The Battlebox Museum

Good day to all reading this blog!

After a week of uninterrupted rains, the weather in Singapore has changed for the better, which means that I can now travel around the city freely without the risk of getting soaking wet. I am very glad that rain and gloomy sky have changed for sun and the blue, because Chinese New Year is just around the corner. It first and most importantly, means extended weekend for students and, secondly, and not least significantly, a lot of spectacular festivities which I will be experiencing, capturing and sharing with you later in this blog.

Some of the Singapore’s high-rise views are, undoubtedly, spectacular, captivating and breathtaking but this morning I decided that I will do something new for a change than rising myself above the city. The change I took was radical. I went under the ground – not yet as deep as local underground, but the place itself was much more uncommon than the so often taken subway. As you can see from the title of this blog, I went to the Battlebox Museum. Constructed in the late 1930th, this Battlebox in Fort Canning Hill will become an underground command center during the WWII.

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The main entrance to the bunker. There is, of course, a back door on the other side of it, to which you have to take a cat ladder.

The bunker lies nine meters under the ground, has 29 rooms, and used to accommodate up to 500 hundred people.

Perhaps the most momentous decision taken in this bunker, and actually the reason why it is so valued, is the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. Inside the bunker there is an installation of that historical moment when 11 army people took that critical decision.

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The surrender discussion was held in this room on the morning of Feb 15, 1942. It took 16 minutes for them to decide as they had been cornered by the Japanese across land, air and see.

Besides this, I got to see telephone exchange and fortress commander’s rooms, air filtration facility, and even the center for aircraft defense where the British mapped out the locations of friendly and hostile aircrafts.

All in all, this tour was very interesting and educative – one of the best I have ever taken. You somehow get immersed into the atmosphere of the war time as you go nine meters down under the ground into the bunker, and all the furnishing is as it was 75 years ago. If, following my path, you will come for an exchange to Singapore and get an opportunity to visit the Battlebox, I strongly recommend you take advantage of it.

This is all for today J

Have a great day and see you soon!

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