19 teosta 581 jäsentä 11 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Includes the name: Rob Lyman

Tekijän teokset

Bill Slim (Command) (2011) 38 kappaletta

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Royal Military Academy Sandhurst



This is a detailed account of the long campaigns fought in 1941-1945 for the possession of Burma, modern Myanmar. On the one side, the Japanese Imperial Army, and a small number of Indians and Burmese who sided with them. On the other side, soldiers from India, China, Britain, the USA, West-Africa, and Burma. Robert Lyman strongly argues for the predominance of the Indian Army in this war. British officers remained in charge at the top, but most soldiers and a growing number of officers were now a truly Indian force, forging a national identity in their struggle against the Japanese offensives.

At the level of politics, grand strategy and the events in the wider context, Lyman appears to want to limit himself to the minimum necessary to provide context to the events in Burma. He leaves a lot of cans of worms unopened, mentioning events such as the Bengal famine mostly in passing. This may have the effect, intended or not, of white-washing British colonial policy, even if he concedes that the actions of a number of individuals were wrong.

At the operational level, Lyman highlights a contrast between the Allied and the Japanese forces in ability to learn and evolve. The former, thanks to more competent leadership and greater resources, were able to greatly improve their fighting ability. They trained their troop for jungle warfare, brought in additional armour and artillery, developed combined arms tactics between the land and air forces, boosted their logistics and mobility by adding air transport, and experimented with deep penetration tactics. The Japanese army was not able to evolve its ability in a similar way, so that they demonstrated excellent tactical skills in 1942 but found themselves outclassed by 1945.

Tactically, this is a very detailed account of a conflict fought over some of the most difficult campaigning terrain in the world, and Lyman’s account is very positional, pre-occupied with the movement of troops and strategic positions. This can be very confusing when many of the place names are not to be found on the (otherwise very clear) maps in the book. Some sections were so difficult to keep track of, that I gave up on trying to figure out the geography.

Otherwise, this is a very informative work, highlighting a part of WWII that has been largely ignored by the general public but remains surprisingly controversial among those who do remember it. Lyman’s perspective is probably only one of many. But it is a study that has been carefully built to connect the fighting and suffering on the ground with the wider strategy and the political evolutions in the region, and that deserves respect.
… (lisätietoja)
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EmmanuelGustin | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 29, 2023 |
Location : NWS
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newEPbooks | Feb 14, 2023 |
Up till this book the most I knew about Burma was one episode in 'The World at War', a couple of bad films and Tom Moore (an OAP who raised a lot of money for the health service during covid). Lyman's book will alter your ideas a bit. It could benefit from a few more maps but Osprey Publishing Campaign series will fill in the gaps. BTW get the ebook somewhere, as the audiobook on YT has a terrible flaw in Section 2.
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graeme.bell3 | 1 muu arvostelu | Dec 31, 2022 |
Heroic description of the struggle of the Iraqi people against war criminal ChurcHitler and his murderous petroleum company cabal…. Oh, wait; wrong war.

In 1941 the Iraqi government changed for the worse (as far as the UK was concerned). Iraq had sort of a strange setup; nominally independent (there was a German Embassy in Baghdad) but “protected” by Great Britain. Four Iraqi colonels (“The Golden Square”) decided they had enough of British quasi-occupation and staged a coup. Iraqi army units occupied a plateau overlooking the RAF base at Habbaniya and sent word that because they wear conducting a live fire training exercise, no airplanes could take off and no one could leave. Since the base only had 12 days of rations, it couldn’t withstand much of a siege.

The base had a couple of companies of “local levies” (which turned out to be surprisingly effective since they were composed of Assyrian Christians and Kurds and therefore had no love for the rest of Iraq). In the meantime, Britain was scraping the bottom the barrel to find units to send to Iraq. A couple of Indian Army brigades were landed at Basra, which surrendered without a fight, a “mobile” force quipped with home-made armored cars and a fleet of city buses and trucks leased in Palestine started eastward across the desert, and some Wellingtons and Blenheims flew in from Egypt.

The Habbaniya base was a training center a flew a miscellaneous assortment of aircraft, including Gladiators, Audaxes, Harts, Oxfords, and the notorious Vickers Valentia, credited with avoiding air attacks by being so slow that opponents inevitably overshot.

Habbaniya gathered an assortment of bombs for its aircraft and proceeded to pummel the Iraqi besiegers. Some Royal Hellenic Airforce pilots there for training were more than happy to chip in. The base also discovered that the two WWI 18-pounders that were used as war memorials in front of the administration building had never been demilitarized, and after liberal application of paint stripper and a shipment of 18-pounder shells flown in on cargo planes from Basra they were brought into action (for disinformation, the British released news reports that the artillery had been transported on specially equipped aircraft).

In the meantime, the Germans quickly did a deal with the Vichy government in Syria and staged some Me-110s and He-111s to northern Iraq. These were surprisingly ineffective; you would think the rag-tag desert column would have been easy prey but there were only four vehicles destroyed, one man killed, and few more wounded. The trek across the desert ended anticlimactically, because the base had already raised the siege through its own efforts. The Golden Square collapsed and Iraq went back to being a rear area.

This is the usual Osprey Campaign book; a relatively slim paperback with nice color paintings and good maps; a more than adequate account of a side show to the Big Show. These tend to be pricey for their volume, but I got mine for half price off a remainder shelf.
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setnahkt | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 12, 2017 |

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