Allied Commando Raid on Singapore Harbour 26-27 September 1943
By John Dudek @ The Wargamer
Three two-man canoe-kayaks manned by British and Australian commandos paddled silently along and unobserved into the blacked out roadstead of Japanese occupied Singapore Harbor on the night of 26/27 September 1943. Their targets were the dozens of dark and shadowy Japanese merchant ships and tankers anchored throughout the harbor. With some 45 ships to choose from anchored nearby, theirs was a truly target rich environment. One by one, the Allied canoe boats fanned out to choose their individual ship targets. Each boat silently glided alongside their chosen ships to quietly plant magnetic “limpet mines” with attached timers below the waterline before casting off in search of other prey. Any inquisitive Japanese crewman who might have looked over the side of their ships could easily spy the attacker’s menacing canoes lurking below. Yet somehow the merchant ship and tanker crews remained completely oblivious to the sabotage operation taking place around them and the earth shattering explosive climax that was soon to follow. Perhaps their being anchored in an extremely well defended harbor in a rear area backwater of the war played a major role in their complacency, but many of them would never see another sunrise.