Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a country and a city-state located in Southeast Asia sharing maritime borders with Malaysia and Indonesia. It is one of the most progressive states in the region.
Prior to colonization, what consists of Singapore was a tiny island surrounded by deep waters. It was during the Colonization Era that the British colonized Singapore. The colony was a strategic location for ships traveling from Southeast Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe during the 1800s. It earned the nickname "The Gibraltar of the East."
During World War II, Singapore was invaded on February 8, 1942 by land by Japanese forces coming from Malaya. The British initially thought the Japanese invasion would come from the sea. The British forces surrendered on February 15, 1942. Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared the loss of Singapore the worst British military disaster in history. The Japanese would occupy the settlement up until its liberation by the British in 1945.
Following the war, Singapore was a poor backwater nation. In 1963, the Federation of Malaya became independent from the United Kingdom. Singapore was expelled form the federation in 1965 and became independent on their own. By the 1970s and the 1980s, Singapore became wealthier than its neighbors due to the strict policies of Lee Kwan Yew, the first prime minister. It became one of the Asian Tigers of the period alongside Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.
Singapore During World War III
Being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Singapore supported the United Kingdom and her allies against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. While the nation was not directly involved in combat, it nonetheless opened its seaports and airport for Australian, American, British, Canadian, and Indian naval vessels and planes fighting in the Asian Front. Singapore's Changi Airport was used to ferry troops to Korea and Hong Kong. The Singapore Armed Forces were mobilized just in case of an indirect attack from the USSR or the People's Republic of China. It was the largest mobilization of its armed forces in Singapore's history.
The country saw a great amount of investment after World War III, resulting in a large economic growth greater than before. The country currently supports the United States in it's international campaign against the World Revolution Army, opening it's harbors to allied ships. It is still the richest country among the ASEAN member states. On August 9, 2015, the country celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence from Malaysia.
Singapore is an economic hub in Southeast Asia. The city-state attracts several foreign investors. Part of its booming economy is attributed to the Port of Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the world. It has invested in transport and technology, primarily from Europe and Japan. Tourism also plays a big role in Singapore's GDP.
The Singapore Armed Forces is responsible for the defense of the city state. The Singaporean military is arguably the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia. It comprises the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy, and Republic of Singapore Air Force.
It has a personnel of 80,000 troops and over a million in reserve. Service in the military is mandatory for males age 18.
Singapore operates a mix of American, British, Australian, Israeli and local technology, an example is the standard issue SAR-21 bullpup assault rifle and the Ultimax 100 machine gun. One of the most advanced aircraft the Air Force operates is the F-15 and the F-16. The navy has mainly operated Formidable-class frigates, one of the most advanced in Southeast Asia.
Singapore is a mix of Western and Asian cultures. Its Western culture is a heritage of its time as a British colony in the Far East. Asian cultures include Chinese, Indian, and Malay customs. This can be seen in its diverse religion such as Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islamic faiths.