Yamashita had taken over the Sultan of Johore’s Imperial Palace in which he could overlook Singapore, he was now desperately short of weapons, ammunition, fuel and food.
He was down to 18 tanks, his infantry could only be allowed 100 rounds per man per day, the fuel supplies were held up between Singora and Johore and the men would only be getting two bowls of rice each per day.
The 25th army has lost 4,315 men and is down to 30,000, his intelligence are saying they face 40,000 fighting troops.
With the odds against him he decides to attack before the British can be reinforced, knowing that if they hold out too long he will have to withdraw, he plans to capture Singapore within four days.
He now has to convince the British that he has ample supplies, by moving his artillery to fresh positions giving the impression he has more guns then in reality
Yamashita later wrote:
‘My attack on Singapore was a bluff, a bluff that worked. I had 30,000 men and was outnumbered more then three to one. I knew if I had to fight long for Singapore I would be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once. I was very frightened all the time that the British would discover our numerical weakness and lack of supplies and force me into disastrous street fighting.’
Yamashita gave his orders at a meeting on the 6th February, these were that Nishimura’s Imperial Guard would move to the east and attack the island of Palau Ubin to deceive Percival into the belief that the attack on Singapore was from the east, also dummy camps had been be set up opposite the Naval Base and transports were moving east during the day, doubling back and repeating this move the next day, giving the impression that there was a major movement of troops to the east.
Percival was deceived and had his ammunition dumps and stores moved to the east, the Australians to the west of the causeway noticed Japanese troops building in numbers opposite them by the 5th, but . the Japanese were still bombing the North-east of the island, so Percival ordered a patrol to reconnoitre the west coast opposite Bennet’s Australian troops. They reported a troop build up but did not penetrate deep enough to find the landing craft, this information did not reach Percival until 1530 hours the following day, so no concentration of fire on the Japanese loading positions was applied and the Japanese had all the time they wanted to assemble their craft ready for the attack.
When Percival decided he had been tricked and was wrong about where the attack would come from, he ordered the ammunition and stores back to west of the causeway, but time was now against him and the defending troops.
Yamashita had collected together 200 collapsible boats which had outboard motors and another 100 larger craft, and the troops had been trained to use these effectively. The 4,000 Japanese in the first attack had carried out similar landings in China and Yamashita knew they would not fail him.