The Kelantan Times

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December 7, 1941: 71 years ago..

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Dec 7, 1941, nearly 71 years ago, 11.45 PM local time, The British defence troops on the Badang and Sabak beaches reported ships anchoring about 1 and a half miles from the coast. The Japanese convoy of ships consisted of three large transport (Awajisan Maru, Ayatosan Maru, Sakura Maru) escorted by five Sendai Light Cruisers and squadron of destroyers (isonomi, Uranami, Shikinami and Ayanami). The army was from  the 56th Infantry Regiment of the 18th Division  of 25th Army under the Command of Major General Hiroshi Takumi. Shortly afterwards, the beaches artillery opened fire and was replied by the Japanese. This event indicated that the war had begun in Kelantan. In conjunction with 71st anniversary of the Japanese troops landing in Kota Bharu,

 

I will highlight about some historical artifacts found in Kelantan, Kota Bharu in particular. Pillboxes were built by the British Army in 1939/1940 as barricades during World War II.  For this purpose, these pillboxes were constructed along the coast that is from Tumpat, Kelantan to Kuala Besut, Terengganu. Apart from the coastal areas, such construction are also found at other strategic places such as the Kelantan riverside and near the airport of Kota Bharu. A Pillbox is made by of concrete cement that could accommodate 9-12 soldiers. Each box has a narrow hole at every corner which is meant for observing and shooting enemies with guns. At present, there are 25 pillboxes discovered, but most of them are sunken due to the coastal erosion throughout each year.

Map of Kota Bharu.

Map of the coastal of Kota Bharu.

The landing assault of the Takumi Detachment at Kota Bharu coastal.

The landing assault of the Takumi Detachment at Kota Bharu coastal.

LEFT SECTOR OF KELANTAN BEACH DEFENSE.
1) Jubakar Pantai, Tumpat.

a pillbox at Jubakar Pantai, Tumpat.

a pillbox at Jubakar Pantai, Tumpat.

neglected in a bush.

Neglected in a bush.

2) Pengkalan Chepa.

Well-protected pillbox.

Well-protected pillbox in town.

...

The 1st Hyderabad Indian State Forces defended the Kota Bharu airfield in Kelantan. This pillbox is located near a junction at Pengkalan Chepa road near the airport. A pillbox located beside the main runway of the Kota Bharu airport.

CENTRAL SECTOR OF KELANTAN BEACH DEFENSE.
3) Jalan Post Office Lama, Kota Bharu.

Located behind Pelangi Mall.

Located behind Pelangi Mall,  The left sector of the 8th Indian Brigade is on the left bank of the Kelantan River.The beach defense in this sector was manned by the 2/12th Frontier Force Rifles. There is one pillbox left on this sector at Jubakar, Tumpat near the Thai border.

 

Still protected despite in the middle of construction.

Still protected despite in the middle of construction. 

4)  Pulau Kundor, Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

Hidden in a remote area.

Hidden in a remote area.  It covered the Kota Bharu beach near the airfield and was defended by the 3/17th Dogra Regiment.

 

Located 200 meters from the sea.

Located 200 meters from the sea.

RIGHT SECTOR OF KELANTAN BEACH DEFENSE.
5) Kampung Perupok, Bachok.

The right sector of the Kelantan beach defence was from Bachok beach to Kuala Besut on the Terengganu border.

The right sector of the Kelantan beach defence was from Bachok beach to Kuala Besut on the Terengganu border.

 

The 2/10th Baluchistan Regt defended this sector which covered the beach near Gong Kedak airfield.

The 2/10th Baluchistan Regiment defended this sector which covered the beach near Gong Kedak airfield.

 

This is a result of constant coastal erosion.

This is a result of constant coastal erosion.

6) Pantai Kuala Belongan, Bachok.

..

It’s all about time to be sunken.

 

There used to be a large number of pill boxes along the state’s coastline, but many have succumbed to the forces of nature and erosion.

There used to be a large number of pill boxes along the state’s coastline, but many have succumbed to the forces of nature and erosion.

7) Pantai Melawi, Bachok.

...

Still in good condition.

 

...

However, most of these pillboxes are either left to the mercy of nature or otherwise occupied by unthinkable guests like a mini poultry farm strewn with rubbish and bushes.

8) Pantai Kuala Rekang, Bachok.

...

This pillbox is located far inside thus preventing it from sea erosion.

 

...

200 meters from the sea.

9) Pantai, Kuala Ger, Bachok.

 

...

This is the last pillbox found along the coastal from right sector near Tok Bali.

 

...

The survivor of time, 71 years-old pillbox. 

 

View from the village to the sea.

View from the village to the sea.

Time Tunnel.

70 years ago.

70 years ago.

 

and now...

and now…

THE REPLICA.

 A replica of the pill box can be seen at the War Museum in Kota Bharu.

A replica of the pill box can be seen at the War Museum in Kota Bharu. This particular model is found along the coast of Pantai Sabak.

 

Written by Muhammad Ismail Ibrahim

December 7, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Posted in History

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