Disaster in the Far East 1940-1942

John Grehan, Martin Mace

Date Published :
April 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Despatches from the Front
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781783462094
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Dispatches in this volume include that on the Far East between October 1940 and December 1941, by Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham; the dispatch on operations in Hong Kong between 8 and 25 December 1941, by Major-General C.M. Maltby, General Officer Commanding British Troops in China; the report on the air operations during the campaigns in Malaya and Netherland East Indies between December 1941 and March 1942; and the important dispatch by Percival detailing the fall of Malaya and Fortress Singapore.

This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most significant periods in British military history.

About The Author

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty-five years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences and stop lines in West Sussex. Following the success of this book, he established Historic Military Press, which has published a wide range of titles. In 2006 he began working on the idea for Britain at War Magazine, the first issue of which went on sale in May 2007. This publication has grown rapidly to become the best-selling military history periodical on the high street. Martin now devotes his time to writing and editing books.


"Grehan, Mace, and Mitchell present unabridged dispatches from Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, Major-General C.M. Maltby, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul Maltby. The surrender of Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival to the Japanese Commander, Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita on Sunday, February 15, 1942, prompted Churchill to call the fall of Singapore “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history.” The dispatches of Percival, Brooke-Popham and the two Maltby brothers are reproduced exactly as they first appeared to the general public some seventy years ago<-->unedited and unmodified. Summing up the reasons for the tragic defeat, Major-General C.M. Maltby cited three: the Empire was not prepared for war on the scale necessary for the purpose, the war in Europe sapped resources to the point where only a fraction of the strength could be deployed, and the added problem that the Japanese were more formidable than expected. Four sections are: Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham’s dispatch on operations from 17 October 1940 to 27 December 1941; Major-General C.M. Maltby’s dispatch on operations in Hong Kong, 8 December 1941 to 25 December 1941; Lieutenant General Arthur Percival’s dispatch on operations, 8 December 1941 to 15 February 1942; Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul Maltby’s dispatch on air operations during the campaigns in Malaya and Netherland East Indies, 8 December 1941 to 12 March 1942."

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