Darren Baker takes a look at a new release from Pen and Sword as part of the Images of War series titled 'The Battle for Burma 1942-1945'.


The following is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

The battle for Burma during the Second World War was of vital importance to the Allies and the Japanese. The Allies fought to protect British India and force the Japanese out of Burma; the Japanese fought to defend the north-west flank of their newly conquered empire and aimed to strike at India where anti-British feeling was growing stronger. Yet the massive military efforts mounted by both sides during four years of war are often overshadowed by the campaigns in Europe, North Africa, the Pacific and China.

Philip Jowett, using over 200 wartime photographs, many of them not published before, retells the story of the war in Burma in vivid detail, illustrating each phase of the fighting and showing all the forces involved – British, American, Chinese, Indian, Burmese as well as Japanese. His book is a fascinating introduction to one of the most extreme, but least reported, struggles of the entire war.

The narrative and the striking photographs carry the reader through each of the major phases of the conflict, from the humiliation of the initial British defeat in 1942 and retreat into India and their faltering attempts to recover the initiative from 1943, to the famous Chindit raids behind Japanese lines, the Japanese offensive of 1944 and their disastrous retreat and ultimate defeat.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of their Images of War series, and looks at the war in Burma during World War II. This is a soft backed book, with a card cover protecting234 pages of semi gloss matt paper, the author of this particular title is Philip Jowett. This offering is broken down as follows:


Chapter 1     Burma 1942-43

Chapter 2     The First Arakan Offensive 1942-43

Chapter 3     Behind Enemy Lines: Chindits and BurmeseGorilla Forces 1942-43

Chapter 4     The Air War 1943-45

Chapter 5     Operation Thursday: The second ChinditOperation 1944

 Chapter 6     Northern Burma 1943-44

Chapter 7     The Second Arakan Campaign: OperationHa-Go,1943-44

Chapter 8     The March on Delhi: Kohima and Imphal

Chapter 9      Japanese Defeat: Kohima and Imphal 1944

Chapter 10    North Eastern Burma 1944-45

Chapter 11    Crossing the Rivers, Autumn 1944- February1945

Chapter 12    The Fall of Meiktila and Mandalay Februaryto March 1945

Chapter 13    The Road to Rangoon

Chapter 14   Japan’s Defeat, April to July 1945

Chapter 15   The End of the Campaign

The written content of this offering is not provided to cover chapter and verse, of the forces in Burma during World War II. What the text does provide, is an oversight of the situation regarding that specific aspect of the war in Burma. The text usually covers one or two pages at the start of each chapter, and I feel shows how ill prepared the Allies were for this particular area of battle at the start.

Where these books excel is in their provision of huge numbers of period photographs, covering all aspects of the war, including the Japanese forces. The part that makes these photographs so valuable, is that they go beyond the visual and provide very well written captions. These captions add context to the images, and so enables the viewer to have a fuller understanding of what was occurring. All of the forces are covered in the photographs in the book, and provide the modeller the best perception of exactly how things looked.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Images of War book series, are visually the best reference I believe you can get for your money. It covers everything from the chaotic Allied retreat, through to the Japanese surrender, and as such this is a visual gem. When It comes to wanting to read about this region of conflict, you really need to look elsewhere. However, the captions provided and the introduction at the start of each chapter, does provide a great deal of information, that the images alone cannot convey. As a modeller, I strongly urge you purchase titles from this series that cover your areas of interest, and specifics as well.   



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