Not the Slightest Chance
452 pages, 6 1/2 x 9
10 b&w photos, 17 maps
Release Date:01 May 2003

Not the Slightest Chance

The Defence of Hong Kong, 1941

UBC Press

Until now, the story of the Battle of Hong Kong has defied a coherent retelling. Over a third of its defenders were killed in battle or died in captivity; those who survived seldom spoke about their experiences; and written accounts recorded while in combat were largely destroyed during the Japanese occupation. The only primary historical material that remains was written from memory in POW camps, or years after the fact.

This book represents the first attempt to piece together all existing accounts of the December 1941 fighting between the Garrison and the invading Japanese. Banham makes use of the Garrison’s small size – only 14,000 soldiers – to weave a historical account from the perspectives of individuals, rather than big battalions. His story covers the fighting phase by phase, and considers the individual actions that made up the battle, the military strategies, and the many controversies that arose both during the struggle and after.

Military historians interested in the Hong Kong battle, and the role of Canadian and British forces in the combat, will welcome this original and comprehensive account.

Military historians interested in the Hong Kong battle, and the role of Canadian and British forces in the combat, will welcome this original and comprehensive account.

No future work on the battle will be able to ignore this book. Tony Banham has done for the battle of Hong Kong what students of other WWII battles will wish had been done for their subjects. They may indeed now try to emulate this valuable work. Brian Farrell, Associate Professor of Military History, National University of Singapore
Written from the perspective of the uniquely international city itself, this meticulously researched book opens up rich new detail on many aspects of the battle of Hong Kong. It provides a balanced view of complex and controversial events, not least the important participation of the Canadian Army's ‘C’ Force. Indispensable for anyone with an interest in the Hong Kong battle. Roger Sarty, author of The Maritime Defence of Canada and The Battle of the Atlantic
Tony Banham has been studying the Battle of Hong Kong for well over a decade. He has written extensively on the subject, aided in the production of television documentaries, and helped many children of veterans in their research into their fathers’ war years.


1 The Background Hong Kong, 1841 to 1941 The Causes of War

2 The Battle The Week Immediately Preceeding the Fighting The Battle

3 Phase I: The Loss of the Mainland

4 Phase II: The Siege of the Island

5 Phase III: The Invasion of the Island

6 Phase IV: The Forcing of Wong Nai Chung Gap

7 Phase V: Pushing the Line West and Encircling Stanley

8 The Week Immediately Following the Fighting

9 Conclusion

10 Epilogue



Annotated Bibliography


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