The Men Who Lost Singapore, 1938-1942
By Ronald McCrum
New Book on The Men Who Lost Singapore (The Straits Times, 14 February 2017)
The British military failure against the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942 is a well-documented and closely examined episode. While attention is frequently drawn to the role of the Colonial Governor and his staff during this period, the participation of the civil authorities has not been subjected to the same rigorous scrutiny.
In this book, Ronald McCrum undertakes a close examination of the role and the responsibilities of the colonial authorities both in the lead-up to the war and during it. He contends that the colonial government, by pursuing different priorities, needlessly created distraction and confusion. Additionally, the poor, even hostile, relations that developed between the local government and the British military hierarchy impeded a joint approach to the growing threat and affected the course of this campaign. McCrum displays how the tawdry management of civil defence matters led to unnecessary loss of civilian life.
"Considering how much has been written about this campaign, and for how long, the outcome is impressive: there are fresh considerations and arguments in this very good study that every student of the Malayan Campaign and the Fall of Singapore, not to mention the war between the British Empire and Imperial Japan, will need to engage."
Brian P. Farrell, National University of Singapore
“It is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand why Singapore's fall occurred in the manner it did."
Greg Kennedy, King's College, London
Ronald McCrum is a retired British Army Officer and military historian.
Publication Year: 2017
296 pages, 229mm x 152mm
10 b/w photographs