World Battlefronts: No Surrender

Rain and bombs pelted the island of Hong Kong, from whose peak this picture was taken. Hong Kong (lower foreground) and Kowloon (across the water) are the ragged end of the thin red line of Empire. From their Victorian mansions on the hillside, Britons looked out, as their predecessors had for 100 years, on the red and grey hills in the distance beyond which lies China, and on the masts of the myriad ships that make Hong Kong the sixth greatest port on earth.

Between air raids last week they could hear the roll of artillery, the rattling patter of rifles and...