Escape from Hong Kong: Admiral Chan Chak’s Christmas Day Dash, 1941
- by Tim Luard -
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Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9789888083763
Synopsis On 25 December 1941, the day of Hong Kong’s surrender to the Japanese, Admiral Chan Chak – the Chinese government’s chief agent in Hong Kong – and more than 60 Chinese, British and Danish intelligence, naval and marine personnel made a dramatic escape from the invading army. They travelled on five small motor torpedo boats – all that remained of the Royal Navy in Hong Kong – across Mirs Bay, landing at a beach near Nan’ao. Then, guided by guerrillas and villagers, they walked for four days through enemy lines to Huizhou, before flying to Chongqingor travelling by land to Burma. The breakout laid the foundations of an escape trail jointly used by the British Army Aid Group and the East River Column for the rest of the war. Chan Chak, the celebrated ‘one-legged admiral’, became Mayor of Canton after the war and was knighted by the British for his services to the Allied cause. His comrade in the escape, David MacDougall, became head of the civil administration of Hong Kong in 1945.

This gripping account of the escape draws on a wealth of primary sources in both English and Chinese and sheds new light on the role played by the Chinese in the defence of Hong Kong, on the diplomacy behind the escape, and on the guerillas who carried the Admiral in a sedan chair as they led his party over the rivers and mountains of enemy-occupied China.

Escape from Hong Kong will appeal not just to military and other historians and those with a special interest in Hong Kong and China but also to anyone who appreciates a good old-fashioned adventure story.
Tim Luard
Phil Whelan meets former Beijing correspondent for the BBC World Service, Tim Luard, who among many other achievements is the author of "Escape From Hong Kong". It's his account of Admiral Chan Chak's dash to freedom on Christmas Day 1941, of which former Hong Kong Governor Chris Pattern said, "Not...
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