by Zafrani Arifin
This day I did a WW2 battlefield tour of the Japanese invasion of Kota Bharu for Yosuke Watanabe. The tour includes visiting the British pillbox at Pulau Kundur and Pulau Pak Amat Beach where the Japanese first landed in Malaya on 8th December 1941.
We explained what happened during the Japanese landing and the British defence strategy at Kota Bharu. We were joined by Urusetia Penerangan Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan (UPKN) @ State Information Department who interviewed us on camera about our battlefield tour.
I explained that we planned to do the entire battlefield tour following the Japanese invasion from the landing at Kota Bharu beach that happened on 8th December 1941 to Kuala Krai where it was occupied by the Japanese on 19 December 1941, to see the Japanese war monument at Kuala Krai Museum. In between we also visit the former Machang airfield to see the bomb craters and pillbox, the battlefield at Sg. Sat, and the Japanese war memorial located at Hamzah School in Machang. The tour lasted the entire day.
The historical significance of the Japanese invasion of Kota Bharu during WW2 is that it was the first battle in the Pacific War, happened 70 minutes before the ‘Day of Infamy’ the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. One can learn more effectively about history by visiting the historical places itself, see for yourself where history occurred rather than just reading facts and figures for information about the battles. My only wishes is that we could have more time to see more places.