This is a book that goes into the granular details but failed to give a clear picture of why the British failed to defend Singapore.
Smith spent 3 years researching this book. His emphasis is on the soldiers who fought. A book rich in personal accounts, and if one is unaware of the whole picture, full of glorious retreats from Alor Star to Johore.
The narration and the retreats are not easy to follow as Smith prefers not to use chapters. Instead, we have 5 long parts. A reader is really left in the woods.
Readers more interested in the policy decisions and the failures to defend Spore should read The Defence and Fall of Singapore by Brian P Farrell.