American writer rewrites Lieutenant Adnan’s battle of Bukit Chandu as badass story
Not the kind of stuff you'll see in a textbook.
The battle at Bukit Chandu was one of the last great battles of the Japanese invasion that took place in Singapore on Feb. 14, 1942.
Leading the soldiers of the Malay Regiment was Lieutenant Adnan bin Saidi, a man known for his immense leadership qualities and bravery.
If you don’t already know the story, this is a brief summary of what happened.
The battle of Bukit Chandu
The first Japanese troops landed in Singapore via the northwestern coastline on Feb. 8 and advanced toward Bukit Timah and Pasir Panjang.
On Feb. 14, Japanese troops were spotted advancing uphill on Bukit Chandu, disguised as Punjabi soldiers of the British Indian Army.
Adnan saw through the ploy, and ordered his men to open fire.
However, this was met with an all-out attack by the Japanese.
The Malay regiment was severely outnumbered and undersupplied, but Adnan was able to motivate his troops to put up a fierce resistance, even resorting to hand-to-hand combat when their ammunition ran out.
At the end of the battle, Adnan and the other surviving troops refused to surrender.
Incensed by this move, the Japanese hung them upside down from a tree and stabbed them to death.
The battle, as told by an American writer
The story of Lieutenant Adnan and his men is a familiar tale recounted in Singapore’s history textbooks.
However, website Badass of the Week tells the story of Adnan in a very refreshing way compared to what we have been used to.
The site is home to stories about badasses all over the world throughout history. It is run by an American writer called Ben Thompson.
In an entry completely dedicated to Singapore’s very own war hero Adnan bin Saidi, Thompson describes the battle at Bukit Chandu by furnishing the story with swear words and interesting imagery.
This is what he wrote about the men being outnumbered in battle:
“Armed with little more than their crappy service rifles, the Malay troops valiantly tried to fight off the Japanese onslaught, but it’s kind of difficult to fight back when the enemy has more soldiers than you have bullets. Eventually the tide of Imperial troops broke through the Malaysian ranks and the two forces fell into brutal hand-to-hand combat, whacking at each other with rifle butts, brass knuckles and ten-speed bicycle chains.”
He also wrote about Adnan seeing through the Punjabi soldiers disguise, and how the Japanese responded to it in a “full-scale balls-out human wave ‘Bonzai’ attack”:
“Now the Japanese commanders were really pissed. They eventually just decided to say, “look, f*** strategy – we have several thousand motherf***ers here and they’ve got like forty dudes, two machine guns, and a couple mortars up on that hill. Let’s just swarm them until they are all dead.”
A mere two hours after the fake Punjabis got their asses handed to them, Imperial Stormtroopers and AT-STs launched a full-scale balls-out human wave ‘Bonzai’ attack, rushing up the mountain like an endless sea of wealthy nerds charging after the last Nintendo Wii in the tri-state area.”
The Japanese eventually annihilated the entire unit. When Adnan refused to surrender, Thompson wrote about the Japanese hanging him upside-down and stabbing him to death:
“As the smoke was clearing on the battleground, the Japanese soldiers came across the severely wounded body of Lieutenant Adnan and immediately recognized him as the “short berserker who had personally killed dozens of Japanese”. They beat him up, hung him feet-first from a tree and bayoneted him to death like a medieval piñata at a f***ed-up Spanish Inquisition birthday party. “
Even after his death, the Japanese hunted his family members down:
“Adnan bin Saidi had kicked so much ass in the battle and pissed off the Japanese so hard that after they occupied Singapore, Japan’s secret police attempted to hunt down and execute Saidi’s entire family. Now that’s hardcore – when you’re so f***ing badass and you whip your enemies’ balls so hard that your death isn’t even enough to satisfy their thirst for vengeance. ‘”
For fear of being killed by the Japanese, it was reported that none of his family members dared to keep his belongings.
And in Thompson’s words:
“Luckily, the Japanese gendarmes never found Adnan’s relatives, and in the end the Lieutenant got the last “f*** you” – his relatives survived, and Japan was eventually ousted from Singapore by Allied forces in 1945.”
You can read the full entry on Adnan here.
Top photo adapted from NAS