General Tomoyuki Yamashita was a General of the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. In December, 1941, he invaded Malaya (now part of Malaysia) with a force of 30,000 soldiers. His soldiers forced the British to retreat to Singapore and, in February, 1942, he took the surrender of 130,000 British Empire soldiers in Singapore. The defeat in Singapore caused great shock to the British leader Winston Churchill. After this notable victory, Yamashita became known as the "Tiger of Malaya".