Churchill called it 'the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history.' This description of the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, after Lt-Gen Percival's surrender led to over 100,000 British, Australian and Indian troops falling into the hands of the Japanese, was no wartime exaggeration. The Japanese had promised that there would be no Dunkirk in Singapore and that was so - no one was spared and its fall led to imprisonment, torture and death for thousands of allied men and women. In this extraordinary book, using much new material from British, Australian, Indian and Japanese sources, Colin Smith has woven together the full and terrifying story of the fall of Singapore and its aftermath. Here, alongside cowardice and incompetence, are forgotten acts of enormous heroism; treachery yet heart-rending loyalty; Japanese compassion as well as brutality from the bravest and most capricious enemy the British ever had to face.
"Colin Smith, veteran war correspondent, has built an impressive reputation as a military historian," noted Sir Max Hastings in his review of 'England's Last War Against France'.The author, whose award winning journalism for The Observer took him from Saigon to Sarajevo, writes a similar narrative history as Hastings and Antony Beevor though his subject matter can be less familiar.In 'Singapore Burning' he concentrates on the hard fought retreat down the Malay Peninsula that preceded the fall of Singapore itself. His account of Britain's forgotten war within a war against Pétain's Vichy French covers all its land, sea and air campaigns. Praised by a wide range of reviewers, his books includes the Palestine novels 'Spies of Jerusalem', 'Let Us Do Evil' and 'Collateral Damage'. His most recent work is a revision of Andrew Borowiec's 'Warsaw Boy' for Viking Penguin. www.colin-smith.info