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Six of the United Kingdom battalions in the 54th and 55th Brigades of the 18th Division had only just landed in Malaya, and the other seven battalions were under-manned.

Of the Australian battalions, three had drawn heavily upon recently-arrived, practically-untrained recruits. The Malay battalions had not been in action, and the Straits Settlements Volunteers were only sketchily trained.

Further, losses on the mainland had resulted in a general shortage of equipment. Percival gave Major-General Gordon Bennett 's two brigades from the Australian 8th Division responsibility for the western side of Singapore, including the prime invasion points in the northwest of the island.

This was mostly mangrove swamp and jungle, broken by rivers and creeks. Key with reinforcements from the 8th Indian Brigade, [51] and the British 18th Division—was assigned the north-eastern sector, known as the "Northern Area".

From 3 February, the Allies were shelled by Japanese artillery, and air attacks on Singapore intensified over the next five days. The artillery and air bombardment strengthened, severely disrupting communications between Allied units and their commanders and affecting preparations for the defence of the island.

Yamashita and his officers stationed themselves at Istana Bukit Serene and the Johor state secretariat building—the Sultan Ibrahim Building —to plan for the invasion of Singapore.

Yamashita's prediction was correct; despite being observed by Australian artillery, permission to engage the palace was denied by their commanding general, Bennett.

It is a commonly repeated misconception that Singapore's famous large-calibre coastal guns were ineffective against the Japanese because they were designed to face south to defend the harbour against naval attack and could not be turned round to face north.

In fact, most of the guns could be turned, and were indeed fired at the invaders. AP shells were designed to penetrate the hulls of heavily armoured warships and were mostly ineffective against infantry targets.

Percival incorrectly guessed that the Japanese would land forces on the north-east side of Singapore, ignoring advice that the north-west was a more likely direction of attack where the Straits of Johor were the narrowest and a series of river mouths provided cover for the launching of water craft.

To compound matters, Percival had ordered the Australians to defend forward so as to cover the waterway, yet this meant they were immediately fully committed to any fighting, limiting their flexibility, whilst also reducing their defensive depth.

Meanwhile, of those forces that had seen action during the previous fighting, the majority were under-strength and under-equipped.

In the days leading up to the Japanese attack, patrols from the Australian 22nd Brigade were sent across the strait to Johor at night to gather intelligence.

Three small patrols were sent on the evening of 6 February; one was spotted and withdrew after its leader was killed and their boat sunk, while two others managed to get ashore.

Over the course of a day, they found large concentrations of troops, although they were unable to locate any landing craft.

Blowing up the causeway had delayed the Japanese attack for over a week. Prior to the main assault, the Australians were subjected to an intense artillery bombardment.

Over a period of 15 hours, [62] starting at on 8 February , Yamashita's heavy guns laid down a barrage of 88, shells rounds per tube [4] along the entire length of the straits, cutting telephone lines and effectively isolating forward units from rear areas.

Shortly before on 8 February, the first wave of Japanese troops from the 5th and 18th Divisions began crossing the Johor Strait.

The main weight of the Japanese force, representing a total of about 13, men across 16 assault battalions, with five in reserve, was focused on assaulting Taylor's Australian 22nd Brigade, which totalled just three battalions.

In total, 13, Japanese troops landed throughout the first night; they were followed by another 10, after first light.

Spotlights had been sited by a British unit on the beaches to enable the Australians to clearly see any attacking forces on the water in front of them, but many had been damaged by the earlier bombardment and no order was made to turn the others on.

Fierce fighting raged throughout the evening, but due to the terrain and the darkness, the Japanese were able to disperse into the undergrowth; in many situations, they were able to either surround and destroy pockets of Australian resistance, or bypass them entirely, exploiting gaps in the thinly spread Allied lines due to the many rivers and creeks in the area.

Over the course of two hours, the three Australian battalions that had been engaged sought to regroup, moving back east from the coast towards the centre of the island.

Despite being in contact with the enemy, this was completed mainly in good order. Meanwhile, bypassed elements attempted to break out and fall back to the Tengah airfield to rejoin their units and in doing so received heavy casualties.

The aerial campaign for Singapore began at the outset of the invasion of Malaya. The bombers struck the city centre as well as the Sembawang Naval Base and the island's northern airfields.

After this first raid, throughout the rest of December, there were a number of false alerts and several infrequent and sporadic hit-and-run attacks on outlying military installations such as the Naval Base, but no actual raids on Singapore City.

The situation had become so desperate that one British soldier took to the middle of a road to fire his Vickers machine gun at any aircraft that passed.

He could only say: "The bloody bastards will never think of looking for me in the open, and I want to see a bloody plane brought down.

The next recorded raid on the city occurred on the night of 29 December, and nightly raids ensued for over a week, only to be accompanied by daylight raids from 12 January onward.

During the month of December, a total of 51 Hawker Hurricane Mk II fighters were sent to Singapore, with 24 pilots, the nuclei of five squadrons.

They arrived on 3 January , by which stage the Brewster Buffalo squadrons had been overwhelmed. However, like the Buffalos before them, the Hurricanes began to suffer severe losses in intense dogfights.

However, many of the Hurricanes were subsequently destroyed on the ground by air raids. By the time of the invasion, only ten Hawker Hurricane fighters of No.

RAF Kallang was the only operational airstrip left; [87] the surviving squadrons and aircraft had withdrawn by January to reinforce the Dutch East Indies.

On the morning of 9 February, a series of aerial dogfights took place over Sarimbun Beach and other western areas.

In the first encounter, the last ten Hurricanes were scrambled from Kallang Airfield to intercept a Japanese formation of about 84 planes, flying from Johor to provide air cover for their invasion force.

Air battles went on for the rest of the day, and by nightfall it was clear that with the few aircraft Percival had left, Kallang could no longer be used as a base.

With his assent, the remaining flyable Hurricanes were withdrawn to Sumatra. By this time, Kallang Airfield was so pitted with bomb craters that it was no longer usable.

Believing that further landings would occur in the northeast, Percival did not reinforce the 22nd Brigade until the morning of 9 February; when he did, the forces dispatched consisted of two half-strength battalions from the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade.

Bennett decided to form a secondary defensive line, known as the "Kranji-Jurong Switch Line", oriented to the west, and positioned between the two rivers, with its centre around Bulim, east of Tengah Airfield—which subsequently came under Japanese control—and just north of Jurong.

To the north, Maxwell's Australian 27th Brigade had not been engaged during the initial Japanese assaults on the first day. During the initial assault, the Japanese suffered severe casualties from Australian mortars and machine guns, and from burning oil which had been sluiced into the water following the demolition of several oil tanks by the defending Australians.

This request was denied by the Japanese commander, Yamashita, who ordered them to press on. Command and control problems caused further cracks in the Allied defence.

Maxwell was aware that the 22nd Brigade was under increasing pressure, but was unable to contact Taylor and was wary of encirclement. In doing so, the high ground overlooking the causeway was given up, and the left flank of the 11th Indian Division exposed.

The opening at Kranji made it possible for Imperial Guards armoured units to land there unopposed, [] after which they were able to begin ferrying across their artillery and armour.

The Jurong Line eventually collapsed, though, after the 12th Indian Brigade was withdrawn by its commander, Brigadier Archie Paris, to the road junction near Bukit Panjang, after he lost contact with the 27th Brigade on his right; the commander of the 44th Indian Brigade, Ballantine, commanding the extreme left of the line, also misinterpreted the orders in the same manner that Taylor had and withdrew.

I think you ought to realise the way we view the situation in Singapore. It is doubtful whether the Japanese have as many in the whole Malay Peninsula In these circumstances the defenders must greatly outnumber Japanese forces who have crossed the straits, and in a well-contested battle they should destroy them.

There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The battle must be fought to the bitter end at all costs.

The 18th Division has a chance to make its name in history. Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops. The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake.

I rely on you to show no mercy to weakness in any form. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon , the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved.

It is expected that every unit will be brought into close contact with the enemy and fight it out. Upon learning of the Jurong Line's collapse, Wavell, in the early afternoon of 10 February, ordered Percival to launch a counterattack to retake it.

Percival made plans of his own for the counterattack, detailing a three-phased operation that involved the majority of the 22nd Brigade, and he subsequently passed this on to Bennett, who began implementing the plan, but forgot to call 'X' Battalion back.

There, they fell upon 'X' Battalion, which had camped in its assembly area while waiting to launch its own attack, and in the ensuing fight two-thirds of the battalion was killed or wounded.

Later on 11 February, with Japanese supplies running low, Yamashita attempted to bluff Percival, calling on him to "give up this meaningless and desperate resistance".

This was achieved by moving the defending forces from the beaches along the northern shore and from around Changi, with the British 18th Division being tasked to maintain control of the vital reservoirs and effecting a link up with Simmons' Southern Area forces.

On 13 February, Japanese engineers re-established the road over the causeway, and more tanks were pushed across. Percival refused, but unsuccessfully sought authority from Wavell for greater discretion as to when resistance might cease.

He had been arrested on 10 December and court-martialled in January. Heenan was shot at Keppel Harbour , on the southern side of Singapore, and his body was thrown into the sea.

The Australians occupied a perimeter of their own to the north-west around Tanglin Barracks, in which they maintained an all round defensive posture as a precaution to Japanese penetration of the larger perimeter elsewhere.

They dug in and throughout the night fierce fighting raged on the northern front. The following day, the remaining Allied units fought on.

Civilian casualties mounted as one million people [] crowded into the 3-mile 4. Civilian authorities began to fear that the water supply would give out.

At this time, Percival was advised that large amounts of water were being lost due to damaged pipes and that the water supply was on the verge of collapse.

On 14 February , the Japanese renewed their assault on the western part of the Southern Area's defences, around the same area that the 1st Malayan Brigade had fought desperately to hold the previous day.

A British lieutenant—acting as an envoy with a white flag—approached Japanese forces but was killed with a bayonet. Doctors and nurses were also killed.

Those who fell on the way were bayoneted. The men were forced into a series of small, badly ventilated rooms where they were held overnight without water.

Some died during the night as a result of their treatment. One survivor, Private Arthur Haines from the Wiltshire Regiment , wrote a four-page account of the massacre that was sold by his daughter by private auction in Nevertheless, the military supply situation was rapidly deteriorating.

The water system was badly damaged and continued supply was uncertain, rations were running low, petrol for military vehicles was all but exhausted, and there were few rounds left for the field artillery.

The anti-aircraft guns were almost out of ammunition, [] and were unable to disrupt Japanese air attacks, which were causing heavy casualties in the city centre.

Little work had been done to build air raid shelters, and looting and desertion by Allied troops further added to the chaos in this area.

He proposed two options: either launch an immediate counter-attack to regain the reservoirs and the military food depots in the Bukit Timah region, or surrender.

After heated argument and recrimination, all present agreed that no counterattack was possible. Percival opted for surrender.

The Japanese were at the limit of their supply line, and their artillery had just a few hours of ammunition left. A deputation was selected to go to the Japanese headquarters.

It consisted of a senior staff officer, the colonial secretary and an interpreter. They set off in a motor car bearing a Union Jack and a white flag of truce toward the enemy lines to discuss a cessation of hostilities.

Under the terms of the surrender, hostilities were to cease at that evening, all military forces in Singapore were to surrender unconditionally, all Allied forces would remain in position and disarm themselves within an hour, and the British were allowed to maintain a force of 1, armed men to prevent looting until relieved by the Japanese.

In addition, Yamashita also accepted full responsibility for the lives of the civilians in the city. In the days following the surrender, Bennett caused controversy when he decided to escape.

After receiving news of the surrender, Bennett handed command of the 8th Division to the divisional artillery commander, Brigadier Cecil Callaghan , and—along with some of his staff officers—commandeered a small boat.

Thyer and C. Kappe, concedes that at most only two-thirds of the available Australian troops manned the final perimeter. In analysing the campaign, Clifford Kinvig, a senior lecturer at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, points the finger of blame at the commander of the 27th Brigade, Brigadier Duncan Maxwell, for his defeatist attitude [] and not properly defending the sector between the Causeway and the Kranji River.

A classified wartime report by Wavell released in blamed the Australians for the loss of Singapore. Allied losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85, personnel captured, in addition to losses during the earlier fighting in Malaya.

Throughout the entire day campaign in Malaya and Singapore, total Allied casualties amounted to 8, killed or wounded and , captured, while Japanese losses during this period amounted to 9, battle casualties.

While impressed with Japan's quick succession of victories, Adolf Hitler reportedly had mixed views regarding Singapore's fall, seeing it as a setback for the "white race", but ultimately something that currently was in Germany's military interests.

Hitler reportedly forbade Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop from issuing a congratulatory communique.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the fall of Singapore to the Japanese "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history".

The fall of Singapore on February 15 stupefied the Prime Minister. How came , men half of them of our own race to hold up their hands to inferior numbers of Japanese?

Though his mind had been gradually prepared for its fall, the surrender of the fortress stunned him. He felt it was a disgrace. It left a scar on his mind.

One evening, months later, when he was sitting in his bathroom enveloped in a towel, he stopped drying himself and gloomily surveyed the floor: 'I cannot get over Singapore', he said sadly.

The Japanese occupation of Singapore started after the British surrender. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war.

The residents would suffer great hardships under Japanese rule over the following three and a half years. Many died in captivity.

Thousands of others were shipped out on prisoner transports known as " hell ships " to other parts of Asia, including Japan, to be used as forced labour on projects such as the Siam—Burma Death Railway and Sandakan airfield in North Borneo.

Many of those aboard the ships perished. In February , from a total of about 40, Indian personnel in Singapore, about 30, joined the INA, of which about 7, fought Allied forces in the Burma Campaign as well as in the northeast Indian regions of Kohima and Imphal.

Many of them suffered severe hardships and brutality similar to that experienced by other prisoners of Japan during the war.

About 6, survived until they were liberated by Australian and US forces in — as the war in the Pacific turned in favour of the Allies. British forces had planned to liberate Singapore in However, the war ended before these operations could be carried out.

It was subsequently re-occupied by British, Indian, and Australian forces following the Japanese surrender in September.

He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. World War II battle; decisive Japanese victory.

It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. Japanese offensives, — Pacific War. Battle of Singapore. Main article: Singapore strategy.

See also: Second Sino-Japanese War. Main article: Malayan Campaign. Part of a series on the. Early history pre British colonial era — Founding — Straits Settlements — Crown colony — Japanese Occupation — Battle of Singapore Sook Ching Post-war period — Internal self-government — Hock Lee bus riots Merger with Malaysia — Republic of Singapore —present.

By topic. Timeline Riots. Main article: Battle of Sarimbun Beach. Main article: Battle of Kranji. I had 30, men and was outnumbered more than three to one.

I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once.

I was very frightened all the time that the British would discover our numerical weakness and lack of supplies and force me into disastrous street fighting.

See also: British Military Hospital, Singapore. Murnane for a discussion of his role as the Singapore Municipal Water Engineer in assessing the condition of the water supply.

He admitted that towards the end it was all but impossible to return men to their units Callaghan recommended that on any clash Percival's report be accepted as more reliable Regarding the many reports of Australians hiding in town or trying to escape, Callaghan bluntly admitted "there is a certain amount of truth in both these statements This temporary lapse of the Australian on the island and the criticism it has invoked has caused me a lot of uneasiness".

He was utterly, utterly, you know, shell-shocked and not able to do very much. Total Australian casualties included 1, killed and 1, wounded. Australian War Memorial.

Retrieved 3 May Archived from the original on 19 November Retrieved 7 December Australia-Japan Research Project.

Archived from the original on 2 July Retrieved 8 May The London Gazette Supplement. Four Corners Special: No Prisoners.

Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 5 March Archived from the original on 18 October The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 May Retrieved 6 May Retrieved 4 May World History Group.

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Read more. Book online. There, they fell upon 'X' Battalion, which had camped in its assembly area while waiting to launch its own attack, and in the ensuing fight two-thirds of the battalion was killed or wounded.

Later on 11 February, with Japanese supplies running low, Yamashita attempted to bluff Percival, calling on him to "give up this meaningless and desperate resistance".

This was achieved by moving the defending forces from the beaches along the northern shore and from around Changi, with the British 18th Division being tasked to maintain control of the vital reservoirs and effecting a link up with Simmons' Southern Area forces.

On 13 February, Japanese engineers re-established the road over the causeway, and more tanks were pushed across.

Percival refused, but unsuccessfully sought authority from Wavell for greater discretion as to when resistance might cease.

He had been arrested on 10 December and court-martialled in January. Heenan was shot at Keppel Harbour , on the southern side of Singapore, and his body was thrown into the sea.

The Australians occupied a perimeter of their own to the north-west around Tanglin Barracks, in which they maintained an all round defensive posture as a precaution to Japanese penetration of the larger perimeter elsewhere.

They dug in and throughout the night fierce fighting raged on the northern front. The following day, the remaining Allied units fought on. Civilian casualties mounted as one million people [] crowded into the 3-mile 4.

Civilian authorities began to fear that the water supply would give out. At this time, Percival was advised that large amounts of water were being lost due to damaged pipes and that the water supply was on the verge of collapse.

On 14 February , the Japanese renewed their assault on the western part of the Southern Area's defences, around the same area that the 1st Malayan Brigade had fought desperately to hold the previous day.

A British lieutenant—acting as an envoy with a white flag—approached Japanese forces but was killed with a bayonet. Doctors and nurses were also killed.

Those who fell on the way were bayoneted. The men were forced into a series of small, badly ventilated rooms where they were held overnight without water.

Some died during the night as a result of their treatment. One survivor, Private Arthur Haines from the Wiltshire Regiment , wrote a four-page account of the massacre that was sold by his daughter by private auction in Nevertheless, the military supply situation was rapidly deteriorating.

The water system was badly damaged and continued supply was uncertain, rations were running low, petrol for military vehicles was all but exhausted, and there were few rounds left for the field artillery.

The anti-aircraft guns were almost out of ammunition, [] and were unable to disrupt Japanese air attacks, which were causing heavy casualties in the city centre.

Little work had been done to build air raid shelters, and looting and desertion by Allied troops further added to the chaos in this area.

He proposed two options: either launch an immediate counter-attack to regain the reservoirs and the military food depots in the Bukit Timah region, or surrender.

After heated argument and recrimination, all present agreed that no counterattack was possible. Percival opted for surrender.

The Japanese were at the limit of their supply line, and their artillery had just a few hours of ammunition left. A deputation was selected to go to the Japanese headquarters.

It consisted of a senior staff officer, the colonial secretary and an interpreter. They set off in a motor car bearing a Union Jack and a white flag of truce toward the enemy lines to discuss a cessation of hostilities.

Under the terms of the surrender, hostilities were to cease at that evening, all military forces in Singapore were to surrender unconditionally, all Allied forces would remain in position and disarm themselves within an hour, and the British were allowed to maintain a force of 1, armed men to prevent looting until relieved by the Japanese.

In addition, Yamashita also accepted full responsibility for the lives of the civilians in the city. In the days following the surrender, Bennett caused controversy when he decided to escape.

After receiving news of the surrender, Bennett handed command of the 8th Division to the divisional artillery commander, Brigadier Cecil Callaghan , and—along with some of his staff officers—commandeered a small boat.

Thyer and C. Kappe, concedes that at most only two-thirds of the available Australian troops manned the final perimeter.

In analysing the campaign, Clifford Kinvig, a senior lecturer at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, points the finger of blame at the commander of the 27th Brigade, Brigadier Duncan Maxwell, for his defeatist attitude [] and not properly defending the sector between the Causeway and the Kranji River.

A classified wartime report by Wavell released in blamed the Australians for the loss of Singapore. Allied losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85, personnel captured, in addition to losses during the earlier fighting in Malaya.

Throughout the entire day campaign in Malaya and Singapore, total Allied casualties amounted to 8, killed or wounded and , captured, while Japanese losses during this period amounted to 9, battle casualties.

While impressed with Japan's quick succession of victories, Adolf Hitler reportedly had mixed views regarding Singapore's fall, seeing it as a setback for the "white race", but ultimately something that currently was in Germany's military interests.

Hitler reportedly forbade Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop from issuing a congratulatory communique. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the fall of Singapore to the Japanese "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history".

The fall of Singapore on February 15 stupefied the Prime Minister. How came , men half of them of our own race to hold up their hands to inferior numbers of Japanese?

Though his mind had been gradually prepared for its fall, the surrender of the fortress stunned him. He felt it was a disgrace.

It left a scar on his mind. One evening, months later, when he was sitting in his bathroom enveloped in a towel, he stopped drying himself and gloomily surveyed the floor: 'I cannot get over Singapore', he said sadly.

The Japanese occupation of Singapore started after the British surrender. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war.

The residents would suffer great hardships under Japanese rule over the following three and a half years. Many died in captivity.

Thousands of others were shipped out on prisoner transports known as " hell ships " to other parts of Asia, including Japan, to be used as forced labour on projects such as the Siam—Burma Death Railway and Sandakan airfield in North Borneo.

Many of those aboard the ships perished. In February , from a total of about 40, Indian personnel in Singapore, about 30, joined the INA, of which about 7, fought Allied forces in the Burma Campaign as well as in the northeast Indian regions of Kohima and Imphal.

Many of them suffered severe hardships and brutality similar to that experienced by other prisoners of Japan during the war.

About 6, survived until they were liberated by Australian and US forces in — as the war in the Pacific turned in favour of the Allies.

British forces had planned to liberate Singapore in However, the war ended before these operations could be carried out.

It was subsequently re-occupied by British, Indian, and Australian forces following the Japanese surrender in September. He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

World War II battle; decisive Japanese victory. It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. Japanese offensives, — Pacific War.

Battle of Singapore. Main article: Singapore strategy. See also: Second Sino-Japanese War. Main article: Malayan Campaign. Part of a series on the. Early history pre British colonial era — Founding — Straits Settlements — Crown colony — Japanese Occupation — Battle of Singapore Sook Ching Post-war period — Internal self-government — Hock Lee bus riots Merger with Malaysia — Republic of Singapore —present.

By topic. Timeline Riots. Main article: Battle of Sarimbun Beach. Main article: Battle of Kranji. I had 30, men and was outnumbered more than three to one.

I knew that if I had to fight for long for Singapore, I would be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once. I was very frightened all the time that the British would discover our numerical weakness and lack of supplies and force me into disastrous street fighting.

See also: British Military Hospital, Singapore. Murnane for a discussion of his role as the Singapore Municipal Water Engineer in assessing the condition of the water supply.

He admitted that towards the end it was all but impossible to return men to their units Callaghan recommended that on any clash Percival's report be accepted as more reliable Regarding the many reports of Australians hiding in town or trying to escape, Callaghan bluntly admitted "there is a certain amount of truth in both these statements This temporary lapse of the Australian on the island and the criticism it has invoked has caused me a lot of uneasiness".

He was utterly, utterly, you know, shell-shocked and not able to do very much. Total Australian casualties included 1, killed and 1, wounded.

Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 3 May Archived from the original on 19 November Retrieved 7 December Australia-Japan Research Project.

Archived from the original on 2 July Retrieved 8 May The London Gazette Supplement. Four Corners Special: No Prisoners. Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Retrieved 5 March Archived from the original on 18 October The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 May Retrieved 6 May Retrieved 4 May World History Group.

Archived from the original on 12 May Archived from the original on 23 June Retrieved 13 January Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 15 February Abshire, Jean The History of Singapore.

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