Singapore Pillbox Series – Pasir Panjang

World War II concrete pillboxes built along Singapore’s eastern and southern coasts were part of the british beach defence. These pillboxes had machines guns installed that could fire in any direction. Positioned at strategic intervals, pillboxes were mounted with machine-gunners to repel amphibious attacks and defend the surrounding terrain. Their fields of fire would overlap and so complemented other defences along the entire coastline. They were spaced about 500 metres apart so the coast must have been dotted with them, however only a few still stand.

The machine gun pillbox at Pasir Panjang is one of the few that has survived to the present day. It’s located at the corner of Pasir Panjang Road and Science Park Road. There’s an information plaque out front but the pillbox is locked so you can’t go inside. This machine-gun pillbox lay within the World War II defence sector of the 1st Malaya Brigade. It was likely used by the Malay Regiment in February 1942 during the fierce defence of the Pasir Panjang Ridge against the onslaught of the advancing troops of the Japanese 18th Division.

Just below the firing slit is a wide shelf on which weapons would have been placed. The weapons used inside would have been the Lee Enfield No. 3 or No.4 Rifle, which were standard British issue and the Bren Light Machine Gun. Both fired the .303 Round, and both were very accurate weapons indeed.

Other posts in this series:

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