Shortly after midnight on 8 December 1941, two divisions of crack troops of the Imperial Japanese Army began a seaborne invasion of southern Thailand and northern Malaya. Their assault developed into a full-blown advance towards Singapore, the main defensive position of the British Empire in the Far East. The defending British, Indian, Australian and Malayan forces were outmanoeuvred on the ground, overwhelmed in the air and scattered on the sea. By the end of January 1942, British Empire forces were driven back onto the island of Singapore Itself, cut off from further outside help. When the Japanese stormed the island with an an-out assault, the defenders were quickly pushed back into a corner from which there was no escape. Singapore’s defenders finally capitulated on 15 February, to prevent the wholesale pillage of the city itself. Their rapid and total defeat was nothing less than military humiliation and political disaster.
Based on the most extensive use yet of primary documents in Britain, Japan, Australia and Singapore, Brian Farrell provides the fullest picture of how and why Singapore fell and its real significance to the outcome of the Second World War.
About the author
Brian Farrell is Professor of History at National University of Singapore, where he has been teaching Military History since 1993. He is an authority on British Empire military history and in particular the fall of Singapore in 1942. His other books include The Basis and Making of British Grand Strategy 1940-1943: Was There a Plan?, Between Two Oceans: A Military History of Singapore From First Settlement to Final British Withdrawal (co-authored), Sixty Years On: The Fall of Singapore Revisited (co-edited) and Leadership and Responsibility in the Second World War (edited).
‘An exhaustive account of the clash between Japanese and British Empire forces … A multi-pronged attack on those who made the defence of Malaya and Singapore their duty’ BBC History Magazine
‘A complete and authoritative account … a compelling read’ The British Army Review
‘Startling … reveals the real reason why the daring attack failed’ The Daily Express
‘Excellent … fills a yawning gap in the historical record’ Times Literary Supplement
Paperback 9789814423885 Ebook 9789814423892 Extent 496pp Images 42 b/w historical photos, 7 b/w maps Category Nonfiction / History Chapter notes Available here