British Singapore: Strategic Importance

Figure 1.--A British soldier put together this montage of his posting to Singapore some time before World War II.

Singapore was one of the smallest Britiish colonial possessions. It was also the most strategically located British possession in Asia and the Pacific. Located at the entrance to the Straits of Malacca,it dominated one of the world's major sea lanes. The British primarily concerned with Imperial Germany and to a lesser etent Tsarist Russia did not at first see Japan as a threat. In fact, a nabal treaty with Japan assisted the cJapnese in buiolding a modern navy. Until the rise of Japan after World war I, there was no real challenge to British dominance of the area. Singapore was garrisoned with a small military force. Royal Navy vessels occassionally called, but no sizeable fleet operated out of Singapore. Even so, the British position in Asia seem unshakeavkle and Singapore was at the center of it. As Japan became a major power, the importance of Singapore increased. Singapore came to be the keystone of Britain's military position in the Asia and the Pacific. Singapore not only dominated the Straits of Malaca,but was one of the finest natural anchorages in the Pacific. Any power attempting to attack Britain's asian possesions east if iundia woulkd have to take Sinapore. And protected by a well armed garrison and the Royal Navy, Singapre seemed impregnable.


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Created: 2:12 AM 6/7/2012
Last updated: 2:12 AM 6/7/2012