Gin Drinkers Line

The Gin Drinkers Line
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The artillery observation post the Shing Mun Redoubt
Directional signs inside one of the tunnels

British military defensive line against the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941, part of the Pacific War.

- Gin Drinkers Line

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Battle of Hong Kong

One of the first battles of the Pacific War in World War II.

Japanese troops take Tsim Sha Tsui
Map of the battle
Map of the battle of Hong Kong Island
Japanese artillery in North Point
Surrender, 25 December 1941
Sai Wan War Cemetery
Japanese War criminals in Hong Kong. Towards the end of the war, the British were able to repel the Japanese.
Statue of an anonymous World War I soldier from statuary collection of Eu Tong Sen. Also visible is the Battle of Hong Kong memorial plaque dedicated to all the defenders of Hong Kong in December 1941 through John Robert Osborn
Memorial plaque dedicated to all the defenders of Hong Kong in December 1941 through John Robert Osborn and to commemorate the British Garrison at Hong Kong
The Cenotaph in Hong Kong
Commemorative plaque at the entrance to Memorial Gardens at Hong Kong City Hall
The memorial garden at Hong Kong City Hall
Shrine to the war dead in the memorial garden at Hong Kong City Hall

British defence studies concluded that Hong Kong would be extremely hard to defend in the event of a Japanese attack, but in the mid-1930s work began on improvements to defences including along the Gin Drinkers' Line.

Hong Kong Island

Island in the southern part of Hong Kong.

The panoramic night view of "Island side" as seen from "Kowloon side" - TST
A view of Middle Island in the foreground and Repulse Bay in the background from the Ocean Park cable car ride (in the Southern District)
Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District
Admiralty MTR station, the interchange station between the Tsuen Wan line, Island line, East Rail Line, and South Island line
Kowloon portal of the Western Harbour Crossing, one of the tunnels that link Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

However, the Japanese took control of the Hong Kong skies on the first day of attack and outnumbered the defenders, who retreated from the Gin Drinkers Line and consequently from Kowloon under heavy aerial bombardment and artillery barrage.

Gin Drinkers Bay

Bay in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong.

Gin Drinkers Bay

Gin Drinkers Bay is known for the Gin Drinkers Line, which formed a defensive line against the Japanese invasion in 1941.

Shing Mun Reservoir

Reservoir in Hong Kong.

Shing Mun Reservoir
Reservoir Bellmouth Overflow and Valve Tower
Memorial Stone of Shing Mun Reservoir

The remains of Gin Drinkers Line on the nearby hills show the defences of British forces against the Japanese invasion during World War II.

Shing Mun

Area between Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin in the New Territories of Hong Kong.

Gin Drinkers Line is across the area.

Christopher Maltby

Senior officer in the British Indian Army who served as Commander of British Troops in Hong Kong in 1941 before the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, after which he became a prisoner of war.

Major General Christopher Maltby
Canadian Brigadier John K. Lawson (right) with General Christopher Maltby

He initially established a 10-mile line of defence known as Gin Drinkers Line across the Southern part of the mainland but was rapidly forced to withdraw his troops back to Hong Kong Island.

Index of World War II articles (G)

1) G for George

G for George on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

936) Gin Drinkers Line

British Forces Overseas Hong Kong

British Forces Overseas Hong Kong comprised the elements of the British Army, Royal Navy (including Royal Marines) and Royal Air Force stationed in British Hong Kong.

Flag of Hong Kong (1959-1997)
Base of RAF in Kai Tak (1945)
A Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force Aerospatiale Dauphin helicopter leaving its hangar during a Search and Rescue exercise in 1982.
The survivors of a simulated aircraft crash are hoisted aboard a Royal Air Force Westland Wessex HC Mk 2 helicopter from No. 28 (AC) Squadron in 1983.

Gin Drinkers Line 1930s

British Hong Kong

Colony and dependent territory of the British Empire from 1841 to 1997, apart from a period under Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945.

Possibly the earliest painting of Hong Kong Island, showing the waterfront settlement which became Victoria City
Spring Garden Lane, 1846
Hong Kong in the 1930s
Japanese troops crossing the border from the mainland, 1941
British forces reoccupy Hong Kong under Rear-Admiral Cecil Harcourt, 30 August 1945
Government House, c. 1873
Victoria Harbour in 1988, showing the Bank of China Tower being built
Statue of Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars, a tribute to the city's film industry
The Hong Kong Sevens, considered the premier tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series, is played each spring.
Police confrontation during the 1967 leftist riots

Two days later, the Japanese breached the Gin Drinkers Line in the New Territories.

History of Hong Kong

The region of Hong Kong has been inhabited since the Old Stone Age, later becoming part of the Chinese Empire with its loose incorporation into the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC).

Map of Bao'an (Po On) County in 1866. It shows that Hong Kong and Shenzhen used to be a part of Bao'an County in the Qing dynasty
1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Canton (Guangzhou)
The Treaty of Peking
Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island in the 1860s
By 1990, the Kowloon Walled City contained 50,000 residents within its 2.6 ha borders.
Japanese war criminals prepare for their transfer to Stanley Prison
Victoria, Hong Kong, 1950s
Kowloon City and Victoria, Hong Kong, 1960s
Kowloon City and Victoria, Hong Kong, 1970s
Victoria, Hong Kong, 1980s
Victoria, Hong Kong, 1990s
China Airlines Boeing 747 crash landed and ended up in the harbour.
Southern Kowloon and Victoria, Hong Kong, 2000s
Southern Kowloon and Victoria, Hong Kong, 2014
Flag of Hong Kong under British rule
Flag of Hong Kong SAR

The British and the Indians retreated from the Gin Drinker's Line and consequently from Kowloon under heavy aerial bombardment and artillery barrage.