Hong Kong

Full Name 55 Crown Colony of Hong Kong
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power United Kingdom
Entry into WW2 8 Dec 1941
Population in 1939 1,500,000
Military Deaths in WW2 2,113


ww2dbaseIn 1842, at the end of the First Opium War, the Treaty of Nanking/Nanjing demanded the Qing Dynasty to cede the island in the Hong Kong inlet in southern China to the United Kingdom in perpetuity. The British established the Crown Colony of Hong Kong to administer this new colony, and the inlet was renamed Aberdeen Harbor. In Mar 1860, the British leased Kowloon Peninsula to the north of the island. In Oct of the same year, at the end of the short Second Opium War, the Treaty of Peking/Beijing forced Qing Dynasty to cede to the United Kingdom Kowloon, Hong Kong island, and Stonecutters island in perpetuity. In 1898, the Second Convention of Peking/Beijing, also known as the "Convention between the United Kingdom and China, Respecting an Extension of Hong Kong Territory", the territory later known as the "New Territories" was leased to the United Kingdom for 99 years. In the years immediately preceding the Pacific War, Hong Kong had a population of over 1,500,000. The Japanese invasion of Hong Kong began in the very first days of the Pacific War, and the campaign lasted little under three weeks. In the afternoon of 25 Dec 1941, Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Aitchison Young officially surrendered the colony to Japan; the battle saw the deaths of over 2,000 British and colonial troops, while about 4,000 civilians were killed during the fighting. With the Japanese in power, most of the healthcare facilities were converted to military hospitals, thus depriving the ordinary citizens adequate medical care. Food was severely rationed; in order to keep the need of food on a very low level, large numbers of ethnically Chinese residence of Hong Kong were deported to China, resulting to the population decreasing to merely 600,000 by the war's end. Mass media and education systems were taken over by the Japanese, and both of which were used in an effort to Japanize the population. Two of the largest armed resistance groups were the East River Force and the Hong Kong-Kowloon Brigade, which would merge into the larger Guangdong People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Force in Dec 1943. On 30 Aug 1945, after the Japanese surrender, a British battle squadron led by the aircraft carrier Indomitable entered Hong Kong to reoccupy the territory, and the Japanese officially surrendered on 16 Sep. Although US President Franklin Roosevelt had previously made promises that Hong Kong would be returned to the Republic of China, Britain would ultimately restore Hong Kong as a Crown Colony. When the 99-year lease came to an end in 1997, with Qing Dynasty long overthrown, the United Kingdom chose to return Hong Kong, in its entirely rather than just the New Territories, to communist China. Today, Hong Kong is ruled by communist China as a special administrative region.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Dec 2012

Events Taken Place in Hong Kong
Battle of Hong Kong8 Dec 1941 - 25 Dec 1941

Stanley Prison and St Stephen's CollegePrison Camp


Warships in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 9-14 Apr 1928; large warships, left to right: Japanese battleship Mutsu, Japanese light cruiser Tenryu, British carrier Hermes, and Japanese battleship FusoCruiser HMS Cumberland at Hong Kong, early 1930s.Ju 52 aircraft of Eurasia Aviation Corporation, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, at Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon Hong Kong, 1930sSwordfish aircraft at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, 1938
See all 69 photographs of Hong Kong in World War II

Hong Kong in World War II Interactive Map

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
18 Nov 2016 06:24:35 AM

The colony’s chief problem in time of war as in peace was over-population. To ascertain how many people needed to be fed and sheltered in air raids a census was taken in the early part of 1941 by 3,500 wardens. The results were: 709,294 people living on the island, 581,431 in Kowloon, and 154,000 in boats, a total of 1,444,725. There were just under 8,000 Britons exclusive of the garrison. No census was taken in the New Territories, where the estimated population was between 120,000 and 150,000.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites

Hong Kong in World War II Photo Gallery
Warships in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 9-14 Apr 1928; large warships, left to right: Japanese battleship Mutsu, Japanese light cruiser Tenryu, British carrier Hermes, and Japanese battleship Fuso
See all 69 photographs of Hong Kong in World War II

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!