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Head Hunters in the Malayan Emergency (Hardback)

The Atrocity and Cover-Up


By Mr Dan Poole
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 27 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399057417
Published: 4th October 2023


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Head Hunters in the Malayan Emergency investigates the infamous political scandal sparked after horrific photographs of war crimes during the Malayan Emergency were leaked to the British press. These photographs depicted British forces and their allies in Malaya scalping corpses and posing with decapitated human heads. The subsequent scandal, involving British generals, police, trade unions, and even Winston Churchill, led to the further discoveries that British forces had deployed over 1,000 men from Bornean headhunting tribes to Malaya, were publicly displaying corpses to terrify Malaya's civilian population into submission, and that photographs of such atrocities had become popular souvenirs among British troops.

Using newly uncovered photographs, eyewitness accounts, and government documents, this research is the first ever attempt by any historian to create a complete history of the British-Malayan Headhunting Scandal, its political consequences, the stories of those involved, and its attempted cover-up.

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About Mr Dan Poole

Dan Poole is a historian based in Oxfordshire, England. He is active in both Uncomfortable Oxford and the International Brigades Memorial Trust, with his research covering the Malayan Emergency, the British Foreign Office, and the biographies of British Marxists. Recently he won a research grant to write a biography for Black-British anti-fascist, Charlie Hutchison.

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