Smugglers’ Ridge is situated in Kam Shan Country Park, near which many relics from the Second World War have been preserved. Built in the 1930s, this 18-km War Relics Trail formed part of a defence line, known as the Gin Drinkers Line. Many reinforced concrete structures were built along the trail for military defence. They were intended to hold back the Japanese army before the supporting fleet arrived.
An important defence point that must be mentioned is the Shing Mun Redoubt, located on the north end of Smugglers’ Ridge. It consists of an artillery observation post, pillboxes, firing trenches, and a network of tunnels named after the streets of London. Included in the redoubt is the name Wakabayashi Toichi, a commander of the Japanese army who led the invasion of the redoubt. After the attack, the phrase “Captured by Wakabayashi’s unit” was carved on the wall of one of the tunnels.
Given the loose defence and a serious shortage of soldiers on the front line, it only took the Japanese army a few hours to capture the redoubt. The loss of the redoubt had a significant impact on the Battle of Hong Kong.
The project is supported by Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.
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