The Japanese under the command of General Yamashita successfully conquered the Malay Peninsula. While British troops outnumbered them the Japanese had tanks and better air support. The British were forced to withdraw to the Island of Singapore. They destroyed the causeway but no one was under illusion that Johor Straits would hold back the Japanese. On the night of February 8th the Japanese troops started crossing the straits. The British put up a limited defense but the Japanese who advanced across the island quickly overwhelmed them. Finally on 15th of February “fortress” Singapore was forced to surrender.