Churchill's description of the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, after Lt-Gen Percival's surrender led to over 100,000 British, Australian and Indian troops falling into the hands of the Japanese, was no wartime exaggeration. The Japanese had promised that there would be no Dunkirk in Singapore, and its fall led to imprisonment, torture and death for thousands of allied men and women. With much new material from British, Australian, Indian and Japanese sources, Colin Smith has woven together the full and terrifying story of the fall of Singapore and its aftermath. Here, alongside cowardice and incompetence, are forgotten acts of enormous heroism; treachery yet heart-rending loyalty; Japanese compassion as well as brutality from the bravest and most capricious enemy the British ever had to face.
Colin Smith is a historian, novelist and former war correspondent. In 1972, at the age of twenty-three, he became the Observer's chief roving reporter and spent the next thirty years covering the world's trouble spots for the Observer and the Sunday Times - from Phnom Penh to the Golan Heights, from Saigon to Sarajevo, from Nikosia to Port-au-Prince. He was named International Reporter of the Year in the 1974 and 1984 British Press Awards. Today he is best known for his military histories of Britain's campaigns against the Vichy French, the 1942 surrender of Singapore and The Battle of Alamein, which was recently reissued in condensed form as part of Penguin's e-Book Shorts series. Smith lives in Nicosia with his wife Sylvia and several cats. Readers wishing to contact him or find out more about his work should visit www.colin-smith.info