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September 27 , 2009

The Damned

The Canadians at the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, 1941-45


The Damned tells the largely unknown saga of Canada’s first land battle of the Second World War-fought in the hills and valleys of Hong Kong in December 1941-and the terrible years the survivors of the battle spent as slave labourers for the Empire of Japan. Their story begins in the fall of 1941, when almost 2,000 members of the Royal Rifles and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were sent to bolster the British garrison at Hong Kong. In the seventeen-day battle for the colony following the Japanese attack on December 8, the Canadians suffered grievous losses. The second part of their story-how the Canadians survived the horrid conditions of the Japanese POW camps-lasts three and a half years. Despite the circumstances, the surviving Canadians remained unbowed and unbroken. Theirs is a story of determination and valour, of resilience and faith.

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