The Burma campaign of the Second World War was a war of extremes, contradictions and harsh brutality. Over festering jungle and burning plains to high mountains and lazy rivers, it involved the longest retreat in British history, and the longest advance; long-range penetration miles behind enemy lines, vicious hand-to-hand fighting and the horrors of forced labour. Yet this strange war remaisn utterly fascinating with singular characters like Slim, Mountbatten, Stilwell and Wingate, while dominated by ordinary soldiers ‘gathered to itself like a whirlpool, men from the ends of the earth’: from Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, West, East and South Africa, but overwhelmingly, from India; Dogras, Sikhs, Punjabis, Kumaonis, Madrassis and Nepalese, representing every race and caste on the subcontinent, all far from home, fighting for survival against a ruthless enemy prepared to die for his emperor, while the Burmese fought for their independence.
Jon Latimer draws these disparate strands together to describe the operations and the politics that shaped them, while illustrating the experiences of thousands of ordinary people whose lives were caught up and transformed by this south-east Asian maelstrom, many of whom feel that like Fourteenth Army - they were forgotten. This book will ensure none of them are.
Jon Latimer was born in Prestatyn, Flintshire in 1964. He attended Swansea University in 1982, ostensibly to study Geography, but love of the sea meant that he left with a degree in Oceanography instead. He then enjoyed a varied and interesting career working as an oceanographer and environmental scientist.Jon also served in the Territorial Army for sixteen years. Commissioned in The Royal Welch Fusiliers he served with the 1st and 3rd Battalions and with 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales, as well as on attachment with 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers and with the staff of 4th Armo...
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