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Originally announced in 1923, the construction of the base proceeded slowly until the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931.
When completed in 1939, at the very large cost of 0 million, it boasted what was then the largest dry dock in the world, the third-largest floating dock, and having enough fuel tanks to support the entire British navy for six months.
Raffles arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and soon recognised the island as a natural choice for the new port.
The island was then nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis.
It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
Singapore was not much affected by First World War (1914–18), as the conflict did not spread to Southeast Asia.They killed their officers and several British civilians before the mutiny was suppressed by non-Muslim troops arriving from Johore and Burma.After the First World War, the British built the large Singapore Naval Base as part of the defensive Singapore strategy.It was defended by heavy 15-inch naval guns stationed at Fort Siloso, Fort Canning and Labrador, as well as a Royal Air Force airfield at Tengah Air Base.Winston Churchill touted it as the "Gibraltar of the East" and military discussions often referred to the base as simply "East of Suez". The British Home Fleet was stationed in Europe, and the British could not afford to build a second fleet to protect its interests in Asia.