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Eastern FortressA Military History of Hong Kong, 1840-1970$
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Chi Man Kwong and Yiu Lun Tsoi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208708

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208708.001.0001

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The International Situation and Hong Kong Defence, 1939–1941

The International Situation and Hong Kong Defence, 1939–1941

(p.117) 6 The International Situation and Hong Kong Defence, 1939–1941
Eastern Fortress

Kwong Chi Man

Tsoi Yiu Lun

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the rapidly deteriorating international situation in Europe and Asia and their impact on the British defence policy for Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong was far away from the war in Europe, the Japanese invasion of China gradually affected the security of the Colony. The decision-makers in London considered demilitarising the Colony, but the idea was rejected by the military, which was unable to devise a viable plan to hold the Colony if the Japanese attacked. Meanwhile, the Japanese gradually surrounded the Colony, which became an “Exposed Outpost”. However, it was continuously seen as an important economic and more importantly political asset, as the British military presence in Hong Kong, however small it was, was seen as a symbol to the British support to Chiang Kai-shek’s war against the Japanese.

Keywords:   Deterrence, coalition warfare, Anti-Japanese War, Chinese Nationalist Government, Sir Robert Brooke-Popham

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