Volume IV The Hinge Of Fate (1950) How The Power Of The Grand Alliance Became Preponderant Book I The Onslaught of Japan
THE FALL OF SINGAPORE
Prime Minister to General Wavell 10 Feb 42
I think you ought to realise the way we view the situation in Singapore. It was reported to the Cabinet by the C.I.G.S. that Percival has over 100,000 men, of whom 33,000 are British and 17,000 Australian. It is doubtful whether the Japanese have as many in the whole Malay peninsula, namely, five divisions forward and a sixth coming up. In these circumstances the defenders must greatly outnumber Japanese forces who have crossed the straits, and in a well-contested battle they should destroy them. There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The battle must be fought to the bitter end at all costs. The 18th Division has a chance to make its name in history. Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops.
The honour of the British Empire and of the British Army is at stake, I rely on you to show no mercy to weakness in any form. With the Russians fighting as they are and the Americans so stubborn at Luzon, the whole reputation of our country and our race is involved.
Sunday, February 15, was the day of the capitulation.