William "Bill" Slim is a rather unknown general for us Europeans, just as much as the whole Pacific theatre of World War 2 seems to be lost in the grandeur of the West and Eastern front. I first came into knowing about Bill Slim in Max Hasting's "Nemesis", where I caught the glimpse of what even Max Hasting's said was one of the greatest British generals of the war, if not of all time. Robert Lyman is not shy in declaring the same thing but not without presenting the evidence. Bill Slim's achievement of training and creating an army out of the broken units that retreated through Burma after the Japanese invasion is told here, in all its honesty, together with the military achievements against the Japanese. First at countering the U-Go offensive in 1944, and the subsequent British invasion of Burma. Lyman's strength in writing about Slim lies in his extensive knowledge about the man (having written Slim, Master of War previously) but also in his ability to make Slim come to life by using eyewitness accounts from the soldiers that he commanded.
The Command series, published by Osprey, is one of their newest series focusing on military commanders and with only 64 pages, the text is direct and simple to access. Packed with black and white photos, together with beautiful illustrations by Peter Dennis and great maps, only makes the book much more accessible in understanding both Slim's military merits but also the man behind the legend. The only downside would be the fact that the boxes describing the actual events happening on the map is missing, something I find in all other Command books. All in all, however, it's one of the best Command books so far and one that truly deserves its place on every military history fan's shelf.