2/15th Punjabis: Defenders of Sarawak

The defence plan for British Borneo, which had been devised in Singapore, was not afforded a high priority in terms of resources.' Initially an infantry brigade was laid down as the minimum requirement for a successful defence, but finally this formation was reduced to one battalion with a few supporting engineers and artillerymen.' It was decided not to defend North Borneo but to prepare a static defence around Kuching and its airfield in southwestern Sarawak.' The Brunei and Miri oilfields were to be demolished before an enemy landing could seize them intact.' Although Labuan Island was an important cable and wireless station, no attempt was made to defend it. The photograph shows Officers of the 2/15th Punjab Regiment prior to the outbreak of war.



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by Stephen Luscombe