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Defeat Into Victory: (Pan Military Classics Series)

Defeat Into Victory: (Pan Military Classics Series) [Kindle Edition]

William Slim
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Field Marshal William Slim stands alongside Montgomery as the outstanding British field commander of World War II. Defeat Into Victory is his classic account of the Burma campaign: a story of retreat, attrition and final hard-fought victory over the Japanese. Told by a commander always at the centre of events, this is a narrative which captures both the high drama and the harsh reality of war.

Book Description

Field Marshal William Slim stands alongside Montgomery as the outstanding British field commander of World War II. Defeat Into Victory is his classic account of the Burma campaign: a story of retreat, attrition and final hard-fought victory over the Japanese. Told by a commander always at the centre of events, this is a narrative which captures both the high drama and the harsh reality of war.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 25 July 2004
I have read alot of military history, however this book stands out beyond most. Slim takes us through the early, tough years, and explains how 14th Army had to be built from the ground up in patient step by step moves. Slim explains how his greatest challenge, and ultimately his greatest triumph, was convincing 14th Army they could defeat the Japanese in the jungle. The force he forged defeated the Japanese at Imphal and succeeded in driving their still mighty forces all the way back to Rangoon in what Weintraub called "14th Army's Jungle Blitzkrieg".
The challenges of supply were immense. Slim spends some time heaping laurels on both his subordinates and superiors and is quick to point out his mistakes. As someone said, there is no limit to what a man can do as long as he doesn't care who gets the credit. In the long run, Slim was perhaps the finest British general officer of the war, and could compete for the title in any army. Given the 14th Army he led was last in line for everything given demands in other theaters, his personal leadership had a huge effect on turning the tables against Japan in Southeast Asia.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Field Marshall Slim provides an in-depth account of this campaign from the withdrawal into India to the final defeat of Japan. The book is a must for any would-be leader of military men and is a bible for those studying leadership. The campaign is centred on the Battle for Imphal and Kohima and then the eventual clearing of Burma and the opposed crossing of the Irrawady River, no mean feat considering it is 1.5 miles wide in places! Those that read this book will not only enjoy the style but also learn the ins and out of how the campaign was run and how thin the line was between success and defeat. The more modern copies have reduced the maps which make studying them more difficult. I would therefore recommend an older copy to get the most out of the book.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. 1 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This book consists of the military memoirs of Viscount Slim. Slim was only the second British soldier in the history of the British Army to advance from the rank of Private to the rank of Field Marshal (the first being "Wully" Robertson of WW1 fame). Though less well known than Monty, in my opinion he was the best British general of WW2 and could certainly compete for the title of Best Allied General. His memoirs begin with typical modesty, outlining what he feels to be the limits of historical autobiography and memoirs. He then proceeds to detail his exploits, beginning at the time he was assigned to Burma under General Alexander. The book is important both as a work of history and as a personal memoir and is written in a witty and engaging style. It also provides various general observations on command that would be of use to any serving officer - definitely one for any young subaltern to find space for in his pack! The author pays generous tribute to those he served with and at the risk of sounding somewhat sycophantic, comes over as a true gentleman. He offers objective analysis of the non-British troops he served with and against, including Americans, Chinese and Japanese and never stints on giving praise when it is due - either to allies or the Japanese. This is a splendid memoir written by somebody who was a superb general and clearly a splendid person in his own right. If you are a military officer or have a serious interest in history this book deserves (demands!)a place on your shelf.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership at its best 11 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a serving soldier this is a truly inspiring book. If there is anybody that wants to know about leadership then this is the book for you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cracking Good Read 28 Nov 2011
By Jonbob
I have little expertise on military history and none of military tactics but I am fascinated by the tales that come out of warfare for many different reasons. Many of the reviews for this book are from miltary types, do not be put off by this because this is a cracking good read for all of an exceptional man undertaking an exceptional task.
The way Slim manages some cantankerous members of his senior staff is an object lesson in good management which we can all learn from. The exciting tale of the Battle for Burma is gripping. He conveys his feeling for the horrors endured by all the soldiers, not just Allied. It is shocking that one reviewer focuses on just one comment when Slim refers to "only" 2000+ casualities as this is not typical of his writing at all and is very selective. Throughout the book Slim clearly was looking at ways to minimise the number of Allied casualities. The same reviewer makes play also of his one reference to "slit eyed" Japenese, again this is unfair to Slim as he consistently praises the efforts of Indian, Burmese and African solidiers in his army AND consistently praises the bravery of the Japenese, also recognising when he wrongly typecasts the tactics of Japanese generals. Given this book was written in the 1950s Slim should be recognised as being ahead of his time as a military person in his attitude to different ethnic groups.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best 21 Mar 2007
Not only was Bill Slim probably the best British commander of the Second World War, his memoir is far and away the best examination of the demands of high command yet written. It is not self-serving and tendentious like the writings of Montgomery; in its examination of events it is factual and down to earth, but warmth of the man still shines through.

Slim was perhaps fortunate in being able to win back what had previously been lost, and did not suffer the ignominies heaped upon Wavell. This was partly because when he became corps commander in Burma during the retreat in 1942, he could not possibly be held responsible for the situation he inherited. By the time he was appointed commander of Fourteenth Army, matters were still desperate as the Japanese attempted an invasion of India. And throughout his tenure, he struggled with his command being at the bottom of Allied global priorities.

Yet he was able, through dedication, skill and force of personality to lead his multi-national army - some 750,000 comprised of Britons, a great many Africans from across the continent, but principally Indians - in the reconquest of Burma. Not only that, he achieved this in a country devoid of the means of support, crossing great rivers, jungle clad mountains and burning plains. He was a truly great leader. 'He understood men', wrote the Australian Roy McKie. 'He spoke their language as he moved among them, from forward positions to training bases. He had the richest of common-sense, a dour soldier's humour and a simple earthy wisdom. Wherever he moved he lifted morale. He was the finest of Englishmen.'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Honest and modest to an amazing degree this clear thinking General is outstanding as a human being.
Published 7 days ago by bernard marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but get sepearte map.
A real General's top end strategic and management view on running a major and complex campaign, arguably the "hardest" in endurance terms. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JC Wiltshire
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exemplar for all
As a generality those who think they have leadership quality have not;Those who don't do. Right man ,right place right time and thank God Allenbrooke was CIGS.
Published 2 months ago by paul garland
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but a pity about the maps
This is a very well-written and fascinating account of the Burma campaigns in World War II, and I should have given it a 5-star rating if the reproduction of the maps had been... Read more
Published 3 months ago by McNaught Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of work
Slim was the most under rated soldier of his time always living in the shadows of Montgomery and Eisenhower. It would have been a privilage for me to work for him.
Published 6 months ago by john bridgford
5.0 out of 5 stars Defeat into Victory.
Like the other book "Uncle Bill", it tells with great accuracy a piece of our history. I enjoyed it very much.
Published 8 months ago by Tommaso Virdia
5.0 out of 5 stars burmese struggle
good accurate account by field marshall sir william slim of withdrawall to india and then the return to burma !
Published 9 months ago by terence james hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
This is a gem of a book for all those interested in the Burma campaign of World War two. It also gives an insight to the qualities and tribulations of leadership.
Published 10 months ago by Lampman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I read this book years ago and my opinion of it has not changed. This is a story of courage under really bad circumstances and as the book title says it tells the story of a defeat... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Rochester Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Commander.
No other General Either Allied or Axis could have achieved that which Slim achieved during the Burma campaign. Surely our greatest Commander bar none!
Published 14 months ago by MR E CAVINDER
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