Author(s): F.Spencer Chapman
After the fall of Malaysia to the Japanese, the unflappable F. Spencer Chapman survived for years in the jungle as a guerilla fighter. The Jungle is Neutral is his amazing tale of survival and valor against all odds. As he traveled by bicycle, motorcycle, dugout, on foot, or on his belly through the jungle muck, Chapman recruited sympathetic Chinese, Malays, Tamils, and Sakai tribesmen into an irregular corps of jungle fighters. Their mission: To harass the Japanese in any way possible. In riveting scene, Chapman recalls their daring raids as they blew up bridges, cut communications lines, and affixed plasticine to troop-filled trucks idling by the road. They threw grenades and disappeared into the jungle, their faces darkened with carbon, their tommy guns wrapped in tape so as not to reflect the moonlight. When Chapman wasn't battling the Japanese or escaping from their prisons, he found himself fighting the jungle's incessant rain, wild tigers, unfriendly tribesmen, leeches, disease, and malnutrition.
Frederick Spencer Chapman was born in 1907. He read English and History at Cambridge. Taking part in expeditions to Greenland and to Himalaya, Chapman made the first ascent of Chomolhari, in 1937. He was a housemaster at Gordonstoun when war broke out in 1939. After Dunkirk, he was assigned to a Special Training Centre as a commando instructor. In September 1941 he was posted to Malaya to help organise local resistance against the impending Japanese invasion. It was the beginning of his career as a truly outstanding strategist of guerilla warfare. His four thrilling, danger-filled years spent in the jungle with the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army are the theme of The Jungle is Neutral. .At the end of the war, he was a Civil Affairs Officer in Malaya until he was demobbed in 1946. He then returned to educational work - he was the Organising Secretary of the Outward Bound Trust for a year before taking up teaching again as a headmaster. He died in 1971