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The Battle for Singapore: The True Story of the Greatest Catastrophe of World War II
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The Battle for Singapore: The True Story of the Greatest Catastrophe of World War II

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  6 reviews
The Fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942 was a military disaster of enduring fascination and seemingly unshakable myth. The book uncovers the controversial truths which have remained hidden behind self- serving lies and distortions for 60 years.
Paperback, 470 pages
Published 2005 by Portrait Books
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Chin Joo
This book is an attempt to explain why the "impregnable fortress" of Singapore fell to the Japanese even while the Commonwealth forces hugely out-numbered the Japanese.

The book covers a lot of ground; the author, Peter Thompson, started by introducing the main characters, the defence situation in Malaya and Singapore, and the command structure. He then went briefly into the psyche of the different parties charged with the defence, particularly how they viewed the Japanese, carefully laying the g...more
Tin Wee
Good paced, but Euro-centric, book about the fall of Malaya and Singapore, outlining the underestimation of the enemy and the strategic errors and complacencies that led to insufficient air and naval forces and defences being invested before hostilities broke out. This, together with the infighting between and within the weak civil and military leadership, ensured the fall of Singapore. The book highlights the various battles and decisions of importance, but I was disappointed that it had less e...more
Eric Smith
This book is 600 pages long but it moves nicely and is even a page-turner. That said, it's written solely from the point of view of the British and it is a sad story of incompetence, disaster, and despair. The Japanese are ruthless and repeatedly violate the rules of law and murder hundreds, even thousands, of prisoners and civilians in cold blood. This is the second history I've read on this part of World War Two, both by British writers, and both telling relentless tales of the British Empire...more
Peter Thompson gives an in-depth look at the battle for and the fall of, Singapore.
Singapore was one of Britain's supposedly impregnable fortresses of WWII, however it had been starved of resources of resources and men, both before the war and later as the Middle East and helping the Russians took priority.
The situation was not helped by some poor generalship, underestimating the Japanese Army, and pure bad luck.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Britain's war in the Far East.
This is a general history of the Singapore campaign from the perspective of the British and their allies. It is not a detailed study of the military aspects of the campaign, although the military aspects are covered along with the political aspects and the general situation at all levels, both military and civilian.

My rating is reflective of my having been looking for a more detailed military study, and does not reflect the overall quality of the book.
Khairul H.
Never underestimate your enemy, that's all I'm saying.
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