The Road Past Mandalay

Author: John Masters

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1474626076

Category: History

Page: 363

View: 5063

The second part of the bestselling novelist's dramatic autobiography about his time in the Gurkhas during the second world war This is the second part of John Masters' autobiography: how he fought with his Gurkha regiment during World War II until his promotion to command one of the Chindit columns behind enemy lines in Burma. Written by a bestselling novelist at the height of his powers, it is an exceptionally moving story that culminates in him having to personally shoot a number of wounded British soldiers who cannot be evacuated before their position is overrun by the Japanese. It is an uncomfortable reminder that Churchill's obsession with 'special forces' squandered thousands of Allied lives in operations that owed more to public relations than strategic calculation. This military and moral odyssey is one of the greatest of World War II frontline memoirs.

Phoenix from the Ashes

Author: Daniel Marston

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 0275980030

Category: History

Page: 283

View: 756

Investigates how the Indian Army turned a major defeat by the Japanese in 1943 into a victory in 1945 through tactical and structural reforms.

The Daring Dozen

Author: Gavin Mortimer

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1780964552

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 2046

In this new book, Gavin Mortimer reveals the 12 legendary Special Forces commanders of World War II. Prior to the war, the concept of 'special forces' simply didn't exist, but thanks to visionary leaders like David Stirling and Charles Hunter, our very concept of how wars can be fought and won has totally changed. These 12 men not only reshaped military policy, but they led from the front, accompanying their troops into battle, from the sands of North Africa to jumping on D-Day and infiltrating behind enemy lines. Mortimer also offers a skilful analysis of their qualities as military commanders and the true impact that their own personal actions, as well as those of their units, had on the eventual outcome of the war.

Blood, Oil and the Axis

Author: John Broich

Publisher: Abrams

ISBN: 1468314017

Category: History

Page: 444

View: 4540

Spring 1941 was a high point for the Axis war machine. Western Europe was conquered; southeastern Europe was falling, Great Britain on its heels; and Rommel’s Afrika Korps was freshly arrived to drive on the all-important Suez Canal. In Blood, Oil and the Axis, historian John Broich tells the story of Iraq and the Levant during this most pivotal time of the war. The browbeaten Allied forces had one last remaining hope for turning the war in their favor: the Axis running through its fuel supply. But when the Golden Square—four Iraqi generals allegiant to the Axis cause—staged a coup in Iraq, elevating a pro-German junta and prompting military cooperation between Vichy French–occupied Syria and Lebanon and the Axis, disaster loomed. Blood, Oil and the Axis follows those who participated in the Allies’ frantic, improvised, and unlikely response to this dire threat: Palestinian and Jordanian Arabs, Australians, American and British soldiers, Free French Foreign Legionnaires, and Jewish Palestinians, all who shared a desperate, bloody purpose in quashing the formation of an Axis state in the Middle East. Memorable figures of this makeshift alliance include Jack Hasey, a young American who ran off to fight with the Free French Foreign Legion before his own country entered the war; Freya Stark, a famous travel-writer-turned-government-agent; and even Roald Dahl, a twenty-three-year-old Royal Air Force recruit (and future author of beloved children’s books). Taking the reader on a tour of cities and landscapes grimly familiar to today’s reader—from a bombed-out Fallujah, to Baghdad, to Damascus—Blood, Oil and the Axis is poised to become the definitive chronicle of the Axis’s menacing play for Iraq and the Levant in 1941 and the extraordinary alliance that confronted it.

Browned Off and Bloody-minded

Author: Alan Allport

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300170750

Category: History

Page: 441

View: 2952

More than three-and-a-half million men served in the British Army during the Second World War, the vast majority of them civilians who had never expected to become soldiers and had little idea what military life, with all its strange rituals, discomforts, and dangers, was going to be like. Alan Allport's rich and luminous social history examines the experience of the greatest and most terrible war in history from the perspective of these ordinary, extraordinary men, who were plucked from their peacetime families and workplaces and sent to fight for King and Country. Allport chronicles the huge diversity of their wartime trajectories, tracing how soldiers responded to and were shaped by their years with the British Army, and how that army, however reluctantly, had to accommodate itself to them. Touching on issues of class, sex, crime, trauma, and national identity, through a colorful multitude of fresh individual perspectives, the book provides an enlightening, deeply moving perspective on how a generation of very modern-minded young men responded to the challenges of a brutal and disorienting conflict.

Shavetails and Bell Sharps

Author: Emmett M. Essin

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780803267404

Category: History

Page: 282

View: 9649

The last U.S. Army mules were formally mustered out of the service in December 1956, ending 125 years of military reliance on the virtues of this singular animal. Much less glamorous than the cavalryman?s horse, the Army pack mule was a good deal more important: from the Mexican War through World War II, mules were an indispensable adjunct to army movement. ø The author has exhaustively researched the ubiquitous yet nearly invisible army mule. Through his work we learn a great deal about military procurement, transport, and supply, the bedrock on which military mobility rests.

Spidermen: Nigerian Chindits and Wingate’s Operation Thursday Burma 1943 – 1944

Author: John Igbino

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 1546296166

Category: History

Page: 558

View: 9856

In 1944 twenty thousand Allied Airborne Special Force troops in five Brigades commanded by Major General Orde Wingate landed behind the Japanese lines in Northern Burma. The Operation was Codenamed Operation Thursday. The Special Force troops were nicknamed ‘Chindits’. Four thousand Nigerian troops fought in the Special Force Brigades as Chindits during Operation Thursday. This book is an account of their operations behind Japanese lines between February and August 1944. The Brigade’s Insignia was the Black African Spider advancing on its prey. Thus, the Brigade called itself the ‘Spider Brigade’; its Battalions, namely the 6th, 7th and 12th Nigeria Regiments, ‘Spider Regiments’, and its troops ‘Spidermen’. The book is a well-written account of the Spider Brigade’s battles against the 18th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. It should force Chindit Historians to confront the anomalies in Contemporary History’s treatment of Nigerian Chindits. The book is a scholarly and dispassionate excursion into the 14th Army’s Campaigns, putting under the microscope the preconceived assumptions of British and Indian Armies’ Officer Corps about the fighting quality of Nigerian Chindits. Thus, the book is an important and long overdue account of Operation Thursday that will become the standard work on Nigeria’s contributions to Allied Airborne Invasion of Burma.

Burma, Kipling and Western Music

Author: Andrew Selth

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 131729890X

Category: Music

Page: 294

View: 2945

For decades, scholars have been trying to answer the question: how was colonial Burma perceived in and by the Western world, and how did people in countries like the United Kingdom and United States form their views? This book explores how Western perceptions of Burma were influenced by the popular music of the day. From the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824-6 until Burma regained its independence in 1948, more than 180 musical works with Burma-related themes were written in English-speaking countries, in addition to the many hymns composed in and about Burma by Christian missionaries. Servicemen posted to Burma added to the lexicon with marches and ditties, and after 1913 most movies about Burma had their own distinctive scores. Taking Rudyard Kipling’s 1890 ballad ‘Mandalay’ as a critical turning point, this book surveys all these works with emphasis on popular songs and show tunes, also looking at classical works, ballet scores, hymns, soldiers’ songs, sea shanties, and film soundtracks. It examines how they influenced Western perceptions of Burma, and in turn reflected those views back to Western audiences. The book sheds new light not only on the West’s historical relationship with Burma, and the colonial music scene, but also Burma’s place in the development of popular music and the rise of the global music industry. In doing so, it makes an original contribution to the fields of musicology and Asian Studies.