Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Penang War Museum

The Penang War Museum is built on the remnants of an old British fort which defended Penang's coast from attack. It is located at Batu Maung and spotting it could be hard for first timer. It is located up the hill and if one plan to walk here from Batu Maung, it will be an arduous task

The museum is a memorial to those who died defending the country as well as aims to be educational centre about life in Penang during World War II. It features old war relics and depicts the lifestyle of soldiers in those times. Entrance fee is RM15 per person.

It is quite a leisure walk around here and visitor just need to follow the arrow signs to get to different points of the fortress.

I would recommend 2-3 hours here to fully appreciate what it has to offer. Situated on 20 acres of land, it is an integrated fortress constructed on what is now called Bukit Batu Maung.

The British Royal Engineers and a work force comprises of local labourers blasted and dug into the hill to create a fort with underground military tunnels, intelligence and logistic centre, halls, offices, ventilation shafts, canon firing bays, sleeping quarters, cook houses as well as medical infiirmary

This is a replica of a 6 inch breech loading gun originally installed here in 1941

The ammunition storage tunnel is 9 meters underground with robust stonewalls capable to withstand enemy fire

There are narrow tunnels inside the ammunition storage area worth venturing for the adventurous visitors. The tunnels are pretty dark and a handy torch light can useful here.

Upon arriving at the fortress well, I was amazed by the clear view of the Batu Maung fishing village and the Straits of Malacca. From here, one will also have a clear view of the second Penang bridge once completed.

Some of the structures in the fortress still remain intact as it was since 1930.

Visitors should look carefully where they are going as wild animals such as this monitor lizard is common sight around this area.

There are about 20 anti air-crafts pits which were built by the British across the hill. In placed are anti air-crafts with double barrel and a firing range of 14, 000 feet to protect the fort from Japanese air raid.

Some of the effect of Japanese bombing is still visible around the fortress.

This is basically the replica of General Tomoyuki Yamashita gallow. The General who was the commander of the 25th army Malaya and Singapore became an instant hero in Japan after the fall of Malaya. He was widely hailed as a genius and his swift campaign in Malaya as one of the most brilliant in military history.

With the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, General Yamashita led his army down the trail to surrender to U.S forces in Kiangan, northern Luzon. The General was put on trial in 1945 and found guilty and sentenced to hang on 23rd February 1946. Yamashita took his last 13 steps to the top of the gallows at Bataan, Philippines.

This guillotine is the place where a famous Japanese executioner by the name Suzuki beheaded P.O.Ws. Believing in Japanese ancient samurai tradition, after beheading the prisoner, Suzuki would dip the dripping blood from his sword into his wine bottle. The belief was captured people would not raised their arms against the Japanese Imperial Army

The barracks and quarters are sparsely furnished to replicate a soldier's lifestyle back in the early days.

I thought I saw a ghost when I saw this figure! It depicts the victim of sexual slavery by the Japanese troops during the invasion of Malaya.

Life in prison which shows the life of the P.O.Ws during the Japanese control of the fortress.

Some spooky figures on display. There are definitely some eerie atmosphere here.

I heard rumour that some parties want the fortress to be demolished in the name of development as Batu Maung is set to thrive with the Penang second bridge connection. Let's hope they are wise enough to realize this fortress is actually a national heritage.


I AM A BLOGGER said...

it is quite an opening experience on the history~~~

SJB aka SUELYN J-B. said...

Creepy place.

Johnny Ong said...

good to know more of our history but u really have to spend time there