Shortly after midnight on December 8, 1941, two divisions of troops of the Imperial Japanese Army began a seaborne invasion of southern Thailand and northern Malaya. Their assault developed into a full-blown advance towards Singapore, the main defensive position of the British Empire in the Far East. Singapore's defenders finally capitulated on February 15, to prevent the wholesale pillage of the city itself. Their rapid and total defeat was nothing less than military humiliation and political disaster. Based on the most extensive use yet of primary documents in Britain, Japan, Australia, and Singapore, Brian Farrell provides the fullest picture of how and why Singapore fell and its real significance to the outcome of the Second World War.