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Malaya Historical Group :: MHG
Aviation and Military Archaeology may cover almost any form of research into or collecting of artifacts connected with the history of aviation and military relics.

If you have any information about any war relics and air wrecks in our country, please send an email to me malayahg@gmail
 

 

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WW2 Places
Perak Kampar
A defence position strategically built by British after their long retreat from northern Perak. The three small hills overlooking the trunk road to Ipoh were hastily reconstructed by labourers and soldiers in a few days. On the right side of the bridge is the Gunung Bujang Melaka with thick jungles and steep slopes which is impossible for the Japanese to penetrate.

Several section of Kampar ridge were important for British to impulse Japanese trust from Ipoh to Central Malaya ( Kuala Lumpur ). Several improvement were carried out to strength the defence perimeters in Kampar. 3 selected ridge were named as  Thompson Ridge under Captain Thompson, Green Ridge and Cemetery Ridge under Major Ian Kennedy from B Company where west Green Ridge under Captain Pack Bruckmann. These 3 ridge were heavily supported by machinegun post, trenches and bunkers. 

 

Communication Trenches

 

Machinegun post

Around 1,300 soldiers from several battalions were put into these 3 ridges. 1st Leicester Battalion and 2nd East Surreys Battalion under Lt. Col C.E. Morrison which came from 11th Indian Division. This 2 battalions were retreated from Jitra and Gurun battlefront which heavily losses caused by 25th Japanese Army. They also supported by C Coy East Surreys under Captan Bruckmann and 88th Field Unit Artillery in Aston Settlement using 2.5 pounders guns.

These Fortress of Kampar battle lasted from 30 December till 2nd January 1942. For a first time, at least 4,000 Japanese troops which from 5th Matsu Division under Col. Kanichi Okabe were taken a heavy toll from these heavy defended ridges. Some suicided mission were failed to penetrate the defence lines. Several Japanese tanks attacks also failed to penetrate the lines when they were easily spotted by artillery observation officer who positioned themselves on higher ground and most of the tanks were wiped out easily.

Japanese changed their tactic by using seaborne attack which using addition troops landed near Perak River then to Teluk Intan, Lumut and Bagan Datuk which tried to outflank the British lines in Kampar.

When British realized how slim their chance if they still in Kampar, on night 2nd January 1942, they left the ridge and left to south leaving small garrison to held the Japanese in Kampar town. 


Remaining Green Ridge which survived amidst of development threat nearby.

This battle was costly on both side. Around 650 soldiers killed and many wounded. Japanese lost 500 soldiers and British 150.

 

Location where 1/18 Punjab under Captain Graham make gallantly counter attack to relieve A Company under Captain Thompson.

     
Slim River
Located 20 miles south of Kampar, Slim River was selected for another British defence line position. 12th Brigade was ordered to occupy 2 miles north of Trolak town for major defence position where two battalion 4/19 Hyderabad and 5/2 Punjab were put on the rear 1 miles before Trolak. Third battalion of Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders was given task to erect 2 roadblocks and defended Trolak town with their armoured car.
 
  Trolak town. Major drivethru of Lt. Watanabe tanks columns where he cut the wires using his sword at the small bridge in the center of this photo. Argyll defenders were swept aside but managed to hold this area for almost 4 hours from Japanese infantry assault before being overrun

At south of Trolak, 5/14th Punjab was in reserve to reinforce another defence lines 1 miles south of Trolak.

From Kampung Slim to Slim River Bridge were held by 2/1st Gurkhas, 2/9 and 2/2nd Gurkhas and supported by  137 Field Regiment artillery at Cluny Estate under 28th Brigade.

At 3.30am, Japanese tank under Major Shimada consisted of 17 Medium tanks and 3 lights tanks protected with 42nd Regiment, 5th Infantry Division started their movement south and at 4.00am, they managed to route and overrun 4/19 Hyderabad position. At 4.30am, they overrun 5/2 Punjab position and the attachment infantry unit were detached from the tank group and engaged 5/2 Punjab. Japanese tank under Lt. Watanabe reached Argyll roadblocks and moved aside their armoured easily. At Trolak bridge, Lt. Watanabe exited from his tank and cut the demolition wires using his sword and moving fast to Slim River.

At 7.30am, Japanese tanks managed to breakthrough 5/14 Punjab position and overrun their position. Many of the defenders were captured, killed or escaped south.

Lt. Watanabe tanks ambushed several column of Gurkhas troops who marched alongside the road and inflicted heavy casualties among them. Molotov cocktail attacks were failed to stop the tanks. At Cluny Estate, 137 Field Regiment were caught by surprise and did not have time to use their gun into the Japanese tanks. In return, they were fired by Japanese machineguns and shells from the tanks

  Cluny Estate where 137 Field Regiment rested 200 yards from main road were being attacked by Lt. Watanabe tanks columns. After a fierce contacted with supported Japanese infantry, they managed to retreat to Tanjung Malim using railway track west of this position.

Japanese tanks reached Slim River bridge area at 8.30am where the bridge was protected by Bofors Anti-aircraft guns. Those Bofors failed to stop the tanks and Lt. Watanabe which now wounded, managed to cut the demolition wires using his machinegun. Watanabe now in control of the bridge, sent his 3 tanks under Ensign Toichero Sato to explore south side of the bridge and continued south along the main road until they ran into British Artillery battalion of 155th Field Regiment 3 miles south of the bridge. Using their 4.5inch howitzers,  Sato tanks columns were stop dead on the tracks and he was killed together with his entire crews. Remaining surviving tanks retreated back to Slim River bridge and guarded it until midday where supporting infantry reach the bridge.

  A vital position at Slim River bridge facing Tanjung Malim where Lt. Watanabe rushed to the bridge and captured it intact.

Most of the British troops under two Brigades were cut off from the main where the only way for them to retreat ( Slim River bridge ) was captured by Japanese. Some managed to breakthrough using railway track and arrived safely at Tanjung Malim. At least 1000 Indian and British troops were taken prisoners with vast quantity of military equipments and supplies. The disaster at Trolak and Slim River meant that the Central Malaya was lost to Japanese leaving a wide open defenseless Kuala Lumpur to Japanese.

 

 

  Slim River battle map and Japanese movements

[ click here for larger map ]

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   

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