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Guns of February: Ordinary Japanese Soldiers' View of the Malayan Campaign and the Fall of Singapore, 1941-42 Paperback – July 4, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


This book finally makes it possible for the English language reader to understand the character and personality, the inhumanity but also the humanity, of the army that inflicted on the British Empire its most humiliating military disaster. --Brian Farrell, National University of Singapore

... a great Western historian who really and deeply understood Japan and the Japanese. --Hara Fujio (Nanzan University, Japan) on the late Henry Frei

This ought to be widely read. --Raymond Callahan, author of 'The Worst Disaster: The Fall of Singapore'

About the Author

Henry FREI was Swiss by birth, and was a scholar of Japanese with a particular interest in Japan's wartime advance to the south. He taught for many years at Tsukuba University in Japan before his death in 2002.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Singapore University Press; Reprint edition (July 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9971692732
  • ISBN-13: 978-9971692735
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,246,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Henry Frei, a Swiss National with a PhD in history from Sophia University, a former Professor at the National University of Singapore and later at Tsukuba Women's University in Japan, has made an important contribution to the literature on the Japanese Imperial Army's behavior in the last war, especially of the Malayan/Singapore campaign and the subsequent atrocity it committed in Singapore.

Most accounts of the Malayan/Singapore camapaign in English talked of the campaign in purely strategic terms, of advance and retreats, of battles and maneuvers by battalions and divisions. But here is a book that looked at those events from the eyes of mainly 4 soldiers and one merchant. It recorded the campaign and the subsequent atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army through the eyes of these individuals, four individuals caught up in events beyond their control and for some, the events have left an indelible mark in their souls, souls which now bear an immense sense of guilt for what they have done.

The Malayan/Singapore campaign could have gone down in military history as a campaign conducted brilliantly by the Japanese Imperial Army, but that glorious page of Japanese military history instead was turned into a page of shame for the Army becuase of the subsequent atrocities committed by the same Army in Singapore. By Singapore's account, some 50000 innocent men were massacred by the Japanese Army within a space of three days.

A must read for students of history of that period.
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