Through festering jungle and across burning plains to high mountains and lazy rivers, the Burma campaign of the Second World War 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 remains utterly fascinating with singular characters like Slim, Mountbatten, Stilwell and Wingate, while dominated by ordinary soldiers that it '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, were all far from home, all 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 in a gripping narrative, 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 ensures that none of them are.