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The 4th stop on the War On Wheels Bus Tour 2009 was a visit to The Battle Box:
Nestled 9m underground within Forth Canning Park, the bunkers were an underground emergency, bomb-proof command centre constructed during the Malayan campaign and the battle of Singapore.

The bunkers were rediscovered in 1988 comprising of 22 rooms linked by a corridor, and capable of recycling its own air supply. Today the space is refurbished and converted into a tourist attraction with an air-conditioning system, special audio-visual effects and high-quality animatronics created Madam Tussaud.

Down a flight of steep steps and walking though dingy corridors you'd find no cellular signals.

The highlight of the attraction is the decision room, where the decision to surrender Singapore was taken on the morning of February 15, 1942, four days after Lt. Gen. Percival's Combined Operations Headquarters (COH) was moved here from Sime Road during the Battle of Kranji.

Scary animatronic switchboard operator plugs and unplugs switches in the switchboard room.

Morse code devices and telegrams were used as communications methods. Scribbled on the walls of these rooms are original Kempeitai Japanese soldiers' writings.

One of the most elaborate rooms and my favourite is the planning room. With a simulated military strategy table and maps pasted on the walls. This was where the British would plan sea and air operations around the Asia-Pacific area. Wall charts depict developments in other parts of the world at that time.

Back in the 1940s, this was the device used to bring fresh air into the bunkers for 100 men.

Not all the rooms in the bunker were opened for viewing, largely cause they weren't the more exciting rooms. Other rooms we saw included rooms for resting, administration and entertainment.

After the surrender, the command centre was occupied by Japanese forces during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore and later sealed off after the war.

Entrance fees to this attraction alone cost SGD$8, which pretty much covers the cost of the entire tour!

Last stop before we bid the tour Sayonara - City Hall:

Ending the tour on a high note. We arrived at the grand steps of City Hall where on 15 August 1945, Japan announced its surrender after US dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

City Hall was the venue were the formal signing of the surrender instrument was held. Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander (Southeast Asia) accepted the Japanese surrender by General Itagaki Seishiro in the Council Chambers.

The victory was followed by a celebration at the Padang, which included a victory parade. The Union Jack was flying again.

We officially ended the tour with a group photo with what our tour guide calls "A Japanese Camera" - SONY! LOL!!!

And finally, a CERTIFICATION to congratulate our survivour skills in the The Battle of Singapore! I thought that was really going the extra mile!

Well done to our guides, the bus driver and the organisers of the War On Wheels 2009 event!

Part 1 - Singapore Under The Gun. Changi Museum & Johore Battery
Part 2 - The Sook Ching Massacre
Part 3 - The Battle Box & Victory of Singapore

More War On Wheels Bus Tour 2009 Photos


  1. Thanks for the nice photos of Battle Box and the photos of the surrender at City Hall.

  2. Most welcome. Glad you liked it.


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