Interactive Map of the Battle of Hong Kong

Prof Kwong Chi Man of Hong Kong Baptist University and his fellow researchers have now launched their interactive map of the Battle of Hong Kong. This will be a wonderful resource for anyone searching for information about any aspect of the battle, from the positions of pillboxes to details about key characters in the battle. The map allows you to run the timeline of the battle, with the key events described (in English and Chinese) and shown on the map. You can zoom in and out as you please. Here is a screenshot to illustrate:

interactive map of the Battle of Hong Kong from HKBU

If you click on ‘Faces of War’ at the bottom left, it gives you a snapshot biography of key characters in the battle, showing where they were based or lost their lives. Below is the start of the entry for Dad, as an example.

entry for John Monro on HKBU interactive map of the battle of Hong Kong

This project has taken ten years to come to fruition and it is a very impressive achievement.

BAAG Research

A new piece of research on the British Army Aid Group (BAAG) has been published by the Hong Kong Baptist University. The BAAG both supported the PoWs in Hong Kong and supplied intelligence about Hong Kong to China Command in the wartime capital at Chongqing. Dad worked closely with BAAG founder, Col Lindsay Ride, during his time as Assistant Military Attaché, from August 1942 to January 1944. The HKBU research provides masses of interesting maps and images to give a visual history, from the Battle of Hong Kong to the founding of BAAG and its activities throughout the war.

BAAG was also known as MI9, acknowledging its intelligence role and its connection with Allied intelligence units in Europe. Dad’s plan to liberate the Hong Kong PoWs was predicated on BAAG’s intelligence as a support to General Chennault’s USAAF. Without US air power and local intelligence there was no hope of success. Unfortunately political shenanigans scuppered the plan, and with it the entire strategy for the Pacific War. See Stranger In My Heart for more details! For more about BAAG go to the Elizabeth Ride Archive, which contains a wide range of documents, from official reports to notes on strategy, personal diaries and links to further information.

The chief researcher at HKBU has kindly sent me a photo of 8th Coastal Brigade, who dad commanded for a time before the war, his Chinese troop. Unfortunately Dad isn’t in the photo but it is wonderful to see his men. I’m not sure when this photo was taken, possibly 1941.

8th Coastal Brigade, Hong Kong, 1940?