Hong Kong in WWII

How war changed a city and exposed its colonial lies – James A. Clapp

Somewhat in the same manner that fire anneals metals, terrible historical periods seem to have a way of hardening the resolve of cities. The conquered and occupied city must find new ways to survive in the face of subjugation and exploitation. When they do prevail, there is usually a new reality and understanding. In the case of Hong Kong during World War II, the British were no longer the great protecting overlord. When the local Chinese saw their rulers overrun and paraded in ignominy through the streets and into Japanese concentration camps, and that it would take the Americans to finally subdue the Japanese, and that a new China was emergent, there was indeed a new reality. War changes things, nations, people and cities. The British imperium in Asia was doomed. Two years after the end of the war the “jewel” in Victoria’s imperial crown was gone.