This is a thrilling book of derring-do behind enemy lines in the jungles of north-east Burma in the period 1942-44 during the Japanese occupation.
The author was a member of Britain's V Force, a forerunner of the SAS. Its remit was to harass Japanese lines of command, patrol their occupied territory, carry out sabotage and provide intelligence, with the overall objective of keeping the enemy out of India.
Irwin is admirably yet brutally frank, in his descriptions of deathly battles with the Japs, his execution of a prisoner, dodging falling bags of rice dropped by the RAF, or collapsing in floods of tears through accumulated stress, fear and loneliness.
He also provides some fascinating insights into the mentality of Japanese soldiery and why it failed against the flexibility and devolved authority of the British.
The book would provide a wonderful basis for a very human and exhilarating movie.