Read Jungle Soldier: The True Story of Freddy Spencer Chapman by Brian Moynahan Online


Brought up in a rural vicarage surrounded by fells, falcons and ferrets, Freddy Spencer Chapman acquired a deep love of nature and became 'fascinated by danger' during childhood. Thirty years later, as an SOE-trained guerrilla soldier of exceptional ability and courage, the orphan boy would prove to be one of the British army's deadliest agents. In 1941 Chapman was dispatcBrought up in a rural vicarage surrounded by fells, falcons and ferrets, Freddy Spencer Chapman acquired a deep love of nature and became 'fascinated by danger' during childhood. Thirty years later, as an SOE-trained guerrilla soldier of exceptional ability and courage, the orphan boy would prove to be one of the British army's deadliest agents. In 1941 Chapman was dispatched to Singapore to train British guerrillas for the coming war with Japan. Setting out from Kuala Lumpur on 7 January 1942 on a mission to sabotage Japanese supply lines, he became a veritable one-man army. The Japanese deployed 2,000 men to search for what they believed was a squad of 200 Australian guerrillas. Following Japan's invasion of Malaya and the fall of Singapore in February 1942, Chapman found himself stranded. Under these most desperate of circumstances, the man dubbed the 'the jungle Lawrence' by Field Marshal Wavell showed his bloody-minded talent for survival. Relentlessly hunted by the Japanese army, he was afflicted by typhus, scabies, pneumonia, blackwater fever, cerebral malaria, dengue fever and ulcers before finally being rescued and evacuated to Ceylon on 13 May 1945. Chapman returned to Malaya by parachute in August to take the Japanese surrender at Penang. Jungle Soldier is a unique and remarkable account of superhuman bravery and resourcefulness in adversity....

Title : Jungle Soldier: The True Story of Freddy Spencer Chapman
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781849160766
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jungle Soldier: The True Story of Freddy Spencer Chapman Reviews

  • Kenny Chan
    2019-01-22 13:54

    In the annals of guerrila warfare, two names stand out: TE Lawrence ('of Arabia') and Freddy Spencer Chapman - the subject of this enjoyable biography. Between the two, Chapman is the lesser known one--an unsung hero known only to the few Malayan WW2 history buff. As a kid, I read Chapman's classic, 'The Jungle is Neutral' (mainly because it was lying on my family bookshelf) and was greatly thrilled to find out that a lot of the action happened around my hometown in Pahang. Reading this biography makes me want to reread The Jungle is Neutral again. It brought back the wonder, terror and beauty of the Malayan jungle. It also has a wonderful account of Chapman's early adventures in Greenland and Tibet. The world needs more poet-warriors like Mr Chapman.

  • Michael Jecks
    2019-01-27 13:59

    Excellent read, all through to the end. One of those stories you think of as unique, and then you remember Nicholson, and the White Rajah, and Lawrence and Anders Larssen and realize that remarkable people are there all the time, just waiting for remarkable situations to make them shine.

  • Ryan
    2019-01-21 09:53

    A semi-biography of the legend that was F.S. Chapman, one of the most accomplished and skilled soldiers of unconventional jungle warfare to date. Moynahan does a thorough job of writing about the man's boyhood, his adventures in the ice fields of the polar region and of course a detailed almost day by day account of his years behind enemy lines in the Malayan jungle, most of it spent with Chinese guerilla communists. Though one can get bogged down in detail and trivia many a times in this lengthy book, there are enough exciting events and evocative descriptions of the terrain to keep one plowing through to the end. However in the later parts the author got lazy or was in a hurry and quotes directly from Chapman's diary at length. Interestingly, this account is likely more truthful than Chapman's own famous book 'The Jungle is Neutral', which we are made to believe harbour quite a few inconsistencies with his diaries and even embellished at certain parts.What struck me about the exciting life of Chapman is how he seemed to draw strength from adversity. Indeed, the man positively thrives on hardship and challenges, be it being stuck in a snow storm in the Arctic or being chased by enemy soldiers in inhospitable terrain with no equipment except his wits. He viewed those who crack under pressure, his fellow countrymen left behind for example as weak willed and to be pitied. Perhaps having no personal or social attachments - he had no loved ones or close friends back in England to pine for, made him naturally inured of feelings of despair and despondency. Ironically but perhaps predictably as well, life as a civilian back home with a regular desk job, wife and kids did not suit him, and he eventually deteriorated physically and spiritually, resulting ultimately in depression and suicide. Such must be the fate of those who seem to have achieved the greatest things and withstood unthinkable hardships and trauma early in life. Without anything remotely as challenging and engaging to occupy his mental and physical energies late in life, Chapman simply withered away. But such a life he led! The simplicity of the natives he admired and their happy and joyful lives he had the privilege of experiencing for himself during the war years - arguably many of the happiest times in his life.

  • clanger3920
    2019-02-15 12:51

    An i retreating readYou d this book rather hard going but was determined to read and understand the sacrifices made and what was require to survive in such a hostile environment and what it took to be at o we with the jungle.

  • Clive phillips
    2019-02-09 09:59

    RecommendedGreat story. Realistically written. It takes us into Freddy's awful jungle existence. A man of courage and steel who always thought of others right up to his death

  • Bob Schmitz
    2019-01-24 15:49

    My son Russell was traveling and was in Malaysia for a bit. I asked him what he was reading and he said this book. I bought a copy on Amazon and a week later it arrived from England! What a world we live in!Jungle Soldier is the biography of Spencer (Freddy) Chapman. Chapman was an extremely interesting fellow. Chapman, an Englishman, was orphaned a young boy, was raised by a clergyman, went to school at Cambridge and then went on to a life of adventure. He surveyed the icy wastelands of Greenland, traveled, photographed and climbed peaks in Tibet and served in the British forces in Malaysia in WWII where he trained soldiers in guerrilla warfare. When the Japanese roared through he spend 2 weeks in the jungle blowing up bridges and then 3 years hiding from the Japanese with bands of native resistance fighters. His survival skills were great and sufferings unimaginable. He was eventually brought out on a submarine and then later parachuted back in to accept the Japanese surrender.The book is not well written. It reads like a preteen adventure story, full of "gees" and "wows" and lacking in good prose or in depth examination of the subject. I went on line to look for photos that Chapman took and they are astonishing. ( If you want to read about an amazing fellow and about adventures that rarely occur today this is the book for you. If you want something well written move on.

  • Alan
    2019-02-04 11:47

    Hero is a word used way to often nowadays it's almost a throw away for the smallest action. But Freddy Spencer Chapman was a true honest to goodness hero in the best Boy's Own hero type tradition. Arctic explorer to jungle soldier and many things in between. During the second world war Freddy was in Malaya (Now Malaysia) and whilst the rest of the British forces and their various Empire buddies got the f**k out of dodge when the Japanese came cycling down through Malaya. Freddy and a few ultra brave men went they other way. Intending to stay behind enemy lines and carry out a gorilla war against the Japanese. Having to depend upon help from Chinese gorilla forces (Communist and non communist) and the Sakai (now known as Orang Asli, the indigenous Malaysians). The majority of non indigenous Malay's and Indians avoided conflict with the Japanese and they could very often not be trusted to help those forces fighting to remove the Japanese. Freddie and his fellow soldiers suffered horribly, many killed or died along the way. Freddy survived despite frequent bouts of Malaria and sores, malnutrition, trekking through almost impenetrable jungle etc and this is a fascinating unputdownable book in the best tradition of adventure. A must read.

  • Don Wilton
    2019-01-18 13:37

    An absorbing read about an astonishing man who had astonishing adventures. The background of his youth and upbringing set the scene for his fortitude and lone resilience in later life partly described in his famous book 'The jungle is nuetral'. Fact is picked out from the fiction in this acount using his real diaries for original material. The Guardian asks why Freddy Chapman didnt get the recognition and fame aforded to a similar amazing individual 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Probably because whilst his exploits in the Malayan Jungle fighting the Japanese are on a par with those of Lawrence, the elaboration of his feats and pasion for self publication went nowhere near that of Lawrences. Also probably just as telling were his close alliences with the Chinese communist guerrillas whom he fought alongside in the jungle and his relucta nce to fight against them after the war once they turned their attention to their former colonial masters.

  • Radiah
    2019-02-03 11:43

    I had been searching for months for this book and I was not disappointed. Freddy Chapman, was stranded behind enemy lines when Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese in May 1944. It was a terrible time for Singaporeans, as my grandfather used to say (he still refuses to talk about the war), and the courage it took Chapman to commit himself to guerilla warfare against the Japanese whilst battling malaria, deep leg ulcers, typhus, pneumonia and a whole plethora of other tropical diseases was astounding. That he survived was one thing; that he thrived in the jungle terrain (something many foreign soldiers couldn't handle) was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

  • Reds_reads
    2019-02-07 14:37

    The true story of Freddy Chapman, focusing in particular on the years he spent behind enemy lines in Malaya during WWII. This was an inspiring read, I was impressed by his adventures before war broke out (there is quite a lot of detail of his pre-war Arctic expeditions) but the ingenuity and tenacity displayed during his time behind enemy lines is amazing - sabotage operations, capture and escape, feats of endurance and bouts of malaria all feature. And all the while he takes notes of the native flora and fauna, you couldn't make it up.

  • Ronen
    2019-02-05 11:43

    Besides being an interesting story, I learned a lot about resilience and endurance from Chapman's life. One of his favorite quotes was Hamlet's "there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so," and he stayed true to it (not in the sense of moral relativism, but rather in enduring hardships).Also, the author does a good job in objectively analyzing Chapman's memoirs, so I would recommend this even if you've already read Chapman's books.

  • Tim Corke
    2019-02-01 13:58

    What a read. It puts the modern day exploits of Messrs Mears and Grylls into true perspective and doesn't even scratch the surface of what Freddy must have endured whilst in the midst of an approaching enemy and possible betrayal. There are some people who take living to another level and Chapman ranks highly within that group.

  • Mark Baines
    2019-02-16 15:59

    A good biography, of another great Briton. Having read The Jungle is Neutral a few years ago, this was a find that explained more and told a wider story of a modern explorer. I also found it entirely appropriate to be reading it as I travelled through Malaya!

  • Paul
    2019-01-29 13:41

    Incredible story of fsc. Narative like a university essay

  • Mel
    2019-01-27 10:03

    not terrible but somewhat disjointed and random at times. a sad and disappointing end.

  • Stephen
    2019-02-13 12:39

    What a guy!Makes me feel as though I've wasted my years being very mediocre

  • Charles
    2019-01-30 11:03

    absolutely fantastic & amazing to read of such determination in such adversity()

  • Rosemary
    2019-02-02 08:44

    Quite an incredible, amazing story; almost unbelievable! However, it's so well researched, it's told almost like a diary which makes it a bit tedious to read.