For twenty years the strategic basis of New Zealand’s defence policy was “the main fleet to Singaport” strategy — the theory of a properly defended Singapore Naval Base to which adequate British naval forces would be despatched to defend the Empire east of Suez. In the event a fleet, far smaller than originally planned, arrived at Singapore in December 1941, only to suffer immediate annihilation; the Base held out, not the months predicted by British experts but rather just seven days before falling to attacking Japanese forces on 15 February 1942. This book, then, is essentially a study of why New Zealand placed reliance on an unsatisfactory strategy, which was always admitted to be second best to that in which a battlefleet was permanently based in the Pacific. The evolution of post-war arrangements for the protection of the British Empire in the Far East and Pacific Ocean is traced, with emphasis upon the procrastination which marked the provision of the necessary facilities. There is a description of the dilemmas confronting British strategists in the lte 1930s … they were obliged to plan for war with three powerful enemies, knowing that to fight even two would be to court disaster. New Zealand’s approach to the problem of security is discussed in detail. It is shown that far from being complacent behind the shield of a supposedly all powerful Royal Navy, New Zealand leaders were consistently worried by their country’s vulnerable position … And yet the only possible alternative ally, the United States of America, could not be counted upon to deal with an aggressive Japan. This book is a study of Anglo-New Zealand relations in the broad field of naval defence … Although primarily dealing with New Zealand’s defence policy, the book is a necessary introduction to any study of New Zealand’s developing role in the world and of the evolution of its foreign policy.”–Inside front cover.