Hong Kong, pre-1945
in Colonial naval culture and British imperialism, 1922–67
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The political, economic and strategic pressures of the interwar years forced serious discussion regarding Hong Kong's naval defence. The outbreak of war with Germany, followed by the occupation of the New Territories' border region by Japanese troops, increased local tensions and led to the partial mobilisation of the Hong Kong Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (HKRNVR). By drawing Hong Kong's Chinese sentimentally closer to Britain through celebration of the Navy, they might be turned away from sympathies across the border that could politically and socially threaten British colonial rule. For the naval authorities, it was 'unheard of for a commander to prejudice the safety of his ships to save two Chinese, however distinguished', and thus the Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) left the rendezvous point before Admiral Chan Chak had arrived, forcing the one-legged Admiral to catch up overland.


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