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The officer culture of overwhelmingly heedless self regard was so strong - it was implacable!
on 23 September 2014
Should i say I loved this book ...should I say it was involving and well written and ignore it's horrific subject matter maybe now it's possible not so long ago it was too painful to contemplate. We learn that General Percival he was a man who needed exactly what Field Marshall Montgomery had in spades - that extremely rare ability that singleminded grip on his appointed task in hand to dominate overawe and inspire his staff demanding conformity with his orders completely careless of any opinion they had formed of him.
In contrast Percivals staff were more at war with each other than they were at war with the Japanese invaders. They were an undisciplined self centred mob precipitately put in charge of an unstructured army composed of mostly unblooded soldiers who desperately needed a strong and united leadership. Many other Generals would have failed as he did because the officer culture of overwhelmingly heedless self regard was so strong - it was implacable!
After Singapore's inevitable and un-neccessary surrender Percival did his best for his men and he redeemed himself he stood out in comparison with many other staff officers of other Nations who distanced themselves from their humane reponsibilities to their charges throughout his harsh imprisonment he was a thorn in the flesh of the Japanese administration attempting to look after the unfortunate men who had been under his command.
If you can read this kind of book you will be rewarded by its insight into the life of a singularly unlucky and unfortunate man who didn't deserve his fate of simply being the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.