Siloso on today’s Sentosa.
This fort was built to defend Singapore against foreign invasion by the sea. However, in February 1942, the time that the Battle of Singapore took place, the guns in this fort were turned at 180 degrees, thus facing inland as a means to fire at the Japanese troops and positions that were already making its way into the city area coming from Tengah Airfield. The local and British troops from the Pasir Laba Battery retreated and then were heading back to the British lines through the sea. However, they were mistaken for the Japanese troops. Thus they were fired at.
The building being described here is now the famous Surrender Chambers and comes with an excellent portrayal of the Japanese and British surrenders. There is even an actual footage of what took place in that chambers during that time.
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