Bombing of South-East Asia (1944–45)
From 1944 to 1945, during the final stage of World War II, the Allies undertook the strategic bombing of South-East Asia. The main targets of Allied air raids were Japanese-occupied Indochina. By 1944, the German Navy no longer presented a major threat and the Royal Navy was able to transfer major units to the Far East; this would fulfil a British wish to become involved in the Pacific War. First, experience was required of large-scale naval air operations and of United States procedures. To this end and to degrade Japanese capabilities, attacks were made on Indonesian oil installations, some in concert with the American carrier, USS Saratoga. Cockpit – BEF Sabang Raid 19/04/44 Transom – BEF Surabaya Raid 17/05/44 BEF Port Blair, Andaman Is. Raid 19/06/44 Crimson – BEF Sabang Raid 25/07/44 – Sommerville Force Mullet – Nicobar Islands Bombardment Robson – BPF Pangkalan Brandan Raid 20/11/44 Lentil – Pangkalan Brandan Raid 04/01/45 Meridian – Palembang Raid Meridian One 24/01/45, Meridian Two 29/01/45 Sunfish – Sabang Bombardment April 1945 Bishop – BPF Covering Operation for Rangoon Landing x Penang 15/05/45 Because colonial French Indochina remained loyal to the Vichy government and made numerous concessions to Japan, including allow Japanese troops and airplanes to be stationed in Cochinchina, the Allies targeted industrial and military facilities in neutral Indochina beginning in 1942.
In this the Allies were aided by a young French naval officer, Robert Meynier, beginning in May 1943, organised a network of informants in the bureaucracy of French Indochina. Before the collapse of the network in mid-1944 it managed to provide information on bombing targets, Japanese troops whereabouts and fortifications. In August 1942, the United States Fourteenth Air Force based in southern China undertook the first air raids in Indochina. In September 1943, the United States picked up the pace of the bombing, hitting the harbour of Haiphong repeatedly. By the end of 1944 the Japanese were avoiding Haiphong. In late 1943 the Americans began raiding the phosphate mines at Cao Bang. In all of this the air force had the help of "GBT", a multi-ethnic network of spies and informants working outside control of either Vichy of the Free French. In September 1944 the Americans dropped leaflets in French and Vietnamese showing pictures of the liberation of Paris, quoting various jovial war correspondents from Europe.
Coal mined in the Hon Gai region around Haiphong, was shipped south along the coast, either by train or by junk, to be converted into charcoal gas, necessary to replace dwindling gasoline and petroleum supplies. The Allies targeted these shipments, putting a stop to them by the end of 1944. Besides charcoal gas, the Japanese in Indochina relied on ethanol produced from rice, on butanol as fuel for motor vehicles and aircraft, respectively. Two butanol distilleries at Cholon became the targets of airstrikes in February 1944, the ethanol distilleries of Nam Dinh and Thanh Hoa were hit several times into March. By the summer, the United States Office of Strategic Services was reporting increased alcohol production in the north, in Tonkin as the famine was spreading. In April–May, American bombers hit the spinning and weaving mills of Haiphong and Nam Dinh, although the villagers continued cloth production on hand looms in nearby villages. In May the US Army Air Forces began sending B-24 Liberators on night runs over Saigon, hitting port facilities and railyards, but some residential neighbourhoods.
On 16 May an attack killed 213 civilians and injured another 843. Detailed target maps of Saigon were produced based on information obtained in April–June 1944. On 7 February 1945, a B-29 Superfortress, flying from Calcutta through cloud cover, dropping bombs by radar, mistakenly hit a hospital and a French barracks in Saigon. Thirty Europeans and 150 Vietnamese were killed, hundreds more injured, not one Japanese harmed; the British intelligence mission Force 136 air-dropped several Free French operatives into Indochina in early 1945. They provided detailed information on targets to British headquarters in India and China, who transmitted them to the Americans; the French operatives were reluctant to provide information on French or Vietnamese targets, their most important contribution was relating ship movements along the coast. American carrier aircraft sank twenty-four vessels and damaged another thirteen in January 1945. An OSS report of 19 March 1945 contains eight pages of shipping information from one anonymous French official who had contacts from Saigon in the south to Qui Nhon in the north.
Another Frenchman, a civilian ship pilot working for the Japanese on the Saigon river, sent shipping information to the Americans until March, continued with Japanese until the war's end without being discovered. As the famine spread, on 8 March 1945, General Eugène Mordant of the Corps Léger d'Intervention radioed the Free French government in Paris asking them to pressure the United States to halt bombing operations against the ports north of Vinh, in a vain effort to forestall further food shortages; the Fourteenth Air Force could not render tactical air cover to the French and Indochinese defending Lang Son from a hostile Japanese takeover on 9–10 March. After the citadel capitulated on 12 March, bombers of the Fourteenth did strike it, inadvertently killing several hundred native Vietnamese riflemen who were being interned there by the Japanese. Between 12 and 28 March, the Americans flew thirty-four bombing and reconnaissance missions over Vietnam, although the commanding general, Claire Chennault, refused to air-drop weapons in light of the confusing situation on the ground.
He did, drop medicines. The American bombing campaign gaine
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning; the First World War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. The tradition of Remembrance Day evolved out of Armistice Day; the initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V hosting a "Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic" during the evening hours of 10 November 1919.
The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning. During the Second World War, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day; the common British, South African, ANZAC tradition includes a one- or two-minute silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, as that marks the time when the armistice became effective. The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries includes the sounding of the "Last Post", followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of "Reveille" or sometimes just "The Rouse", finished by a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance"; the "Flowers of the Forest", "O Valiant Hearts", "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and "Jerusalem" are played during the service. Services include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, national anthems; the central ritual at cenotaphs throughout the Commonwealth is a stylised night vigil.
The Last Post was the common bugle call at the close of the military day, The Rouse was the first call of the morning. For military purposes, the traditional night vigil over the slain was not just to ensure they were indeed dead and not unconscious or in a coma, but to guard them from being mutilated or despoiled by the enemy, or dragged off by scavengers; this makes the ritual more than just an act of remembrance but a pledge to guard the honour of war dead. The act is enhanced by the use of dedicated cenotaphs and the laying of wreaths—the traditional means of signalling high honours in ancient Greece and Rome. In Australia, Remembrance Day is always observed on 11 November, regardless of the day of the week, is not a public holiday; some institutions observe two-minutes' silence at 11 am through a programme named Read 2 Remember, children read the Pledge of Remembrance by Rupert McCall and teachers deliver specially developed resources to help children understand the significance of the day and the resilience of those who have fought for their country and call on children to be resilient when facing difficult times.
Services are held at 11 am at war memorials and schools in suburbs and cities across the country, at which the "Last Post" is sounded by a bugler and a one-minute silence is observed. In recent decades, Remembrance Day has been eclipsed as the national day of war commemoration by ANZAC Day, a public holiday in all states; when Remembrance Day falls on a normal working day in Melbourne and other major cities, buglers from the Australian Defence Force play the "Last Post" at major street corners in the CBD. While this occurs, the majority of passers-by stop and observe a moment of silence while waiting for the bugler to finish the recital. In Barbados, Remembrance Day is not a public holiday, it is recognised as 11 November, but the parade and ceremonial events are carried out on Remembrance Sunday. The day is celebrated to recognise the Barbadian soldiers who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars; the parade is held at National Heroes' Square. The Governor-General and Barbadian Prime Minister are among those who attend, along with other government dignitaries and the heads of the police and military forces.
During the main ceremony a gun salute and prayers are performed at the war memorial Cenotaph at the heart of Heroes' Square in Bridgetown. In Belize, Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November, it is not a public holiday. In Bermuda, which sent the first colonial volunteer unit to the Western Front in 1915, which had more people per capita in uniform during the Second World War than any other part of the Empire, Remembrance Day is still an important holiday; the parade in Hamilton had been a large and colourful one, as contingents from the Royal Navy, British Regular Army and Territorial Army units of the Bermuda Garrison, the Canadian Forces, the US Army, Air Force, Navy, various cadet corps and other services all at one time or another marched with the veterans. Since the closing of British and American bases in 1995, the parade has grown smaller. In addition to the ceremony held in the City of Hamilton on Remembrance Day itself, marching to the Cenotaph, where wreaths are laid and ora
George Town, Penang
George Town, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Penang, is located at the north-eastern tip of Penang Island. It is Malaysia's second largest city, with 708,127 inhabitants as of 2010, while Greater Penang is the nation's second biggest conurbation with a population of 2,412,616; the historical core of George Town has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. Established as an entrepôt by Francis Light of the British East India Company in 1786, George Town was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia. Together with Singapore and Malacca, George Town formed part of the Straits Settlements, which became a British crown colony in 1867, it was subjugated by Japan before being recaptured by the British at war's end. Shortly before Malaya attained independence from the British in 1957, George Town was declared a city by Queen Elizabeth II, making it the first city in the country's modern history. Due to the intermingling of the various ethnicities and religions that arrived on its shores, George Town acquired a large eclectic assortment of colonial and Asian architectural styles.
It gained a reputation as Malaysia's gastronomic capital for its distinct and ubiquitous street food. Moreover, the city hosts unique cultural heritage, such as the Peranakans whose legacies are still visible on Penang's architecture and cuisine; the city of George Town includes the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, a high-tech manufacturing hub regarded as the Silicon Valley of the East. The city serves as the financial centre of northern Malaysia and the nation's most vital medical tourism hub. Logistically, the Penang International Airport links George Town with several major regional cities, while a ferry service, the Penang Bridge and the Second Penang Bridge connect the city with the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. Meanwhile, George Town's Swettenham Pier has emerged as the busiest port-of-call in Malaysia for cruise shipping. In the 1770s, the British East India Company instructed Francis Light to form trade relations in the Malay Peninsula. Light subsequently landed in Kedah, a Siamese vassal state threatened by both Siam and Burma, as well as an internal Bugis revolt.
Aware of this situation, Light formed friendly relations with the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II, promised British military protection, while the Sultan reciprocally offered Penang Island part of Kedah. Although Light subsequently reported on this offer to his superiors, it was only in 1786 when he was ordered to obtain Penang Island from Kedah; the British East India Company sought control of the island as a Royal Navy base, as a trading post between China and India. To that end, Light negotiated with the new Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah, regarding the cession of the island to the British East India Company in exchange for British military aid. After an agreement was signed between Light and the Sultan and his entourage sailed on to Penang Island, where they arrived on 17 July 1786; the area where Light first landed, now the Esplanade, was a swamp covered in thick jungle. Once the area was cleared, a simple ceremony was held on 11 August, during which the Union Jack was raised.
Penang Island was renamed the Prince of Wales Island after the heir to the British throne, while the new settlement of George Town was created in honour of King George III. Light developed George Town as a free port, thus allowing merchants to trade without having to pay any form of tax or duties; the policy's intent was to entice traders from the Dutch ports in the region. The number of incoming vessels rose from 85 in 1786 to 3,569 in 1802. A committee of assessors was established in 1800, making it the first local council to be established in British Malaya. Meanwhile, a Supreme Court was established at Fort Cornwallis in 1808. In the early 19th century, Penang Island became a centre of spice production within Southeast Asia. Spices such as nutmeg and pepper, produced from the spice farms throughout the island, were exported via the Port of Penang in George Town; the spice trade allowed the British East India Company to cover the administrative costs of Penang. In 1826, George Town was made the capital of the Straits Settlements, an administrative polity, composed of Singapore and Malacca.
However, the capital was shifted to Singapore in 1832, as the latter had usurped George Town's position as the region's preeminent harbour. Nonetheless, George Town retained its importance as a vital British entrepôt. Due to the opening of the Suez Canal, the advent of steam ships and a tin mining boom in the Malay Peninsula, the Port of Penang became a major tin-exporting harbour. By the end of the 19th century, as mercantile firms and banks, including Standard Chartered and HSBC, flocked into George Town, the city evolved into a leading financial centre in Malaya. Throughout the century, George Town's population grew in tandem with the city's economic prosperity. A cosmopolitan, multi-cultural population emerged, comprising Chinese, Indian, Eurasian and other ethnicities. However, the population growth created social problems, such as inadequate sanitation and public health facilities, as well as rampant crime; the latter culminated in the Penang Riots of 1867, during which rival Chinese triads clashed in the streets of George Town.
In the same year, the Straits Settlements was made a British crown colony, to be governed directly by the Colonial Office in London. For George Town, direct British rule meant better law enforcement, as the police force was vastly improved and the secret societies that had plagued the city were outlawed. More investments were made on the city's h
A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire; the English word "cenotaph" derives from the Greek: κενοτάφιον kenotaphion. Cenotaphs were common in the ancient world, with many built in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and across Northern Europe; the cenotaph in Whitehall, London - designed in 1919 by Sir Edwin Lutyens - influenced the design of many other war memorials in Britain and in the British sectors of the Western Front, as well as those in other Commonwealth nations. The Church of Santa Engrácia, in Lisbon, turned into a National Pantheon in 1966, holds six cenotaphs, namely to Luís de Camões, Pedro Álvares Cabral, Afonso de Albuquerque, Nuno Álvares Pereira, Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator.
The Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, contains a number of cenotaphs, including one for Dante Alighieri, buried in Ravenna. A cenotaph is the focal point of the Voortrekker Monument in South Africa, it is situated below the other main point of interest, a marble Historical Frieze in the Hall of Heroes, is visible through a round opening in the floor. The Hall of Heroes itself has a dome from the summit of which one can view the interior of the monument. At noon on 16 December each year the sun shines through another opening in the dome onto the middle of the cenotaph, where the words Ons vir Jou, Suid-Afrika are inscribed; the ray of sunshine symbolises God's blessing on the endeavours of the Voortrekkers. 16 December is the date in 1838. Durban, South Africa, has a striking and unusual cenotaph made of granite and lavishly decorated with brightly coloured ceramics. Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has a cenotaph. Located on the edge of St George's Park in Rink Street, it was designed by Elizabeth Gardner to commemorate the men who died in the First World War and was erected by the monumental mason firm of Pennachini Bros.
On either side of the central sarcophagus are statues by Technical College Art School principal, James Gardner, who served in the trenches during the war. One depicts St George and the Dragon, the other depicts the sanctity of family life. Surrounding the sarcophagus are a number of bas-relief panels depicting scenes and people during the First World War, it was unveiled by Mrs W F Savage and dedicated by Canon Mayo on 10 November 1929. A surrounding memorial wall commemorates the men and women killed during World War II. In Livingstone there is a cenotaph at the Eastern Cataract of The Victoria Falls with the names of the men of Northern Rhodesia who died during the Great War 1914–18, it was unveiled by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught on 1 August 1923. There is a cenotaph in Lusaka at Embassy Park, opposite the Cabinet Office along Independence Avenue, commemorates those Zambians who fought and died in World Wars I & II; the cenotaph was commemorated in 1977. A monument which has come to be known to as the "Cenotaph" was erected in Plaza San Martín, in downtown Buenos Aires, to commemorate the Argentinian soldiers who died during the Falklands War, in 1982.
The monument consists of a series of plaques of black marble with the names of the fallen, surrounding a flame, during the day is guarded by two soldiers. Another cenotaph, a replica of the Argentine Military Cemetery in Darwin on the Falkland Islands, exists in Campo de Mayo, a large Army facility and training field just outside Buenos Aires. A limestone replica of the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London was erected outside the Cabinet Building in Hamilton, Bermuda in 1920. In Canada, major cenotaphs commemorating the nation's war dead in World War I and conflicts include the National War Memorial in Ottawa, and in Midland Ontario. In the Falkland Islands, there are several war memorials to commemorate those killed in the Falklands War in 1982; the main memorial for Falkland Islanders is the 1982 Liberation Memorial, a cenotaph erected in Stanley in 1984 which lists all the British Army regiments, RAF squadrons, Royal Navy vessels and the Royal Marine formations and units that took part in the conflict.
The names of the 255 British military personnel who died during the war are listed on ten plaques behind the Memorial, divided into the service branches. Services are held at the Memorial each year on 14 June and on Remembrance Sunday, with wreaths being laid at the foot of the Memorial. In the United States, a cenotaph in Yale University's Hewitt Quad honours men of Yale who died in battle; the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial in Dallas is described as a cenotaph. The Battle Monument in Baltimore, Maryland commemorates the Battle of Baltimore, the Battle of North Point on 12 September 1814, the Bombardment of Fort McHenry on 13–14 September, the stand-off on Loudenschlager's Hill, it has an Egyptian Revival cenotaph base, surmounted by a fasces bound together with ribbons bearing the names of the dead. It was designed by French émigré architect Maximilian Godefroy in 1815, construction was completed in 1827, it is considered the first war memorial in America, an early example of a memori
The Burma Railway known as the Death Railway, the Siam–Burma Railway, the Thai–Burma Railway and similar names, was a 415-kilometre railway between Ban Pong and Thanbyuzayat, built by the Empire of Japan in 1943 to support its forces in the Burma campaign of World War II. This railway completed the rail link between Bangkok and Rangoon, Burma; the name used by the Japanese Government is Thai–Men-Rensetsu-Tetsudou, which means Thailand-Myanmar-Link-Railway. The line was closed in 1947, but the section between Nong Pla Duk and Nam Tok was reopened ten years later. Between 180,000 and 250,000 Southeast Asian civilian labourers and about 61,000 Allied prisoners of war were subjected to forced labour during its construction. About 90,000 civilian labourers and more than 12,000 Allied prisoners died. A railway route between Burma and Thailand, crossing Three Pagodas Pass and following the valley of the Kwhae Noi river in Thailand, had been surveyed by the British government of Burma as early as 1885, but the proposed course of the line – through hilly jungle terrain divided by many rivers – was considered too difficult to undertake.
In early 1942, Japanese forces invaded Burma and seized control of the colony from the United Kingdom. To supply their forces in Burma, the Japanese depended upon the sea, bringing supplies and troops to Burma around the Malay peninsula and through the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea; this route was vulnerable to attack by Allied submarines after the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. To avoid a hazardous 2,000-mile sea journey around the Malay peninsula, a railway from Bangkok to Rangoon seemed a feasible alternative; the Japanese began this project in June 1942. The project aimed to connect Ban Pong in Thailand with Thanbyuzayat in Burma, linking up with existing railways at both places, its route was through Three Pagodas Pass on the border of Burma. 69 miles of the railway were in Burma and the remaining 189 miles were in Thailand. The movement of POWs northward from Changi Prison in Singapore and other prison camps in Southeast Asia began in May 1942. After preliminary work of airfields and infrastructure, construction of the railway began in Burma on 15 September 1942 and in Thailand in November.
The projected completion date was December 1943. Most of the construction materials, including tracks and sleepers, were brought from dismantled branches of Malaya's Federated Malay States Railway network and the East Indies' various rail networks; the railway was completed ahead of schedule. On 17 October 1943, construction gangs originating in Burma working south met up with construction gangs originating in Thailand working north; the two sections of the line met at kilometre 263, about 18 km south of the Three Pagodas Pass at Konkuita. As an American engineer said after viewing the project, "What makes this an engineering feat is the totality of it, the accumulation of factors; the total length of miles, the total number of bridges — over 600, including six to eight long-span bridges — the total number of people who were involved, the short time in which they managed to accomplish it, the extreme conditions they accomplished it under. They had little transportation to get stuff to and from the workers, they had no medication, they couldn’t get food let alone materials, they had no tools to work with except for basic things like spades and hammers, they worked in difficult conditions — in the jungle with its heat and humidity.
All of that makes this railway an extraordinary accomplishment."The Japanese Army transported 500,000 tonnes of freight over the railway before it fell into allied hands. The British 36th Division used it to carry 66,000 passengers and 14,485 imperial tons of freight between August and October 1944; the line was closed in 1947, but the section between Nong Pla Duk and Nam Tok was reopened ten years in 1957. On 16 January 1946, the British ordered Japanese POWs to remove a four kilometre stretch of rail between Nikki and Sonkrai; the railway link between Thailand and Burma was to be separated again for protecting British interests in Singapore. After that, the Burma section of the railway was sequentially removed, the rails were gathered in Mawlamyaing, the roadbed was returned to the jungle; the British government sold the railway and related materials to the Thai government for 50 million baht. Japanese soldiers, 12,000 of them, including 800 Koreans, were employed on the railway as engineers and supervisors of the POW and rōmusha labourers.
Although working conditions were far better for the Japanese than the POWs and rōmusha workers, about 1,000 of them died during construction. Many remember Japanese soldiers as being cruel and indifferent to the fate of Allied prisoners of war and the Asian rōmusha. Many men in the railway workforce bore the brunt of uncaring guards. Cruelty could take different forms, from extreme violence and torture to minor acts of physical punishment and neglect; the number of Southeast Asian workers recruited or impressed to work on the Burma railway has been estimated to have been more than 180,000 Southeast Asian civilian labourers. Javanese, Malayan Tamils of Indian origin, Chinese and other Southeast Asians, forcibly drafted by the Imperial Japanese Army to work on the railway, died in its construction. During the initial stages of the construction of the railway and Thais were employed in their respective countries, but Thai workers, in particular, were to abscond from the project and the number of Burmese workers recruited
Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city, George Town, is located, Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula; the second smallest Malaysian state by land mass, Penang is bordered by Kedah to the north and the east, Perak to the south. Penang is home to Southeast Asia's Longest bridge connecting the island to mainland. Penang's population stood at nearly 1.767 million as of 2018, while its population density rose to 1,684/km2. It has among the nation's highest population densities and is one of the country's most urbanised states. George Town, Malaysia's second largest city, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Penang's modern history began upon the establishment of George Town by Francis Light. Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British crown colony in 1867. Direct British rule was only interrupted during World War II, when Japan occupied Penang.
Penang was merged with the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence from the British in 1957. Following the decline of its entrepôt trade towards the 1970s, Penang's economy was reoriented towards hi-tech manufacturing. Known as the Silicon Valley of the East for its industries, Penang is one of Malaysia's most vital economic powerhouses. Penang has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita among all Malaysian states and is considered a high-income economy. In addition, Penang recorded the nation's second highest Human Development Index, after Kuala Lumpur. Correspondingly, the state has a well-educated population, with a youth literacy rate of 99.5% as of 2014. Its heterogeneous population is diverse in ethnicity, culture and religion. Aside from the three main races, the Chinese and Indians, Penang is home to significant Eurasian and expatriate communities. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penang Lâng; the name, comes from the modern Malay name Pulau Pinang, which means The Island of the Areca Nut Palm.
The State of Penang is referred to as the Pearl of the Orient and Pulau Pinang Pulau Mutiara. Penang Island was known by native seafarers as Pulau Ka-Satu, meaning The First Island, because it was the largest island encountered on the trading sea-route between Lingga and Kedah; the Siamese the overlord of Kedah, referred to the island as Koh Maak. In the 15th century, Penang Island was referred to as Bīnláng Yù in the navigational drawings used by Admiral Zheng He of Ming China. Emanuel Godinho de Eredia, a 16th-century Portuguese historian referred to the island as Pulo Pinaom in the Description of Malacca. Human remains, dating back to about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, have been uncovered in Seberang Perai, along with seashells and hunting tools; these artifacts indicate that the earliest inhabitants of Penang were nomadic Melanesians during the Neolithic era. The Cherok Tok Kun megalith in Bukit Mertajam, uncovered in 1845, contains Pali inscriptions, indicating that the Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley civilisation based in what is now Kedah had established control over parts of Seberang Perai by the 6th century.
The entirety of what is now Penang would become part of the Sultanate of Kedah up to the late 18th century. However, the modern history of Penang only began in the late 18th century. In the 1770s, Francis Light was instructed by the British East India Company to form trade relations in the Malay Peninsula. Light subsequently landed in Kedah, by a Siamese vassal state. Aware that the Sultanate was under external and internal threats, he promised British military protection to the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II, it was only in 1786 when the British East India Company ordered Light to obtain the island from Kedah. Light negotiated with the new Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah, regarding the cession of the island to the British East India Company in exchange for British military aid. After an agreement between Light and the Sultan was ratified and his entourage sailed on to Penang Island, where they arrived on 17 July 1786. Light took formal possession of the island on 11 August "in the name of His Britannic Majesty, King George III and the Honourable East India Company".
Penang Island was renamed the Prince of Wales Island after the heir to the British throne, while the new settlement of George Town was established in honour of King George III. Unbeknownst to Sultan Abdullah, Light had been acting without the authority or the consent of his superiors in India; when Light reneged on his promise of military protection, the Kedah Sultan launched an attempt to recapture the Prince of Wales Island in 1791. In 1800, Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Leith secured a strip of hinterland across the Penang Strait and named it Province Wellesley. Province Wellesley was gradually expanded up to its present-day boundaries in 1874. In exchange for the acquisition, the annual payment to the Sultan of Kedah was increased to 10,000 Spanish dollars per annum. To this day, the Malaysian federal government still pays Kedah, on behalf of Penang, RM 10,000 annually as a symbolic gesture. Light founded George Town as a free port to entice traders away from nearby Dutch trading posts. Spices were harvested on the island, turning it into a regional centre fo
Allies of World War I
The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the major European powers were divided between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance; the Entente was made up of the United Kingdom and Russia. The Triple Alliance was composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, which remained neutral in 1914; as the war progressed, each coalition added new members. Japan joined the Entente in 1914. After proclaiming its neutrality at the beginning of the war, Italy joined the Entente in 1915; the United States joined as an "associated power" rather than an official ally.'Associated members' included Serbia, Greece and Romania. When the war began in 1914, the Central Powers were opposed by the Triple Entente, formed in 1907 by the British Empire, the Russian Empire and the French Third Republic. Fighting commenced when Austria invaded Serbia on 28 July 1914, purportedly in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to Emperor Franz Joseph.
At the same time, German troops entered neutral Belgium and Luxembourg as dictated by the Schlieffen Plan. This allowed Belgium to be treated as an Ally, in contrast to Luxembourg which retained control over domestic affairs but was occupied by the German military. In the East, between 7–9 August the Russians entered German East Prussia on 7 August, Austrian Eastern Galicia. Japan joined the Entente by declaring war on Germany on 23 August Austria on 25 August. On 2 September, Japanese forces surrounded the German Treaty Port of Tsingtao in China and occupied German colonies in the Pacific, including the Mariana and Marshall Islands. Despite its membership of the Triple Alliance, Italy remained neutral until 23 May 1915 when it joined the Entente, declaring war on Austria but not Germany. On 17 January 1916, Montenegro left the Entente. On 6 April 1917, the United States entered the war as a co-belligerent, along with the associated allies of Liberia and Greece. After the 1917 October Revolution, Russia left the Entente and agreed to a separate peace with the Central Powers with the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918.
Romania was forced to do the same in the May 1918 Treaty of Bucharest but on 10 November, it repudiated the Treaty and once more declared war on the Central Powers. These changes meant the Allies who negotiated the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 included France, Italy and the US; this came into being on 16 January 1920 with Britain, France and Japan as permanent members of the Executive Council. For much of the 19th century, Britain sought to maintain the European balance of power without formal alliances, a policy known as splendid isolation; this left it dangerously exposed as Europe divided into opposing power blocs and the 1895-1905 Conservative government negotiated first the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance the 1904 Entente Cordiale with France. The first tangible result of this shift was British support for France against Germany in the 1905 Moroccan Crisis; the 1905-1915 Liberal government continued this re-alignment with the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention. Like the Anglo-Japanese and Entente agreements, it focused on settling colonial disputes but by doing so paved the way for wider co-operation and allowed Britain to refocus resources in response to German naval expansion.
Since control of Belgium allowed an opponent to threaten invasion or blockade British trade, preventing it was a long-standing British strategic interest. Under Article VII of the 1839 Treaty of London, Britain guaranteed Belgian neutrality against aggression by any other state, by force if required. Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg dismissed this as a'scrap of paper,' but British law officers confirmed it as a binding legal obligation and its importance was well understood by Germany; the 1911 Agadir Crisis led to secret discussions between France and Britain in case of war with Germany. These agreed that within two weeks of its outbreak, a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 men would be landed in France. Britain was committed to support France in a war against Germany but this was not understood outside government or the upper ranks of the military; as late as 1 August, a clear majority of the Liberal government and its supporters wanted to stay out of the war. While Liberal leaders Herbert Asquith and Edward Grey considered Britain and morally committed to support France regardless, waiting until Germany triggered the 1839 Treaty provided the best chance of preserving Liberal party unity.
The German high command was aware entering Belgium would lead to British intervention but decided the risk was acceptable. On 3 August, Germany demanded unimpeded progress through any part of Belgium a