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Kohima 1944 (Campaign) [Paperback]

Robert Lyman , Peter Dennis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Oct 2010 Campaign (Book 229)
In March 1944, the Japanese Army launched Operation U-Go, an attack on Assam in India intended to inspire a rising against British rule. A month earlier the Japanese had launched Operation Ha-Go, which was intended as a feint to draw British attention away from the Imphal area. But British forces employed new defensive techniques to counter the Japanese infiltration tactics. These tactics were again employed on a larger scale when Imphal and Kohima were surrounded during Operation U-Go. Kohima took place in two stages. From 3 to 16 April, the Japanese attempted to capture Kohima Ridge. As the small garrison held out against fierce and repeatedly desperate attempts by the Japanese 31st Division to destroy them, so the British 2nd Division fought to break through and relieve them. Then for over two months British and Indian troops counter-attacked to drive the Japanese from the positions they had already captured. The battle ended on June 22 when British and Indian troops from Kohima and Imphal met at Milestone 109, thus ending the siege.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (11 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846039398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846039393
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 17.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Robert Lyman was born in New Zealand in 1963. Following schooling at Scotch College, Melbourne, he spent twenty years as an officer in the British Army, during which time he picked up degrees from the universities of York, Wales (Aberystwyth), Cranfield and London (King's College). His PhD is from the University of East Anglia. He has been passionate about history ever since he can remember. He writes (and reads) for pleasure. He is Chairman of the Kohima Educational Trust, which provides educational support to young learners in Nagaland. He is represented by Charlie Viney of The Viney Agency.

Product Description


Overall, this is a well written, exciting and interesting book to read which contains some good maps, photographs and pictures and detailed orders of battle for both sides --Miniature Wargames

About the Author

Robert Lyman is the author of one Campaign Series titles: "Iraq 1941" (2006). He has also written "Slim, Master of War" (Constable, 2004), "First Victory" (Constable, 2006) and "The Generals: From Defeat to Victory in Asia, 1941-45" (Constable, 2008), the later of which deals in detail with the man responsible for the Japanese invasion of India in 1944, Mutaguchi Renya. Robert's latest book, "The Longest Siege, Tobruk. The Battle that Saved North Africa "(Macmillan) is being published simultaneously in Australia and the UK on 15 May 2009. He is also writing, for Macmillan, a substantial account of the war in the Far East to be called The Turning Point: Imphal and Kohima and the Battle for India (forthcoming, 2010). Robert is also the Secretary (soon to be Chairman) of the Kohima Educational Trust (www.kohimaeducationaltrust) and a trustee of the Burma Campaign Memorial Library at SOAS, London.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kohima 1944, a review by Thomas W Johnson 21 Jun 2011
I was surprised by the avalanche of stars for this work. As already pointed out, Osprey gives the author 96 pages to tell his story; and by the time you back out the photos, maps, drawings, introduction, table of contents, suggested reading, index, etc... I doubt if there is more than 50 pages of text. I compare it, favorably, to a Clift's Notes version of Edward's "Furthest Battle", or Kohima for Dummies. If I were a high school student in a history class and needed to write a book report, this is a good option.

Previous reviewers have already pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of this book. Like Charpoy Chindit, I would have found the "3-D" drawings a lot more useful if the artist had included the Dimapur to Imphal Road, the Jessami Track and the road from Naga Village to Merema and Bokajan. Otherwise, they didn't add measurably to the book, and the items that were hidden by the binding made using the maps a little frustrating.

Also, as previously prointed out by Charpoy, there are some errors that are surprising given Rob's familiarity with the subject.

On page 24 Merema is moved to the East of Naga Village and 138th Regiment would lead the "southern prong". In several places (pages 36 and 71 for example) he refers to "tanks" on the tennis court. I checked Sgt Waterhouse's report in Tank Tracks to Rangoon (pages 142 - 143) (Bryan Perrett, Robert Hale Publishers, 1978) to make sure, and there was only one tank on the tennis court. I just get the feeling that the editing was rushed and the proof reading was half hearted.

At the bottom of page 59, the author writes "While the immediate crisis was over, Stopford now had to prevent Sato from capturing Kohima and Dimapur.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent work. 18 Jan 2011
I have been a fan of Robert Lyman's work, as well as being a fan of the Osprey series as a whole. Through personal correspondence and following news via the author's own web-site, this was another eagerly anticipated publication to add to my Kohima collection.

As mentioned by other reviewers, the size of the publication means that it cannot obviously compare to larger publications dealing this subject matter. Non the less it is an excellent companion, and very well researched as is usual of Robert Lyman's publications. Great maps, photos and artwork bring the narrative to life.

I would recommend this book to anyone with no previous knowledge as an initial overview / background to the Siege / Battle of Kohima, and also to anyone wanting a useful companion to sit alongside their existing collection. I look forward to more great works from this author. Many thanks.Kohima 1944 (Campaign)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kohima 1944. Robert Lyman 18 Dec 2010
While the 14th Army may have been the forgotten army Kohima certainly isn't the forgotten battle. With so many books already written on the subject Robert Lyman and his publishers took something of a chance in going back to the battle/siege that saved India. It was a chance worth taking as the finished product is a compact, superbly written account of this most vital victory. Robert Lyman writes with a refreshing clarity. Only a writer with his gift for brevity could have told the story of Kohima in a neat volume of this size. The combination of photographs and the illustrations by Peter Dennis will help younger readers grasp the urgency and the awfulness of what was called the "Stalingrad of the East" and Lyman's clear communication will leave them with a pure picture of ordinary men doing extraordinary things. A superb piece of work. I bought three copies.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Osprey's treatment of the epic stand and battle 14 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kohima 1944 is Robert Lyman's second outing for Osprey following on from his well received work on the 1941 Iraq campaign. Whist his earlier work dealt with one of the more obscure campaigns of World War Two here the author treads much more familiar ground. The fact that there are many other works out there covering this same battle presents a problem to in terms of presenting a balanced review. Clearly the limitations imposed by the Osprey format present major constraints on the scope of the work and little space is left of eye-witness accounts. One of Robert Lyman's strengths in his book on the siege of Tobruk in 1941 (The Longest Siege, Macmillan 2009) is the way he has corralled the many personal testimonies into a clear narrative. Osprey's 96 page limit is undoubtedly a handicap in this respect. To this end I have judged this work against other Osprey Campaign books rather than as a standard work published without these limitations.

Given those qualifications above I generally feel the work is a great success and one of the better Osprey editions in recent years. The author is helped by the limited scale of the forces involved with one Japanese Division facing off against three British/Indian Divisions. In addition the siege of Kohima itself makes a naturally gripping story but this is aided by the author's first-hand knowledge of the battlefield and his personal connection as Chairman of the Kohima Educational Trust. The text also presents a good balance of coverage between the Japanese and Allied points of view.

The maps do the job and are located in the right points to support the text (not always the case with Osprey) and for once subject matter of the original artwork is well chosen.
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