"Lest We Forget" Batu Maung by bpacker

Batu Maung Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 75 photos

WWII in Penang ( 1941 - 1945 )

This page is dedicated to those who have suffered during the WWII and for those who had fought so valiantly to protect Malaya from the Japanese. Also written in loving memory for my paternal grandparents who suffered the pain of war in Penang and Butterworth.

Not many people know this but The Biggest War Museum in SE. Asia rests near the coastal shores of Penang in Batu Muang. This unique museum is actually a British military defence fortress built in the 1930's in a jungle thicket facing the sea. At that time, the British were expecting the Japanese to attack by sea but as we all know, they advanced by land instead and rendered all the fortifications null. Penang was left in haste to the Japanese on the 17th December 1941; with arms, boats, supplies and a working radio station as the British withdrew south. And the rest is history. The Penangites were left to the mercy of the Japanese and they suffered greatly under their rule. Many became senseless casualties of war, died under torture or beheaded for simple acts of isolence.

The British Surrenders to the Japanese

Despite the hasty withdrawal from Penang, the British still surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore later in 1942. Many chilling facts came up after the surrender. For example, do you know that British were too ill equipped to defend Malaya in the first place and that they were told to fight to the last man? Read on to find out more.

Restoring a Forgotten Fort

Do you know that this fort was only re-discovered in the 1970's and that at one time, this entire region was shunned by the locals because it was supposed to be haunted by ghostly soldiers? It took a very brave man from Kedah to track through the thicket and discover this fort. Read on to discover more...

Personal Experience

Thanks to hubby's fanaticism with WWII, I explored this 70-year old fort and explored her arteries of underground tunnels, peered into musty bunkers and looked in horror as I witnessed the suffering of the Penangites under her Japanese masters. Read on to find out what I really think about this place and other logistical details on how to get to this place..

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Well preserved 70 year old British Fort
  • Cons:Not well-publicised, A wee bit off the beaten track
  • In a nutshell:The Biggest War Museum in SE Asia
  • Last visit to Batu Maung: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated Nov 13, 2005
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (14)

Comments (10)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    so in the tunnels we will all feel the same way your cat looks!1!!!

  • Nov 20, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Unfortunately many have forgotten the inhumanity of the Japanese and the appalling suffering that nation caused to so many from Nanking to Penang. How can one ever forgive these horrors - we must never forget.

  • betska's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    fat bastard in a kilt what a crack-up.........

  • magdalena2007's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Beautiful page! great dedication :)

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2006 at 12:17 AM

    Lest we forget.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2005 at 12:29 AM

    Very informative tips. I had never heard of this place before.

  • l_joo's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2005 at 5:37 AM

    My grandfather died on the spot during the Japanese air bombings in Penang 1940s, my grandmother lost one leg.......a sad family story of mine.

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2005 at 2:08 AM

    some sobering historical facts. thanks for the tips...

  • umashanker's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2005 at 10:34 PM

    bpacker bounce back again,this time stunning acount of WW II.

  • b_c_k's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2005 at 7:55 PM

    wow! I stay so near yet I have not been there...


“Using HK as a springboard to see the world and eating fine as usual”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 6 4

Badges & Stats in Batu Maung

  • 14 Reviews
  • 18 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 9,658PageViews

Have you been to Batu Maung?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Batu Maung

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)