The Japanese launched an assault on Hong Kong on December 8, 1941, one day after they had struck Pearl Harbor the previous day. The British colony lacked adequate preparation for the war, and the Canadian troops that were stationed there were vastly outmatched in terms of both numbers and firepower. Although they battled valiantly, the Canadians were ultimately forced to surrender on Christmas Day. More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers were captured by the Japanese and held captive in their cruel prison camps for the next three and a half years. The war took the lives of a great number of people. It has been said that the Canadian government should have done more to assist their troops stationed in Hong Kong, but the reality is that there was very little that they could have done in this regard. The valor shown by the Canadian forces during the battle in Hong Kong is still honored to this day because of the enormous sacrifice they made.