On that side of the date line, the war started on Dec. 8th
however I figure their bombing was extraordinary in the extreme to have inflicted 50% damage on the port (IIRC) preventing fortification in the game. IRL the British did next to nothing to fortify the island of Singapore until "the enemy was at the gates". In the game the Allied Player is saddled with some seriously stupid peacetime attitudes for multiple turns.
A bit off topic because the 50% damage is a game feature, but there were some reasons Singapore was not properly fortified; at leasy from Percival's perspective (attached a link to his book on Malaya; quite a good read, and it is free)
so from Perival's War on Malaya:
"The fact that no defences had been constructed on the north and west coasts of the island in pre-war days, and only limited defences even after the war started, has been the subject of much critical comment even in the highest quarters. It has been imputed to a lack of foresight on the part of successive general officers commanding. Such criticism is most unjust. In the first place, general officers commanding had no authority to construct defences when or where they liked. The defences of Singapore were built up in accordance with a War Office plan, though of course recommendations of the local commander always received consideration. Then there was the question of the object of the defences. It was quite definitely the protection of the Naval Base —not the defence of Singapore Island. Now a very ordinary principle of warfare is that you site your defence in advance of the object to be protected; the distance in advance depends upon the range of the enemy’s weapons and increases as that range becomes greater. The Naval Base itself lies on the north shore of Singapore Island, and it would have been sheer folly to have sited the defences also on the shores of that island allowing the enemy to bomb, shell, and machine-gun the Naval Base at will. It would have been very nice no doubt to have had defences there in addition to those up-country, but finance prohibited that. As has already been stated, the expenditure on the defences in Malaya was always strictly controlled from home, and such money as was made available, apart from the defences on the south coast of the fortress, was of course spent, and quite rightly so, on defence works on the mainland. Even for these works there was never sufficient money available."
Yeah, a lot of people forget that WWII came at the heels of the Great Depression. No one had enough money for anything in the Democratic countries. Further, Great Britain, while certainly concerned about it Far East Jewels, had just recently withstood a threat of invasion of its homeland. Finally, the cost of constructing defenses in Asia was enormous and to what end? They didn't have the forces to man them anyway. No point constructing another Maginot line unless you can actually man the defenses …
Just my opinion...
They did have the manpower but not enough equipment. Poor and indecisive leadership, and I will actually agree with Alfred on the poor training.
Just think if there was just one squadron of Matildas to stop the Japanese tanks.
Seek peace but keep your gun handy.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child