“C” Force to Hong Kong

Overview

This is the story of a “no military risk” campaign that slowly turned into a nightmare. The book provides new answers to a number of difficult questions beginning with a discussion of why Canadian troops were sent to Hong Kong at the request of the British War Office. Were the British duplicitous in making this request? Was Canadian Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar, guilty of putting his own interests above those of his men in telling the minister of National Defence that there was “no military risk” in sending the “C” Force?

The book recounts the formation of the “C” Force and its departure to Hong Kong where it arrived just three weeks before the Japanese attack. It outlines the course of the battle from December 8, 1941, until the inevitable surrender of the garrison on Christmas Day. It places appropriate emphasis on the Canadian contribution, refuting 1947 allegations by the British General-Officer-Commanding — allegations which were only made public in 1993 — that the Canadians did not fight well. Greenhous attacks these charges with solid evidence from participants and eye-witnesses.

Finally, the book tells the story of life and death in the prison camps of Hong Kong and Japan.

About the Author

Brereton Greenhous

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014

Brereton Greenhous

Brereton Greenhous worked for twenty-five years in the Department of National Defence's Directorate of History. He has authored, co-authored, or edited a dozen books on Canadian military history, including Out of the Shadows: Canada in the Second World War and "C" Force to Hong Kong: A Canadian Catastrophe, 1941-1945.