In December 1940, three months after Japan, Germany and Italy signed their Second World War “Tripartite Pact” alliance, a convoy of Japanese military leaders traveled to Berlin to learn from their new allies.

The group was led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita, a seasoned militarist who had spent his entire adult life waging war. Now climbing into the ranks of the Imperial Japanese Army, Yamashita’s ascent had barely begun. In the space of a few years, he would become famous worldwide as the “Malaysian Tiger”: a fierce military leader and the mastermind behind the brutal Japanese conquest of Singapore.

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