In the autumn of 1941, nearly 2,000 Canadian soldiers were sent to Hong Kong at the request of the British government. Most of the soldiers were inexperienced and poorly trained, but Britain's military leaders thought a symbolic show of strength would deter a Japanese attack on the colony. Canada's soldiers found themselves in the midst of a desperate battle they could not hope to win. On Christmas Day, 1941, the British colony of Hong Kong officially surrendered to Japan. The surviving defenders became prisoners of war. Over the next three and a half years, many of them would come to envy the dead.
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