This introduction sets out the goals of the book. More than narrating important events, the book critically examines the changing strategic role of Hong Kong and the British defence policy for the colony from 1841 to 1970. It also explores the social and policy implications of the British military presence in Hong Kong, and the relationship between colonial government and metropole in aspects such as garrison finances, land use and hygiene. This chapter also introduces the sources and the geographic features of Hong Kong from a military perspective.
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