graduate

Maltby, Christopher Michael (1891-1980)


Photograph of Christopher Maltby

Lindsay (2005)

Maltby had fought against the Pathans on the Northwest Frontier of India and had been an instructor at Quetta Staff College prior to being given command of the Hong Kong garrison in July 1941. He was regarded as an energetic, capable officer, with little sense of humor and a pronounced distaste for protocol. He spent his Sunday afternoons strolling around likely future battlegrounds, trailed by a half dozen reluctant staff officers, who would have preferred a round of golf or an afternoon nap.

Maltby has been criticized for his conduct of the defense of Hong Kong, but leaders rarely appear at their best when confronted with an insoluble problem. His leadership was as energetic, courageous, and sound as the circumstances permitted, and it is not his fault he operated in the shadow of a colonial governor, Mark Young, whose imperturbability and personal courage were of truly epic proportions.

Maltby surrendered the garrison to the Japanese on 25 December 1941 against the advice of his senior officers and the colonial governor. He was extremely self-critical during the early months of captivity, but he stood up for the other prisoners, at one point refusing a meal of smuggled meat because such a meal was not available to his men.

Service record

1891     

Born
1911

Joins Indian Army
1923

Staff College Quetta, India
1925

Staff, Army Headquarters, India
1927

RAF Staff College
1930

Deputy assistant adjutant general, Army Headquarters, India
1938

Instructor, Staff College Quetta, India
1939

Staff, Baluchistan District, India
1939
Brigadier     
Commander, 3 Jhelum Brigade, India
1941

Commander, British Troops in China
1941-7

Commander, Hong Kong Command
1941-12-25     

Surrenders to the Japanese
1980

Dies


References

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-1-18)

Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives (accessed 2008-1-18)

Lindsay (2005)

Willmott (1982)



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