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Charting the whole Burma war, this book flows like a novel from the high command to the sharp end setting out a myriad of facts and considerations in a clear and coherent narrative. Ranging far beyond pure military history the story is multi-layered, combining objective analysis with a sensitive account of human reaction in the face of bitter, cruel warfare, disease and an inhospitable terrain. Military events are painstakingly detailed, and set in their political and cultural context. Equal attention is paid to both sides of the conflict and the insights made into Japanese plans and responses make the book uniquely informative, exciting and moving.
'If one had to select one book about the Burma War, this fine work is the best' Dekho, magazine of the Burma Star Association
'There will be few more thorough chronicles of World War Two's most dreaded front than Louis Allen's Burma: The Longest War' The Listener
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Louis Allen fought in Burma from 1941-45 and has a thorough understanding of Japanese language and culture. He writes from his own experiences and draws upon exhaustive research from Japanese, British and US official histories, apologias, reminiscences, generals' biographies, diaries and newspaper reports.From Publishers Weekly:
Himself a veteran of the Southeast Asia operations of WW II and a Japanese linguist, Allen (The End of the War in Asia, Singapore 194142) has written a formidable and impressive history of the Burma campaign. In 1942, Japan conquered the country in short order, driving the Allied forces into India. The Allies launched a counteroffensive that would take almost three years to succeed, the task made even more difficult because the "racialism, arrogance, aloofness and greed" of English rule had left the Burmese anti-British. Much of the Allied campaign was waged in the jungle, with its concomitants of malaria, typhus, amoebic dysentery, anemia and foot-rot, against a foe whom Allen presents as brave and tenacious. Indeed, one of the more remarkable features of the book is the picture of Japanese officers, free of the stereotypes of samurai sword-wielding sadists. The book will no doubt be controversial, however, because Allen implies that the U.S. contribution to victory in Burma was minor. Photos. October
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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