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Why Singapore Fell

Bennett, Henry Gordon, 1887-1962


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The fall of Singapore, the Gibraltar of the East, struck by the Imperial Japanese troops during the lightning Malaya campaign of 1942 was a great shock to the Allied cause during the Second World War. No less a person than Prime Minister Winston Churchill assessed it as the worst disaster and the largest capitulation in British military history. 85,000 British, Indian and Australian troops were marched into the captivity with 50,000 others who had been captured already in the campaign, their fate was to be a barbaric fate in the hands of the Japanese. Their commanders were to be made scapegoats and pilloried for not stopping the disaster, but the true blame in large part lies elsewhere…

Australian General Henry Gordon Bennett’s account of the disaster is a gripping defence of his part in the campaign. Sent troops who were ill-equipped, with no experience, and little proper training; the Singapore command attempted to defend their position. Impregnable from seaborne assault, the walls, bastions and fixed positions were no help against the inland advance of the Japanese and with few antiquated fighters to protect them against the heavy air bombardment the Gordon Bennett and his men struggled against the odds. Starved of reinforcements, withheld in Australia and Great Britain, the men and their commanders had to do the best with what they had. In this fascinating book it would seem like the island fortress was doomed from the start in spite of the misguided high hopes of the high command.

First Edition. x, 262 p., [17] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 22 cm.

Maps on endpapers.

Index: p. 253-262.

(no dustjacket) #0921

World War, 1939-1945 — Campaigns — Malay Peninsula.  |  World War, 1939-1945 — Campaigns — Singapore.

Additional Information

AuthorBennett, Henry Gordon, 1887-1962
Number of pagesx, 262 p., [17] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 22 cm.
PublisherAngus and Robertson
Year Published1944