Singapore's Dunkirk by Geoffrey Brooke

Author Rating:
  • An interesting book on a subject which doesn’t seem to attract the same sort of attention that Dunkirk has. Possibly because of the many failures made by those who were in power at the time.

    The Author (a survivor from the sinking of the Prince of Wales) has obviously put a lot of time and effort into contacting the many individuals whose stories are told besides having many "adventures" himself.

    The lengths that some went to in their efforts to escape are amazing and sadly all too often doomed to failure. The book is mainly concerned with the aftermath of the surrender and doesn’t go into much detail about the events leading up to that point.

    There’s something for everyone, murder, assaults and even cannibalism. I feel the book would have been more rounded if one or two of those whose stories are told had been followed into captivity to give some idea of the rest of their war, but basically each account finishes with either their escape or the time that they are taken into captivity.

    Very much a warts and all book, in which some individuals shine and others don’t, this applies at all levels, the Australian Army in particular come out of it badly. It should be remembered that the book is only representative of a very small section of those involved as a whole.

    An interesting book, though not easy to read because of the number of characters in it, some of whom are referred to several times throughout the book.

    I give it 3 Anchors.


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  1. Bandy_E
    If you want to know what the rest of the war was probably like for those captured by the Japanese read "The Knights of Bushido" by EFL Russell. I read it when I was still at school and it engendered in me hatred for the Japanese which stayed with me well into adulthood.
    Another book that's not easy to read but for very different reasons.
      daisy1942 likes this.