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Monday, December 11, 2006

65 Years Ago

I planned to write about this last Thursday/Friday but the incident (see 2 previous postings below) overshadowed this historical event 65 years ago in my homeland. Anyway, I wrote this a year ago....



95* Minutes Before Pearl Harbor

It was the annual monsoon season in the East Coast, and kampung folks of Kuala Pak Amat had just finished their 'mmaeng tteghi' (main puteri) on the beach on the evening of 7th Dec 1941. The traditional shamanistic healing ceremony (which has now banned by the state government) which could take up to three consecutive nights finished quite late and as the folks dispersed into the gloomy December evening at about midnight, they suddenly noticed three gigantic silhouettes emerged from the sea horizon. Moving stealthily, there were half a dozen more such smaller silhouettes creeping behind. The three were Awagisan Maru, Ayatosan Maru and Sakura Maru navy transport ships of the Japanese Imperial Army, commanded by Major-General Hiroshi Takumi with its 5,200 troops on board and the smaller ones were light cruiser Sendai, destroyers Ayanami, Isonami, Shikinami and Uranami, minesweepers No. 2 and No. 3, and subchaser No. 9.

As soon as they anchored just after midnight, about 3km from the shoreline, Nippon landing crafts were launched and fires were shot toward the heavily defended beach. The invasion of Kota Bharu hence commenced under the eyes of Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita.... whilst at the same, on the other side of the globe, his fellow comrade Vice Admiral Nagumo was still monitoring his first 183 fighter planes flying high towards Pearl Harbor.

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* the exact time is disputable; ranging from 70mins, 60mins, 45mins, 90mins and 95mins.



epilogue:

Ada beberapa orang saksi mengatakan, dua hari sebelum peluru pertama ditembak, sebahagian askar Jepun talah pun berenang ke pantai dari kapal-kapal perang mereka yang berlabuh beberapa batu di Laut China Selatan dan bersembunyi di hutan nipah, menunggu isyarat untuk memulakan serangan.

Pertempuran bersejarah ini disurahkan amat hebat sekali, dengan askar gurkha yang mengawal pantai berjaya membunuh sebahagian besar dari gerombolan permulaan tentera Nippon yang menyerang, hinggakan di suatu masa, ketua serangan Jepun telah meminta kebenaran dari panglimanya untuk berundur seketika sementara bantuan tiba; satu permintaan yang tidak dilayan.

Dikatakan, kubu-kubu yang dibina di sepanjang pantai telah ditawan dan ditawansemula buat beberapa kali. Namun, tentera Nippon yang terus melanda pantai, satu ketumbukan lepas satu ketumbukan, walaupun sebahagiannya gugur di pantai... akhirnya berjaya menyepikan askar-askar gurkha.... yang berjuang hingga ke titisan darah yang terakhir, mempertahankan sebuah tanah asing untuk kepentingan tuan yang asing.

Tiada siapa pun yang mengingati pengorbanan mereka ini... sedikit yang tinggal, kenangan buat anak-anak merdeka... pun saban hari semakin lenyap dari mata, ditelan laut yang rakus...

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kredit foto: raykinzoku

Dunia terus digemburkan tentang Pearl Harbor; dengan filem box-office, drama, dokumentari dan segalanya.

Kuala Pak Amat, Sabak.... yang pernah dimandikan darah merah, tiada siapa yang mengingatinya....

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