Burma

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Excellent rather lengthy narrative of the largely unknown and neglected history of the war in Burma.  Very good read for history buffs.
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I did not finish this book. I couldn't. It was extremely well researched and it was way to dry for me. There was no break and it was just too much for me. I think that if you are a history buff or are very interested in war this book would be for you, but not for me. The description was easy to read, the book not so much. Received this book as an ARC and I gave my review voluntarily.
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It is very seldom that i read non fiction. Many years ago, and as a child, i knew someone who spoke about Burma and the Second World War.  I was very young at the time to understand what went on in Burma, so when i spotted Jon Latimer's book 'Burma', my interest was aroused.  

A very well written book which was very informative and interesting, but due to topic and amount of pages, it was by no means a quick read.   i would recommend if you wish to know more about Burma during the Second World War.  

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy.  

(Review has been posted on Goodreads and awaiting Amazon to publish my review)
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There is no doubt that the author really enjoyed researching this subject.
Unfortunately too much detail made the story line confusing and tedious in my opinion.
If you need a reference book though this would be ideal.
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"Burma: The Forgotten War" eBook was published in 2018 (original paper edition published in 2004) and was written by Jon Latimer. Mr. Latimer published several non-fiction books. 

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The book covers the years of World War II detailing actions taken in what was then Burman (now known a Myanmar). 

Most of what I have read regarding World War II has been either centered on the European Theater or the Pacific Theater and focused on the forces of the US. Most of the Burma campaigns were centered around British or Commonwealth ground forces, though the US played a major role in the air engagements. 

I thought that the 16.5+ hours I spent reading this 961-page history were interesting. The page count seems high, but the last third of the book was citations of reference. Certainly, there was a lot of information presented that I had not known about before. Some history books are presented in a very readable fashion. I have reviewed a few of those in the past. This was not one of those books.

This was very dry. It is filled with names, dates, and locations. The fact that the locations are for places I had never heard of did not help. Also, I found that the numerical military unit references used for both British and Japanese units was very confusing. I also felt that the book was very choppy, jumping back and forth in time.

If you are researching military efforts in Burma during WWII, you will find this a very useful book. It does a good job of conveying the misery that troops of both sides had to endure for most of the Burma war efforts.  The perspective presented on the war and especially the Commonwealth troops engaged in it very British. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5 based on general readability.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
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This is excellent comprehensive reading of the campaign of Burma during WWII. I was sorry to learn the author has passed away.
This book was written with extraordinary detail of the war effects on Burma, . The author writes of the clash of varied countries involved in the fight and how the fighting affected Burma and its people. .
For all who enjoy WWII history this is fascinating and rich historical book. Very well done and pleasing to read. 
Thank you for the review copy which did not influence my review. 
 This is a book to savor in order to better understand the history.
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A brilliant, informative, insightful book. I didn’t know much about the war in Burma before I read this book, but this was rich in detail and fascinating facts.
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Burma: The Forgotten War is an intriguing, intense look at the battles fought in Burma, in an attempt at maintaining an Allied toehold in the orient.  Roosevelt and Churchill  formed a China Theatre of War in January of 1942 in order to protect Australia, New Zealand and the balance of the Pacific as the battles for Europe ground on.  Jon Latimer brings us a thorough and insightful entry into this little publicised segment of WWII. 

Though I have read other histories of Burma, The Forgotten War is a marathon of information and insight into the why's and how's of the battles fought by the allies in the northern Pacific Theatre.  This is a history I can recommend to history buffs, but also to families of those soldiers and sailors who battled in these little known but massive movements to cement our hold in the Pacific.  Without their sacrifice, so much of the world we know would have been lost.  

This was a book I had to take in smaller doses than usual.  About 20 hours of reading time, but another 12 hours of notes, sources and references indicate the intense amount of research involved in bringing this history to life.  A reviewer cannot do justice to this work with only five stars to work with. Originally published in 2004 by John Murray Publishers, I am grateful to Thistle Publishing for bringing this back around to the general public.  I missed it the first time around.   

I received a free electronic copy of this history from Netgalley, John Latimer, and Thistle Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me
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Thank you to NetGalley, Thistle Publishing and the author, Jon Latimer,  for the opportunity to read a digital copy of Burma in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
I thought this book was extremely well researched and written. It offered a more in depth analysis of the war in Burma.  
Definitely well worth a read for fans of history.
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A very detailed account of the war nobody really knew much about. A lot of actors, a lot of political and economic interests concentrated on a tiny territory of Burma. Author did a great job researching this book. There are account of witnesses and eye-witnesses of many events.
Author brings together histories of many countries in the region to explain the reasons and consequences of events.
All of us knew of WWII and it's consequences in Europe and USA. We all know of who did what, why and when. However, what was happening in Asia, was overlooked, was pushed on the back bench of world history and world interests.
This book makes Burma The Forgotten War less forgotten and less unknown.
This is a worthy read for those interested in military history and in the history of international relations.
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This book was about a part of history I always considered myself knowledgeable in, but I never knew about this. This was heartbreaking and encouraging and just toyed with your emotions. To know this really happened hits home all the more. This is a well researched read that will have you hooked on the first page. It's entirely gripping and once I started it was something I thought about. I still do, and I finished the book a few weeks ago. If you love history this is the book for you. 4 out of 5 stars.
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A very well researched book about a lesser-known war. I am sure readers who enjoy history would be glad to read this one. An insightful read!
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Such an interesting and thoroughly researched book. I have a deep interest in WW2 history but the war in Burma was something I knew little of.

It was heavy going at times through no fault of the author. Of necessity, it had to contain so many references to soldiers, regiments, and disparate ethnic groups who fought in this war. In the end, it was worth it.

There is also some useful early explanatory material giving a history not only of Burma, but the often war-like relationships between the major powers in the region - China and Japan. That part also serves as a useful introduction to the different political approaches to this region by the British and the United States.

Recommended to all history buffs particularly those interested in WW2.

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


READING PROGRESS
October 7, 2018 – Started Reading
October 11, 2018 – Shelved
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I love History and Military History in particular and this well researched and written book on 'The forgotten war' did not disappoint.   The Burma Campaign is a difficult subject for both reader and writer and this book does much to plug the gap.  Informative, detailed and covering both the Military and the Human aspect of this terrible conflict.  A must read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Thistle Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Burma’ in exchange for my honest review.

I love reading history books and when this book become available to read, it gave me a great opportunity to read about a subject I know nothing about and I  was not disappointed the book is well researched and well written. and gives a very detailed look at the Burma campaign of WW2 . Highly recommended for those interested in the history World War II but also recommended because it's a history that needs to be told.
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I normally read novels, and don't have an interest in combat or warfare; but made a mistake in selecting this book to read in my eagerness to learn more about this region, not realizing this is a military history. In the beginning I found this to be dry and academic, as if reading a compilation of footnotes, but the more I read the more interested I became; so I'm sure every reader reading this genre on purpose gives it 5-stars.

A sprawling yet balanced account of the travails undergone by armies from Japan, Britain, China, and America; including personal accounts of Africans, Dutch, Australians, Indians, et al of warring against the Burmese (Karen, Chins, Kachins, Shans, Mons, Nagas...) with their 126 different languages. It is incredible to me how much these people on all sides endured, and what all they were up against. Latimer's attention to the "pervasive European racial arrogance, which relegated all Asians to a lower tier," along with acknowledging admiration so many of these military men hold for their enemies is commendable. The scope of involvement in this world war is stupefying. I learned so much about empires and alliances, collaboration and deceit, suffering and sacrifice, death and disease, nature and weather, bombing and destruction, cruelty and heroism, rations and famine, stench and pestilence, suicides and desertion. My favorite bits were about elephants proving more reliable than tanks and the discovery of a strange lizard that says "Fuck You".
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Wow, what a book. It is chock full of information on their fight during world war II. I recommend this book. It's a great read.
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Incredibly detailed history of the fighting in Burma in WW2.  Could do with a good editor - there are a number of examples of bad english.  Also needed is some means of differentiating Japanese unit IDs from Allied ones - the author often switches seamlessly from discussing British units to Japanese ones in the same paragraph, which I found confusing.  Overall the book reads like a PhD thesis given a makeover for general publication.
All that said, I did find the book interesting and worth reading.
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No-one could fault Latimer on the forensic research that lies behind his writing this weighty tome on the Burma campaign. His reportage of what really was experienced by the individuals involved is both vivid and gripping. Heroism, stamina and bravery jump of the page and certainly merit telling. I found it a little difficult to follow the geography of this campaign as the combatants covered thousands of miles through jungle and over jagged passes - perhaps a campaign wall-map could be enclosed. Nonetheless, Latimer is to be congratulated on doing a great service to the millions who fought in "The forgotten war" by giving this campaign the respect and analysis it clearly deserves. His book is a worthy addition to the Burma War literature.
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The author of this book Jon Latimer sadly died in in 2009 at the early age of 44, however this remarkably detailed and comprehensive account of the Burma campaign of World War 2 will stand as a lasting legacy to him. In forensic detail the book first published in 2004 recounts and analyses the path to war, its conduct and legacy which is felt sadly to the present day. For various reasons this is a complex story owing to the differing objectives of the allies, (principally the British Empire, America and China) the ethnic and racial diversity of the British Empire forces (which peaked at around 1,000,000 and were primarily from British India but also included East and West African colonial troops and smaller numbers of land and air forces from several other Dominions and Colonies) and the existence on the Japanese side of the Indian National Army and The Burmese Independence Army. For many, perhaps the majority of the Burmese population this war was seen as a clash between two colonial powers and for them the overriding priority was the creation of an independent Burmese state.

Every battle and campaign is painstakingly documented with the aid of maps and the role of various key personalities is examined. This was a theatre of war that was beset by personality clashes, distrust and indeed open hostility between many of the commanders in charge of operations. Not only do we learn about the role of such figures as Slim, Wavell, Wingate and Stilwell but other less well known characters such as Ursula Graham Bower who was the only female guerrilla leader in the history of the British Army as part of "V force". The book takes a dispassionate and clinical look at the strategies and effectiveness of the various operations including the role of the Chindits for which military historians disagree on their military significance. This is certainly an anti war book for it portrays the sheer horror and brutality involved with more dying from disease, hunger and illness than from actual weaponry. 

This is a long book and may take a few weeks to read but the time taken is well worth investing in for it gives you not only increased knowledge of a past period of history but an increased insight on current events. The Muslims of northern Arakan were armed by the British to fight and provide intelligence against the Japanese and also to counter balance the Buddhist Rakhine community of the area who supported them. Following the end of the war a brutal ethnic civil war raged between these two armed sides. Following independence in 1948 and the non appearance of what the loyal to the British Muslim minority believed would be the creation of a "Muslim National Area" in Burma the country has been riven by ethnic tension leading in the last few years to acts of persecution destruction and ethnic cleansing by its military. To understand the present you sometimes need to look at it from the perspective of history and this book certainly provides this portal.
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