After the Japanese invasion of Malaya in December 1941, all army units are rushed north to stem the enemy advance. Among them are one hundred Royal Marines under the command of Major Mick Martin, detailed to defend an important road and rail bridge near Ipoh. They dig in and await the Japanese onslaught. After repelling several attacks, they destroy the bridge and withdraw to the outskirts of the town.Two young nurses and a Malay orderly seek shelter with them, hoping to avoid capture. The marines are overrun, however, and the survivors retreat to the jungle with the nurses. Here they meet up with an army colonel and his group of freedom fighters.This story follows their adventures as they carry on the fight against the Japanese for the next three and a half years. It portrays the romance and tragedy of life under the constant threat of capture, until the surrender of the Japanese in August 1945.