Having purchased this book on the basis of two five star reviews, I was most disappointed. It is very poorly written and, even after a few pages, the errors were easy to spot. For example, the author cites that 'the Japanese received intelligence of the arrival of the Prince of Wales and Repulse..'. The event was well publicised and meant to be a deterrent! Also the RAF in Hong Kong had '... two Walrus amphibians....over ten years old..' No -the Walrus entered service in the late 1930s. A fair portion of the book is taken up by the reminisences of John Harris (who repeats (or maybe was the source of) the RAF error. An historian shouldn't rely so much on one person's account especially when a lot of it is about his early life and post war career - totally irrelevant. The author has an annoying habit of jumping around including bits of modern history including the Vietnam and Gulf wars - again totally irrelevant. There is little of the underlying strategy nor of any of the details of the tactical situation and fighting. The book has all the hallmarks of being lashed together quickly from whatever material Mr Lindsay had to hand. The defenders of Hong Kong and students of history deserve better.
This brilliant new account of the Battle for Hong Kong in 1941 by Oliver Lindsay, contains much new material, and includes the memoirs of John Harris, a young architect who fought and was interned there for over four years. Contains over 40 photographs of exceptional interest and superb maps. Most readable and highly recommended. The foreword by Field Marshal Lord Bramall is particularly informative.
This book combines Oliver Lindsay's excellent account of the battle for Hong Kong with John Harris's personal memories of those years, including his arrival in pre-war Hong Kong and his time as a prisoner of war. The result is a very engaging and readable account for anyone, particularly those interested in World War 2 or Hong Kong's history. The book is illustrated with about 40 often fascinating photographs, and 4 maps.
As a military historian residing in Hong Kong, and dare I say an authority on the 1941 battle, I have to say that I found Col. Lindsay's book somewhat disappointing. The disjointed style of writing which he employs, with frequent references to the actions of the Brigade of Guards in such conflicts as other WW 2 battles, e.g. the Falklands and the Gulf Wars, I found uncomfortable.
There are also inaccuracies, as pointed out by an earlier reviewer. One example; on page 89 Col. Lindsay confuses the 2 island brigades, stating that "Western" (sic) Brigade was commanded by Brig. Cedric Wallis and "Eastern" (sic) Brigade by Brig. John Lawson, when in fact it was the other way round.
On a positive note, however, the historical photographs are excellent.