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Not the Slightest Chance Hardcover – Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 452 pages
  • Publisher: University of British Columbia Press (Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0774810440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0774810449
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,980,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Banham was born into an academic family in Norfolk. He is nephew of architectural historian Professor Reyner Banham and great nephew of 1945 Member of Parliament Edwin Gooch. He graduated in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire and had an initial career in research & development with Royal Dutch Shell and the European Space Agency at ESRIN. At the age of 30 he moved to Hong Kong, working there for a variety of software vendors including Informix and, today is a senior executive based in Hong Kong with Oracle. He is a licensed pilot and is married with two sons and has made Hong Kong his permanent home.

Tony Banham is founder of the Hong Kong War Diary project, which studies and documents the 1941 defence of Hong Kong, the defenders, their families, and the fates of all until liberation. His published books are considered to be examples of some of the best research on the Hong Kong experience during the Second World War. Mr. Banham is also very active in the "human side" of historical research relating to the era and often speaks at various symposia on the subject and carries on an active dialogue with survivors of the conflict and their families. He also maintains a close association with various diplomatic services, government agencies, and other official parties associated with providing care and services to those involved in the conflict. He serves, at the request on the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, on a special government panel which reviews and grants the payment of pensions to veterans (or their survivors) who served Hong Kong during the period.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

'This meticulously researched book opens up rich new detail on many aspects of the battle of Hong Kong. It provides a balanced view of complex and controversial events, not least the important participation of the Canadian Army's 'C' Force. Indispensable for anyone with an interest in the Hong Kong battle.' - Roger Sarty, author of The Maritime Defence of Canada and The Battle of the Atlantic

'No future work on the battle will be able to ignore this book. Tony Banham has done for the battle of Hong Kong what students of other WWII battles will wish had been done for their subjects. They may indeed now try to emulate this valuable work.' - Brian Farrell, Associate Professor of Military History, National University of Singapore --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Tony Banham has been studying the Battle of Hong Kong for well over a decade. He has written extensively on the subject, and has been a consultant for television documentaries about the battle.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The precise details of whatever did or did not happen during any of the many campaigns, encounters and battles which took place during the war years of 1939 - 1945 requires diligent and painstaking research so that any account presented is factually correct. It was not until a few weeks ago, when I began researching the loss of the Japanese freighter Lisbon Maru in 1942, that I came across the name of this author for the very first time and, already, I am reviewing the second of three of his books. So far I really am most impressed with his work and depth of research.

Although posted to Hong Kong from 1979-1981, I am not a student of this former British colony's history. I am, nevertheless quite able to recognise the depth of research which has gone into this work. My first impression, however, was that it appeared to be far too technical and, therefore, not a good read. I was wrong and any prospective reader should not be similarly fooled. In this work author Tony Banham has found that magical quality which allows his assessment to be both technically competent as well as providing the reader with a very good read. Whilst there are a small number of photographs, mainly obtained from Japanese sources, I would have preferred to see more - especially portraits of some of the central characters involved.

One of the most striking messages to come from this work is that the reader might easily be forgiven for wondering how on earth the British ended up on the winning side with such pre-war attitudes. Perhaps it was the sheer size of their Empire which created some sort of feeling of pure invincibility? Major General Maltby commanded a garrison of 14,000 troops with which to defend Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsular and a number of small islands from enemy invasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K Stimson on 17 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a reference to assist me in the making of my family tree. It has provided a considerable number of sources and has gradually 'drawn me into' the history of the Japanese invasion which was not my primary interest.
It is not a book to be read from start to finish, but rather dipped into. The chapters are sub-divided firstly into a daily summary then into a daily diary of events in chronological order, ending with a list of known casualties. The notes are extremely detailed and have already caused me to buy further reading, some out of print, of the interesting people revealed.
I cannot recommend it highly enough to anybody interested in the fall or background history of Hong Kong at that time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Stanford on 8 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
This work reflects the enormous amount of research Tony Banham has done over the years covering a very specialist topic that few books have covered.
The highest praise I can give this work is that it deserves to be ranked shoulder to shoulder with the works of Oliver Lindsay and Tim Carew.
The Fall of Hong Kong was a low point in the second world war for the British Empire, and one that was acknowledged by Churchill as being a lost cause, hence his quote in the title.
Read in conjunction with Tony Banham's web site of the same name, this work will captivate historians and public alike. It is a work that deserves a wider audience, and the 4 star rating I have given this book reflects the cost, not the content.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Suddaby on 20 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback
There have been numerous books recounting the tragic events of the three week battle for Hong Kong and I believe that I have read most of them. In my opinion, 'Not the Slightest Chance' is a fine book that has succeeded in bringing real academic rigour to a description of the garrison and how it and the civilians fared during those tragic times in December 1941. I have used it on several occasions as a basis for exploring the battle sites in Hong Kong and can recommend it absolutely to anyone who seeks to delve more deeply into the reasons why and how Hong Kong fell in such a short time. Tony Banham's superb book is a must for anyone with even the slightest interest in that period.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Langley-Bates on 5 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book presents an hour by hour, day by day account of the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese. It contains a very large amount of carefully researched detail, which enables the reader to feel that they were there watching. My father was taken prisoner there and as an account of the days of battle, with its minute detail referring to places and people I found it fascinating. Well referenced and indexed it really is the best cover of the subject.
I am looking forward to his next book which covers the sinking of the Lisbon Maru.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Al Kitching on 29 Oct 2003
Format: Hardcover
Yes, brilliant, an overused phrase, but that's what we have here.
In future all copies of respectable dictionaries, encyclopia and other reference works will need to place a thumbnail icon of NtSC:TDoHK next to definitions of 'exhaustive' or 'comprehensive'. As a research tool it's invaluable, but it reads wonderfully well too, with a strong and compelling narrative force that's totally unique.
Heartily recommended.
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