This book explains why British defence policy and practice emerged as it did in the period 1941-67, by looking at the overlapping of colonial, military, economic and Cold War factors in the area. Its main focus is on the 1950s and the decolonisation era, but it argues that the plans and conditions of this period can only be understood by tracing them back to their origins in the fall of Singapore. Also, it shows how decolonisation was shaped not just by British aims, but by the way communism, communalism and nationalism facilitated and frustrated these.
'Karl Hack's new book is a valuable contribution ... arguably the best ground-level account of the conflict so far and essential reading for anyone concerned with British imperialism in Southeast Asia during this period.' - Race & Class