Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival CB DSO OBE MC OStJ DL (26 December 1887–31 January 1966) was a British Army officer and World War I veteran. He built a successful military career during the interwar period but is most noted for his involvement in World War II, when he commanded the forces of the British Commonwealth during the Battle of Malaya and the subsequent Battle of Singapore.

Percival’s surrender to the invading Imperial Japanese Army force is the largest capitulation in British military history, and it permanently undermined the United Kingdom’s prestige as an imperial power in the Far East. However, current knowledge about the years of under-funding of Malaya’s defences and the inexperienced, under-equipped nature of the Commonwealth army has enabled certain commentators to hold a more sympathetic view of his command.

Foreword             PAGE ix

CHAPTER I         Malaya in Pre-War Days    13
CHAPTER II        Assumption of Command in Malaya    22
CHAPTER III     The Plan of Defence    36
CHAPTER IV     Further Preparations for War    52
CHAPTER V      The War Clouds Gather    64
CHAPTER VI     Civil Defence    76
CHAPTER VII   The Eve of War with Japan    91
CHAPTER VIII  Opening of Hostilities    106
CHAPTER  IX    The Battle for Kedah    121
CHAPTER X       The Withdrawal from North Malaya    136
CHAPTER XI     Operations in North Perak    151
CHAPTER XII    Operations in Borneo    165
CHAPTER XIII   Some Administrative Problems    176
CHAPTER XIV    Operations in Central Malaya    187
CHAPTER XV     The Retreat to Johore    207
CHAPTER XVI    Operations in North-West Johore    221
CHAPTER XVII  Operations in Central and East Johore    235
CHAPTER XVIII The Singapore Fortress    250
CHAPTER XIX    The Battle of Singapore I    266
CHAPTER XX      The Battle of Singapore II    281
CHAPTER XXI    Retrospect    294
CHAPTER XXII    Captivity    307
CHAPTER XXIII   Dawn    321
Index    329