80 years ago, in just a few hours from now, elements of the Japanese 25th Army will begin landing at Kota Bahru in Malaya and Singora and Patani in Thailand.
Under the command of LTG Yamashita Tomoyuki and centred around 3 infantry divisions well supported by a tank group, artillery regiments and overweight on engineer formations, the 25th Army was built for task, made up of veteran formations and staffed and led by the best and brightest the IJA had to offer, it had 100 days to capture Malaya and Singapore, knocking out the centre of British presence east of the Suez.
A regimental combat group (56th Infantry with supporting arms) from the 18th Division will come ashore at slightly past midnight on 8 Dec 1941, they will encounter heavy resistance as they fight through the night but by morning will have secured and expanded their beachhead.
Further north, the 5th Infantry Division will begin landing on the beaches of Singora and Patani a few hours later at around 0400hrs, in contrast to the landings at Kota Bahru, their landing would be virtually unopposed.
53 months after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, 27 months after Germany invaded Poland, the Empire of Japan initiated hostilities with the Allied Powers and turned the Second World War into a truly global one