It is my belief that in order to fully understand the fall of Singapore we need to appreciate its place in the larger setting of WW2. Hence the need to sometimes highlight what was going on elsewhere in the world.
7 Nov 1941 (X-31)
Operation Typhoon, the German offensive to capture Moscow had been in full swing for over a month, but had recently stalled at the beginning of November due to general fatigue and shortages of both men and machines as well as logistical difficulties. The German Army had temporarily suspended offensive operations in preparation for a final push into the centre of Moscow.
On this day, the 24th anniversary of the October Revolution, under a blanket of snow that fell continuously from the skies, Josef Stalin addressed thousands of men and their machines of war on Red Square, exhorting them to throw back the invaders of the Rodina that were at the very gates of Moscow, barely 60km away from the city centre. The names and memory of Alexander Nevsky and Mikhail Kutuzov were among those Russian heroes of lore invoked in Stalin's speech to fire up the soldiers.
The men on parade that day would literally march out after the parade straight to the sound of the guns, straight to the front lines where many would not return from.
From the opening shots of Operation Barbarossa right through to the bitter end in the fight for Berlin, the Russian Front would be responsible for occupying the bulk of the Wehrmacht. Churchill knew and understood that to keep the Soviet Union in the fight was to keep Great Britain alive. Tanks and planes that were earmarked for the Middle and Far East were instead sent up north by the arctic convoys for delivery to the USSR via the northern ports of Murmansk and Archangel. It has been argued by some that had some of these material been sent to their original destinations the fate of Singapore might have been very different from what is recorded in history.
6 Nov 1941 (X-32)
In one of those twists of fate that consigns a person into relative obscurity while ensuring another's place in the pages of history, Lt-General Iida Shijiro, General Officer Commanding of the Japanese 25th Army since it's inception in July 1941, relinquishes his post and takes command of 15th Army, Replacing him would be a general who would soon need no introduction. Lt-General Yamashita Tomoyuki
Both the 25th and 15th Armies were under the Southern Expeditionary Army, an army group tasked to the attack and occupation of Allied territories across South East Asia and as far as the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
2 years after Europe was set aflame, war had finally reached the shores of the Pacific.