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Hero or Deserter: Gordon Bennett and the Tragic Defeat of the 8th Division...

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Paddington Library

247 Oxford St

Paddington, NSW 2021

Australia

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Major-General Gordon Bennett played a decisive role in the defence of Malaya and Singapore in World War II. He is, however, best remembered for his escape by boat from Singapore in the dying days of the Japanese invasion, when 15,000 Australian servicemen were imprisoned.

Bennett’s decision to leave his men to their fate is one of the most controversial episodes in the fall of the island. While Bennett alone cannot be blamed for the defeat – there were many other factors, including Britain’s military failings in both tactics and defence – he was and remains a ready scapegoat.

Join historian Roger Maynard for a vivid and comprehensive account of the 8th Division and its stoic force of fighting men, including their their conflicted leader, whose reputation as an outstanding soldier was shattered by war’s end. By looking at Bennett’s legacy through the prism of today’s military standards, Maynard will explore whether Bennet was, indeed, a hero or deserter.

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Paddington Library

247 Oxford St

Paddington, NSW 2021

Australia

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