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A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma and Britain: 1941–45

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By 1941 the Japanese reigned supreme in their newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. In 1943 the Allies were determined to defeat the Japanese. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, new equipment arrived and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires expertly retells these coordinated effo By 1941 the Japanese reigned supreme in their newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. In 1943 the Allies were determined to defeat the Japanese. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, new equipment arrived and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires expertly retells these coordinated efforts to turn the tide of war as well as detailing the personalities of the commanders, their competing leadership styles, and their shared resolve to finally defeat the all-conquering Japanese. A War of Empires also details how the Indian Army, so brutally defeated in 1941 and 1942 was rebuilt, with a million new recruits. Acclaimed historian Robert Lyman describes how this new volunteer Indian Army, rising from the ashes of defeat, would ferociously fight not to preserve the British Empire but to resist the far more brutal, totalitarian Japanese empire and in the hope for a future, independent India. But victory did not come immediately. It wasn't until March 1944, when the Japanese staged a massive invasion of India, their famed 'March on Delhi', that the years of rebuilding reaped their reward and after bitter, desperate fighting, the Japanese were finally defeated at Kohima and Imphal. This was followed by a series of extraordinary victories culminating in the catastrophic Japanese defeat at Mandalay in May 1945 and the collapse of all Japanese forces in Burma. Robert Lyman expertly charts this dramatic change as Allied forces fought this brutal campaign in horrific conditions. Their contribution consistently forgotten and ignored by many Western historians, Lyman has conducted ground-breaking research into Indian Army archives, to reveal how these triumphs would help secure Allied victory and ultimately redraw the map of the region with an independent India, free from the shackles of empire, all but guaranteed.


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By 1941 the Japanese reigned supreme in their newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. In 1943 the Allies were determined to defeat the Japanese. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, new equipment arrived and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires expertly retells these coordinated effo By 1941 the Japanese reigned supreme in their newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. In 1943 the Allies were determined to defeat the Japanese. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, new equipment arrived and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires expertly retells these coordinated efforts to turn the tide of war as well as detailing the personalities of the commanders, their competing leadership styles, and their shared resolve to finally defeat the all-conquering Japanese. A War of Empires also details how the Indian Army, so brutally defeated in 1941 and 1942 was rebuilt, with a million new recruits. Acclaimed historian Robert Lyman describes how this new volunteer Indian Army, rising from the ashes of defeat, would ferociously fight not to preserve the British Empire but to resist the far more brutal, totalitarian Japanese empire and in the hope for a future, independent India. But victory did not come immediately. It wasn't until March 1944, when the Japanese staged a massive invasion of India, their famed 'March on Delhi', that the years of rebuilding reaped their reward and after bitter, desperate fighting, the Japanese were finally defeated at Kohima and Imphal. This was followed by a series of extraordinary victories culminating in the catastrophic Japanese defeat at Mandalay in May 1945 and the collapse of all Japanese forces in Burma. Robert Lyman expertly charts this dramatic change as Allied forces fought this brutal campaign in horrific conditions. Their contribution consistently forgotten and ignored by many Western historians, Lyman has conducted ground-breaking research into Indian Army archives, to reveal how these triumphs would help secure Allied victory and ultimately redraw the map of the region with an independent India, free from the shackles of empire, all but guaranteed.

43 review for A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma and Britain: 1941–45

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Purvis

    Author & historian Robert Lyman published the book “A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45” this past week. He has published nine books. I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. In 1941 & 1942 the British and Indian forces in Burma were repeatedly defeated by the Japanese. They were ultimately pushed entirely out of the country into India. The Commonwealth forces gradually rebuilt thems Author & historian Robert Lyman published the book “A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45” this past week. He has published nine books. I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. In 1941 & 1942 the British and Indian forces in Burma were repeatedly defeated by the Japanese. They were ultimately pushed entirely out of the country into India. The Commonwealth forces gradually rebuilt themselves and began offensive operations against the Japanese. These forces weathered the Japanese drive on India in early 1944. The British and Commonwealth forces not only stopped them but began to drive them back to the East. The book delves a little into the politics of the region during the period. The British, Chinese, and US were all allies, but they did not always have common goals. While the expansionism of Japan was well known, the British in Burma did little to prepare a defense. Many of the political and military leaders were out of their depth when confronted by the aggressive and experienced Japanese. Many in India were already arguing for independence before the war. The war facilitated the economic and political growth of India. Even with the growing unrest, the all-volunteer Indian Army fought fiercely at the side of the British. I enjoyed the 23+ hours I spent reading this 771-page WWII history. This is one of those rare history books that are very readable. I have read a couple of other accounts of the war in Burma, but I consider this to be the best so far. It provides a comprehensive look at this often ignored theater of operations. While the cover art looks like an old used book, I think that it is appropriate. I rate this book as a 4 out of 5. You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    Of the finest written books your likely to find. Its certainly the most comprehensive account of the war in Burma. Which encompasses many years of dedicated research by Mr lyman. I enjoyed the book throughout and as many readers will testify most of the time this book is unputdownable. JAMES HOLLAND sums this book up perfectly, 'THIS IS A SUPERB BOOK'. He's definitely not wrong. I was lucky enough to meet Mr Lyman at warfest and spoke to him about the Burma campaign and his knowledge really is s Of the finest written books your likely to find. Its certainly the most comprehensive account of the war in Burma. Which encompasses many years of dedicated research by Mr lyman. I enjoyed the book throughout and as many readers will testify most of the time this book is unputdownable. JAMES HOLLAND sums this book up perfectly, 'THIS IS A SUPERB BOOK'. He's definitely not wrong. I was lucky enough to meet Mr Lyman at warfest and spoke to him about the Burma campaign and his knowledge really is second to none.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hamish

    A superb history of the battles in Burma through the Second World War. Erudite and informative, I highly recommend this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jevan

  6. 4 out of 5

    James Grainger

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ian Welke

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Webster

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Bicknell

  11. 4 out of 5

    David L Gray

  12. 5 out of 5

    Simon Gibson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bartosz

  14. 4 out of 5

    k

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  17. 4 out of 5

    James Harrison

  18. 4 out of 5

    Walker Swindell

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Boiko

  21. 5 out of 5

    Madison Johnson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Hernandez

  23. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brayden Price

  27. 5 out of 5

    WW2 Reads

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nikola Novaković

  31. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  32. 4 out of 5

    Emrys

  33. 4 out of 5

    Enrique

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rabspur

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lukas Dufka

  36. 4 out of 5

    John Rendeiro

  37. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kovan

  38. 4 out of 5

    Alex Helm

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

  41. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  42. 4 out of 5

    Matt Conger

  43. 4 out of 5

    Aditya Pareek

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