Start reading Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia and Zion on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available
 

Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia and Zion [Kindle Edition]

C Smith , J Bierman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.68 (46%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.31  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £7.99  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

Orde Charles Wingate. Winston Churchill thought him a military genius; others considered him greatly over-rated; a few even thought him mad. His overriding passion was for Zionism, a cause which he embraced when posted to British-ruled Palestine in 1936. There he raised the Special Night Squads, an irregular force which decimated Arab rebel bands and taught a future generation of Israeli generals (including Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin) how to fight. In 1941, Wingate led another guerrilla-style force into Italian-occupied Ethiopia and was instrumental in restoring Emperor Haile Selassie to his throne. But his most famous campaign was conducted behind enemy lines in Burma, where his Chindits shattered the myth of Japanese invincibility in jungle fighting. A brilliant maverick, Wingate was a difficult if not impossible subordinate. He was also - as this riveting new study reveals - an inspiring leader.


Product Description

Review

fast paced and satisfying...the authors know the lot of the ordinary soldier (New York Times)

...excellent use of interviews with those who knew Wingate best (Washington Times)

a balanced book of this most unbalanced man...lucid and exciting (Phillip Ziegler The Spectator)

Riveting...John Bierman and Colin Smith, wily veterans of war reporting, are excellent on the military adventurer who so caught the public imagination (Walter Ellis Sunday Times)

one has to consider Wingate one of the most influential military minds of the 20th century - and surely one of the strangest (San Diego Union Tribune)

Engaging... a page turning tale of a military genius (Kirkus Review)

Extensive use of primary material enhances the portrait (Library Journal)

An illuminating study, the authors are to be congratulated on an excellent, readable book (Hugh Toye, Times Literary Supplement)

Review

'fast paced and satisfying…the authors know the lot of the ordinary soldier' -New York Times

'…excellent use of interviews with those who knew Wingate best' - Washington Times

' a balanced book of this most unbalanced man…lucid and exciting' - Phillip Ziegler, The Spectator

'Riveting…John Bierman and Colin Smith, wily veterans of war reporting, are excellent on the military adventurer who so caught the public imagination'- Walter Ellis, Sunday Times

'one has to consider Wingate one of the most influential military minds of the 20th century – and surely one of the strangest'-  San Diego Union Tribune

'Engaging… a page turning tale of a military genius'- Kirkus Review

'Extensive use of primary material enhances the portrait'-  Library Journal

'an illuminating study, the authors are to be congratulated on an excellent, readable book'- Hugh Toye, Times Literary Supplement

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 942 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (15 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A8ESDLQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #473,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One great read begets two 21 Nov. 2002
By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAME TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Some time ago, I read QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE, the wartime memoirs of George MacDonald Fraser concerning the time he spent in the Other Ranks of the British imperial army that recaptured Burma from the Japanese in World War II. In his book, Fraser mentions the high regard the troops had for the army commander, William Slim. I subsequently read DEFEAT INTO VICTORY by Field-Marshal Viscount Slim, a personal account by the man who commanded the Fourteenth Indian Army during its bitter retreat from, and its glorious return march through, Burma. In his volume, Slim mentions the unorthodox British general Orde Wingate's contributions to the Japanese defeat in Southeast Asia. Thus, FIRE IN THE NIGHT, Wingate's biography.
Co-authored by John Bierman and Colin Smith, FIRE IN THE NIGHT is the immensely readable life story of an incredibly complex man. In a nutshell, after several brief chapters on Wingate's early life, the narrative sequentially covers his postings in Palestine, Ethiopia and, finally, India/Burma, during which time (1936-1944) he rose in rank from Lieutenant to Major General. In the British Mandate of Palestine, Orde became an ardent Zionist while fighting Arab "gangs" with Special Night Squads, the armed detachments of British regulars and Jews which he himself brought into being. In Ethiopia, his was a key role in the British victorious military effort to drive the Italians from the country and return Haile Selassie to the thrown. In India, Wingate's ultimate triumph before an untimely death was to conceive, form, train and deploy the Third Indian Division, the "Chindits", as a Special Force to insert behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma to destroy the enemy's means of communication and supply.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A First Class Biography 21 Mar. 2007
Format:Paperback
When Major Mike Calvert met the strange brigadier sitting in his chair the name Wingate meant nothing to him. When Calvert Pointed out it was Calvert's chair, Wingate moved aside at once. 'Tired as I was', wrote Calvert later, 'I soon began to realize this was a man I could work for and follow.' It was a common reaction to this truly extraordinary soldier. No other, except perhaps Montgomery, has generated such controversy. It is practically impossible to find a dispassionate judgement; he was either loathed or worshipped. Over the years Wingate has had numerous biographers and, although occasionally prone to journalistic hyperbole, John Bierman and Colin Smith's Fire in the Night is the most recent and thorough, and is very well written.

In contrast, he came under vitriolic attack in the 1950s from the official historian, S. Woodburn Kirby, who had been Deputy Chief of General Staff in Delhi in 1943, and had numerous run-ins with Wingate over the latter's demands for men, supplies and everything else. Wingate then demanded that Mountbatten sack Kirby 'for iniquitous and unpatriotic conduct'. Kirby had his revenge in an astonishing three-page passage describing Wingate as 'petulant', `obsessed' and 'having neither the knowledge, stability nor balance to make a great commander'. Other biographers have since taken up the cudgels on Wingate's behalf, and this book represents a non-interested attempt to set the record straight, or at least as straight as possible with such a contentious figure.

The men who served under him were similarly divided, and many hated him. But Private Charles Aves recalled that Wingate 'exuded an aura of power. And yet he didn't speak in that manner, he spoke quietly and convincingly ... He realigned our perceptions of what was possible for ordinary people like ourselves ... He was a great man.'
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the night 30 Aug. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Glad to be able to read the book , My father was one of wyngates chindits he didn't tell us anything until he had a stroke 6 years ago
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE STANDARD WARRIOR GENTLEMAN 18 Mar. 2004
By Rodney J. Szasz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Having been brought up on stories from my early years about the brave and often forgotten exploits of the Chindits I was very enthused to tuck into this book. Orde Wingate has been the hero of many, not so much because he was a military successful warrior, but because he was wildly unconventional at a time when staid ethics and methods of war were leading to defeats of the western allies on all fronts.
A fierce Old Testament fear and learning of the bible bread in what would now be called a fundementalist christian family, he blended this with [...] eccentricities like, indifference to appearing nude before his collegues and newspapermen, a complete indifference to British Monarchy and the hierarchical class-bound society and way of thinking. An appreciator of new ideas and probably quite to the left of many of his superiors, he had no hestation in punishing and physically striking his recruits (no matter their colour), and could kill the enemy mercilessly, or order large groups knowingly to their death without a blink.
Wingate pioneered unconventional warfare with his notion that large unit groups can function in the rear of the enemy for long periods of time if they were self-sufficient and well trained. He eschewed the entire idea of "special forces" as they are often called nowadays. In the end I do not think that he squared the circle large unit action and special forces --- he wanted both and got really neither. His tactics worked rather well against the Italians (but that was no surprise he realised), but they were problematic against the Japanese. The first operation, "Long Cloth" was an unmitigated disaster, with enough adventures from its many participants to fill an entire library (they still make some of the most heart thumping reads available). The entire operation broke down and became in some cases, every man for himself. Wingate himself giving the order.
His second operation was more problematic. No doubt these operations had significant effect on the enemy and no doubt were very helpful in the taking of Myikyena and Mogang, but I really think that 14th Army would have rolled up the Japanese flank nicely anyway, as they did and win the Battle of Burma with overwhelming firepower and troops as well unmitigated air superiority.
In the end the Japanese in Burma were beaten by traditional large unit engagements.
That is not a defeat of the ideas of Orde Wingate, nor do they negate the incredible bravery of the men who served with him. What it does DO however is to put to rest the idea that Orde Wingate was a purveyor of "Truth" -- his ideas were worthy, but they were not the be-all end-all of jungle combat. His developments were prodigeous and his personal bravery never in doubt. But I think that, like Moses, he got involved too much in fanatical devotion to one idea and was willing to sacrifice a lot for an idea. In the case of Moses, his people --- in the case of Wingate, it was often his own troops.
This books admirably chronicles the multifacted nature of Wingate. It is factual and comes across as neutral as possible, often citing critical sources and those men (also of incredible courage) that did not fall under his spell.
The narrative is tight and WELL EDITED. Unlike your regular 1000 page biography Smith and Beirman are able to deal with the subject adequately in 400 pages with nothing substantive missing. Also there is just enough detail of almost all of his life. The final 150 pages deals with the Burma campaign the authors are very skillful in their use of detail. They include all of the crucial elements necessary of his many campaigns.
I found the book to be a very admirable read. I think that it only deepened the questions I have about Wingate --- was he a daring experimenter or a madman? --- I think that one can add, bitterly-troubled person to the heap of other appelations surrounding this man.
I still ask myself, if this man were my commander would I succumb and become a convert? Would I stand aloof and protest that something is terribly wrong? I do not know, and cannot judge because I was not born at the time these events transpired. I was not a part of this great crusade, the glory they gained or the horrors they endured.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One good read begets two 29 Jun. 2002
By Mr. Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Some time ago, I read QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE, the wartime memoirs of George MacDonald Fraser concerning the time he spent in the Other Ranks of the British imperial army that recaptured Burma from the Japanese in World War II. In his book, Fraser mentions the high regard the troops had for the army commander, William Slim. I subsequently read DEFEAT INTO VICTORY by Field-Marshal Viscount Slim, a personal account by the man who commanded the Fourteenth Indian Army during its bitter retreat from, and its glorious return march through, Burma. In his volume, Slim mentions the unorthodox British general Orde Wingate's contributions to the Japanese defeat in Southeast Asia. Thus, FIRE IN THE NIGHT, Wingate's biography.
Co-authored by John Bierman and Colin Smith, FIRE IN THE NIGHT is the immensely readable life story of an incredibly complex man. In a nutshell, after several brief chapters on Wingate's early life, the narrative sequentially covers his postings in Palestine, Ethiopia and, finally, India/Burma, during which time (1936-1944) he rose in rank from Lieutenant to Major General. In the British Mandate of Palestine, Orde became an ardent Zionist while fighting Arab "gangs" with Special Night Squads, the armed detachments of British regulars and Jews which he himself brought into being. In Ethiopia, his was a key role in the British victorious military effort to drive the Italians from the country and return Haile Selassie to the thrown. In India, Wingate's ultimate triumph before an untimely death was to conceive, form, train and deploy the Third Indian Division, the "Chindits", as a Special Force to insert behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma to destroy the enemy's means of communication and supply.
To my mind, the strength of this book is that it gives the reader an excellent overview of Wingate the man and soldier without getting bogged down in an overabundance of detail. Certainly, the subject of Wingate's character, obsessions and eccentricities could fill volumes. He was admired and loved by the men he literally led into battle. (He drove them hard, but he drove himself even harder.) Conversely, he was loathed by many of his officer peers and superiors for his arrogance, outspokenness, rudeness and personal slovenliness. (He was on record as calling some of his more Blimpish superiors "military apes".) But, he also had his admirers in high places, most notably Winston Churchill and Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of all allied forces in Southeast Asia.
Perhaps the most endearing of Wingate's traits were his eccentricities. For example, he carried a wind-up alarm clock on his person because he considered watches unreliable. And then there was his attitude to personal nudity best illustrated by an incident during the wide press acclaim following his first Chindit campaign. An Australian correspondent invited to the general's hotel room in Delhi wrote:
"I found him sitting naked on his bed, eyes buried deep in a book. He hardly glanced up as I entered and rather gruffly asked what I wanted. ... He wasn't interested in me or my requirements, but seemed most excited about the book he was reading ... a critical commentary of Emily Bronte and her work."
Can you imagine those media hogs of the Second World War - Patton, Montgomery and MacArthur - doing that?
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Objective Treatise on Wingate, Man and General 30 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Orde Wingate was a man of extremes and those whose lives he touched either loved him or hated him. Books written about him have largely reflected this, usually taking one side or the other. At last, here is a book that allows readers to decide for themselves in a brilliant, thoroughly researched work, that presents all the extreme facets of General Wingate. It is well argued, with its conclusions backed by documented evidence, and beautifully written in a fashion that makes it appealing to read as a book, rather than just a reference.
From Wingate's early days at Harrow and the beginning of his military career, the reader follows his personal battles with himself and with others. The reader is launched after Wingate as he finds his feet in Palestine in with little regard for convention, either social or military. His first forays in to guerilla warfare, both successful and not, are embellished with personal evidence from credible historical witnesses. His subsequent banishment from Palestine, following policital dabbling above his station, is described, backed by his utter conviction about Zionism that was to colour the rest of his career.
The reader is then invited to rejoin the fray with Wingate as he develops his guerilla techniques, restoring Haile Selassie to his Ethiopian throne. Throughout, the impression of Wingate as a inspirational leader who was a thorn in the side of his superiors in re-inforced.
The final chapter in Wingate's life begins with an unexpected and unwelcome posting to Burma at Wavell's behest to harry to Japanese as they over-run Burma in a bid to drive the British from India. Spendid, accounts of Wingate's audacious cultivation of senior figures, including Churchill and Mountbatten, lie alongside his uncanny ability to forge enemies as he bullies and cajoles the system in to supporting his Chindit operations.
The demise of the Chindits after Wingate's untimely death and subsequent attempts to besmirch him, his techniques and achievements, form the epilogue of this outstanding book.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the night: wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion 20 Mar. 2000
By alex parkhurst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Some fifteen years ago I was in a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Philadelpia looking at a bin of books for $1.00. I stumbled on a book, took it home and read it in a week. I went back to the bookstore and bought every copy they had. I sent the copies to every influential and/or bright friend I could think of because I believed the story was just fascinating. I couldn't believe the book had been ignored. Eventually, the book would become very well known due to the motion picture adaptation. The book was a total flop, at least initially. We know this book today, thanks to Mr. Spielberg's film, as "Schindler's List."
" Fire in the Night" is the only other book in my lifetime that has struck me quite the same way. It is quite enlightening to read about someone as interesting as Orde Wingate or Oskar Schindler. The average man only dreams about being heroic. Wingate and Schindler lived the kind of life that few of us are capable of pulling off.
If someone doesn't make this book into a documentary or a movie then the world has missed an opportunity, and we will only be the poorer for it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biography and Military History At Its Best, Combined 4 Jun. 2000
By James T. McKenna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought I knew a little about Ord Windgate before I read this book. And "a little" is exactly right. This British Army Officer brushed asside every obsticle he ever came to and prevailed in what he was trying to do most of the time. So how could a hundred thousand or so Japanese in Burma stop him. Well they didn't.
This man was litterally a pain ...... of everyone who ever stood in the way of what he saw as the right thing to do. As a junior officer he was disliked by many of his superiors and the stuffy types that were most of his fellow officers. A few saw that he was a dedicated innovator who realy didn't care who he offended by bringing about change. As he progressed up the ranks he had successes that made him even less popular except where it counted.
Those who admired him truly beleived in him (Winston Chuchill for one), but those who disliked him often hated him. It is this man who the authors bring to life within the pages of this well researched and documented book. A first class work of history. Well worth the time to read it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category