On December 10, 1941, two of Britain's mightiest warships sailed from Singapore to attack Japanese forces in the Gulf of Siam. A few hours later, both ships had gone to the bottom, victims of overwhelming enemy airpower. Building slowly but inevitably to this tragic climax, the author recounts each ship's history, retelling the classic Bismarck sinking of 1941, the Atlantic Pact Conference of the same year, and other stories involving one or the other of the ships. He then analyzes the strategic reasons for Churchill's ordering of the ships to defend the Far East, concluding that because of lack of air support and misuse of other naval units available, it was a classic blunder. Above all, he proves how the sinking once and for all sounded the death knell to large capital ships which can be destroyed by one well-placed bomb. A good job, although somewhat overlong and, at times, repetitious.