It is the First World War and the Flashmanesque German naval reserve captain, Julius Lauterbach, is a prisoner of war in the old Tanglin barracks of Singapore. He is also a braggart, a womaniser and a heavy drinker and through his bored fantasies he unwittingly triggers a mutiny by Muslim troops of the British garrison — the 1915 Singapore Mutiny — and so throws the whole course of the war in doubt. The British lose control of the city, its European inhabitants flee to the ships in the harbour and it is only with the help of Japanese marines that the Empire is saved.
Rogue Raider is the adventure story of how one ship, the Emden, ties up the navies of four nations and audaciously starts the Battle of Penang in Malaysia, and how one man eludes Allied Forces in a desperate chase across Indonesia and the rest of Asia to America as he attempts to regain his native land.
It is fictionalised history but a true history that was deliberately suppressed by the British authorities of the time as too embarrassing and dangerous to be known. Revealed here, it brings vividly to life the Southeast Asia of the period, its sights, its sounds and its rich mix of peoples. And through it an unwilling participant in the war becomes an accidental hero.
About the author
Nigel Barley is the author of twenty books with Penguin, Time Warner, Monsoon Books and Little,Brown. He originally trained as an anthropologist and worked in West Africa, spending time with the Dowayo people of North Cameroon. He survived to move to the Ethnography Department of the British Musem and it was in this connection that he first travelled to Southeast Asia. After forrays into Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Burma, Barley settled on Indonesia as his principal research interest and has worked on both the history and contemporary culture of that area. After escaping from the museum, he is now a writer and broadcaster and divides his time between London and Indonesia.