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The Defence and Fall of Singapore 1940-42
on 2 October 2006
The book starts by outlining British planning in the inter-war years and shows how the seeds of defeat were sown well before a shot was fired.
The author's command of detail when describing the action on the ground is magnificent. He outlines the dysfunctional interplay between the various levels of allied command and the personalities involved in running the campaign.
There are six poor quality maps in the appendix but these are not referred to in the text. I would have found it easier to follow if the text had been linked to the maps, or diagrams had been used to illustrate the various battle positions.
There is a description of the closing battle and a balanced discussion on the controversy surrounding the desertions of allied soldiers in the closing stages, plus mention of the Japanese atrocities against the Chinese population.
The book closes with a summary of how the manner of the defeat affected Britain's relations and influence in the Far East. "Had Singapore fallen only after a long inspiring defence, the British would not have lost as much influence as they did".
This book is a detailed comprehensive account of the defence and fall of Singapore, a testament to the author's undoubted knowledge of the subject.