Bookshop: Second World War in Burma

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Second World War

Books - Second World War - Burma

General Works

Chindit vs Japanese Infantryman 1943-44, Jon Diamond. Looks at the battles between the Japanese infantryman in Burma and Wingate's Chindits, a deep penetration force that operated deep into Japanese held territory. Covers the training and plans for both sides, one battle from the first Chindit operation in 1943 and two from the larger operations of 1944. Includes some interesting material on the Japanese view of the Chindits [read full review]
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Japan's Last Bid for Victory: The Invasion of India 1944, Robert Lyman. An excellent detailed account of the Japanese invasion of India in 1944, best known for the battles of Kohima and Imphal. Supported by a large number of eyewitness accounts, mainly British but with some valuable Japanese and Naga sources. [read full review]
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Voices from the Front: The 2nd Norfolk Regiment, from Le Paradis to Kohima, Peter Hart. A history of the 2nd Norfolk Regiment during the Second World War, based on interviews conducted with veterans of the battalion conducted by the author, and tracing the battalion's story from France in 1939-40 to Burma, the fight for Kohima and the reconquest of the country [read full review]
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Wavell - Soldier and Statesman, Victoria Schofield. A major biography of a heavy-weight figure, Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East in 1940-41, in the Far East during the early Japanese victories, and Viceroy of India at a crucial period in the run-up to independence. Schofield paints a picture of a hard working, capable but modest commander, who often did a good job with very limited resources, but who was never really appreciated by Churchill. [read full review]
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End Game Burma, Michael Pearson. A detailed account of the British-led campaign that resulted in the reconquest of Burma, and that saw the 14th Army fighting a long way from its main bases in India and largely supplied by the air against an enemy fighting behind the protection of the Irrawaddy River. [read full review]
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The Battle for Burma, Roy Conyers Nesbit. A well paced account of the series of campaigns fought in Burma between the Japanese invasion of 1942 and the Allied re-conquest of the country in 1945, covering the Japanese conquest of Burma, the campaigns on the Indian border, and the contribution made by India, American and Chinese troops to the eventual victory. [read full review]
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World War II Jungle Warfare Tactics, Stephen Bull, Osprey Elite. The subject of jungle warfare tactics has fascinated many people and contains many myths. This book tries to cover a large subject in 64 pages, a mammoth task but one which it does remarkably well. The content is clear and very interesting de-bunking various myths such as Japanese superiority in jungle warfare but without throwing the baby out with the bath water and does highlight some of the Japanese strengths in this area. The book is an excellent introduction to the subject.
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The Chindits

Jocks in the Jungle - Black Watch & Cameronians as Chindits, Gordon Thorburn. Looks at two of the normal units of British soldiers that were turned into Chindits and took part in the second and most gruelling of the Chindits raids. Looks at the history of the two regiments, the first Chindit operation, all building up to a detailed examination of the second Chindit raid, focusing on the columns that included the Black Watch and Cameronians. [read full review]
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Chindit Affair: A Memoir of the War in Burma, Frank Baines. A first-hand account of Operation Thursday, the second and largest of the main Chindit operations, written by a British officer who commanded the Gurkha troops protecting the brigade HQ. An unusual highly literate and very readable account of this operation, written by someone who wasn't afraid to describe how desperate the Chindit position was by the time they were withdrawn. A splendid account of this fascinating campaign. [read full review]
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Orde Wingate, A Man of Genius, Trevor Royle. A well balanced biography of one of the most fascinating but exasperating British military leaders of the Second World War, tracing his career from his inter-war days in the Sudan, through the formation of the Special Night Squads in Palestine in 1938 to the wartime conquest of Abyssinia and the famous Chindit raids in Burma. [read full review]
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Wingate's Lost Brigade: The First Chindit Operation 1943, Philip Chinnery. A detailed account of the first Chindit operation in 1943, focusing particularly on the dispersal of the brigade and the costly return to India. Although this first raid was very costly, Wingate's ideas on air supply would soon become the standard method of operation in Burma. [read full review]
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Chindit 1942-45, Tim Moreman. The Chindits were the most controversial of the many different elite units raised by the British during the Second World War, and ever since a debate has raged on whether their achievements justified the terrible toll in casualties or the effort that went into creating the force in the first place. Here Moreman looks at what went into making a Chindit, starting with their selection (or rather the lack of any initial selection process), then moving on to the rigorous training which at one point saw 70% of a British battalion on the sick list. This played a part raising the initial morale of the Chindits to a high enough level to allow them to survive the terrible conditions they had to endure on the two major Chindit operations – Operations Longcloth and Thursday – key elements of which are examined to see how the theory was put into practice [see more]
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Prisoners of War

Railway of Hell - War, Captivity and Forced Labour at the Hands of the Japanese, Reginald Burton. A thoughtful autobiography, originally written in 1963 and revised in 2002, and recounting the author's experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese between 1942 and 1945, including a period spent building the infamous railway from Siam to Burma. [read full review]
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Lost Souls of the River Kwai, Bill Reed with Mitch Peeke. An often harrowing account of the suffering inflicted on British Prisoners of War who were forced to build the Burma Railway for the Japanese. Reed's vivid memories of these events tell a tale that needs to be remembered [read full review]
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