Why was the fall of Singapore such a shock?

Film clip from a British newsreel called News from Singapore, January 1942

Catalogue ref: BP150142131416
Courtesy of ITN/Source

"Planes! We must have more planes."

The cry that was heard above the din of battle in Norway, France, Crete and Britain comes now from Malaya.

Early in December just prior to the first Japanese raid, a consignment of Beaufort aircraft arrived at Singapore, fresh from Commonwealth factories and so soon to go into action.

North of Singapore in the Malay Peninsula Australian troops help to make every inch of the way to the fortress island a deathtrap for the yellow plague infecting the strait settlement.

In a jungle waterway, patrol boat on the lookout for Japs. Patrols like this may suddenly come across hundreds of them scurrying about the undergrowth and scaling trees like so many monkeys.

Mind you, a digger is no amateur at climbing trees, especially when it's a coconut palm.