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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of reality, now forgotten
I gave this book to my father, who is a veteran of the Kohima seige, a member of the 'Forgotten Army'
His response was that the author's research was remarkable, and very clearly set out the grim reality of that part of the war, probably better that any previous attempt, as the book was so accessible to the reader
His view is that many more should read this...
Published on 7 July 2010 by Aurelius

versus
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm backing up other 3 star reveiwers
I agree with the view that this book isn't great. It is OK and is a good read and I don't feel that I completely wasted my time reading it, but I don't feel fully rewarded for my effort. To back up my rating:

1. Firstly from the titles alone:'Road of Bones' subtitle 'The epic siege of Kohima 1944'. These two things are completely different and it really...
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by Sean Slippers


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of reality, now forgotten, 7 July 2010
I gave this book to my father, who is a veteran of the Kohima seige, a member of the 'Forgotten Army'
His response was that the author's research was remarkable, and very clearly set out the grim reality of that part of the war, probably better that any previous attempt, as the book was so accessible to the reader
His view is that many more should read this book, so that there can be a better understanding of the 'Stalingrad of the East'and the contribution made by so many.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MalcolmC, 5 May 2010
I found this book informative and easy to read, which don't always go together.
A detailed account of the seige of Kohima and to a lesser extent the Japanese retreat.
The number of reminiscences by Japanese as well as Allied soldiers was unusual and welcome.
He also covers the mistakes and in-fighting of both sides commanders and senior offices.
The maps were useful but I felt could have been more detailed and possibly more frequent, there's nothing like a good map!
I was disappointed that the book did not cover the battle at Imphal at all, possibly Mr Keane is keeping this for his follow up book?
If he is it is a book I will read.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine account of British and Imperial Thermopylae, 4 May 2010
By 
Withnail67 (UK) - See all my reviews
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Given the upsurge in well written popular military history, it is about time that the British and Empire campaign against Japan had a chronicler equal to Anthony Beevor or Richard Holmes. The Japanese attack on Imphal and Kohima, while not the fully fledged assault on India it was believed to be at the time, nevertheless threatened the supply lines to China, and might have extended the chaos of war in the Far East.

What a great treat to find this battle's chronicler in the fine prose of BBC correspondent Fergal Keane. I have long been a fan of Keane's journalism, and the command of language he exhibited in his `Letter to Daniel'. You trust his description of the Far East in the 1940s given his time as a correspondent there, and the book is balanced effectively between the grand strategic sweep in Dehli, Washington, Tokyo and London, and the sharp end accounts of the Empire military and Burmese civilians. I learnt a good deal about the intelligence efforts against Japan, and the role of SOE and `V Force' behind the lines.

It's not perfect (`Worcester' Regiment??) but is a fine popular history. I was especially pleased by how Keane effectively used Japanese, Burmese and Indian voices without being clumsily revisionist or politically correct. It was refreshing to read of a Japanese enemy made of human beings.

Well written and harrowing in its description of combat, it does justice to the troops who `gave their today' for our `tomorrow'.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read, 7 May 2010
One cannot find anything negative to say about this book. It's that good. Many readers will probably find themselves, as I did, simply shaking their heads at the terrible conditions both sides endured during this pivotal battle, which historians have pinpointed as crucial in the Allies victory over the Japanese in Burma. What strikes me most, however, is the touching moments of humanity amidst the slaughter, on both sides. As the Japanese juggernaut burst through the Indian frontier, we read of the young British infantry captains' valiant single-handed last stand against enormous Japanese numbers, but who was then laid to rest with full honors by those very same men who had killed him. At the siege itself the scene prior to yet another suicidal frontal charge by their company sees two Japanese officers catch one another saying farewell to photographs of their loved ones. Kean finds many uniquely emotive vignettes to decorate the epic, thus giving the reader the underlying humanity that was prevalent at this trench-warfare like battle.

It might not have the scale of numbers of men in arms of Beevor's 'Stalingrad', but in its recounting of what men on both sides suffered, and the heroism they displayed, then this book deserves just as many accolades.

A truly unique and important book, and one I am happy to recommend.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read - even for non-history book readers!, 17 April 2010
I am not a big reader of history books - my husband bought this book, I flicked through it and got caught. It is the story of one of the less well known battles during wwii, a dreadful siege, a terrible battle, but it is only a story about ordinary people in these circumstances and what war does to human beings. I loved that the author does not take sides, but that we are able to follow individuals from both camps. The language is absolutely stunning. The imagery vivid. Highly recommend it - even to the non-history book reader!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Account, 18 Jan 2011
By 
Jerry Bird (Exeter, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
I love this book, and just could not put it down. In fact, when I first knew that this book was due to be published, and by such a World class journalist as Fergal Keane, then it was on my 'most wanted' list. Fergal Keane writes authoritively, and captures the raw grit of how the battle was fought and seen from both sides; from Private to Officer.

Despite my fairly extensive personal 'Kohima' library, Road of Bones has given me an even greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the Siege / Battle of Kohima, plus it nicely compliments all of the other publications. Fantastic job, highly recommended and a must for anyone interested in the Burma Campaign of WWII. Thank you.Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 - The Epic Story of the Last Great Stand of Empire
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB 10/10, 16 Jun 2010
By 
Helpless "Helpless" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This book details the Battle of Kohima fought on the boarders of India and Burma, a turning point in World War 2 in the fight against the Japanese invader.

It is well researched and extremely well written.
It is one of the few book that I have had lately that I was unable to put down and puts almost all other books on the subject into the shade. Full marks to the author and the style in which he has written it.

The book covers both the perspective of the Allies and the Japanese, this is what makes it so good. When you consider that the conflict that took place in Burma was seen as a sideshow to the greater goings on of the war, Kohima was as bloody as any battle fought in the history of warfare.

I have always had an interest in Kohima as a great family friend who is now in his late eighties was present on Garrison Hill and the tennis courts during the entire episode. Previous to this he fought in the Arakan the prelude to Kohima.

Fergal Keane has done these men proud in his account of the battle and without prejudice or judgement.

Well done.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing!, 17 April 2010
By 
David Taylor - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have read many account of battles of WWII, but Road of Bones is by far the very best. As I got deeper and deeper into the characters and what is probably one of the most gruesome stories I have every read. I really recommend this to anyone!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road Of Bones, 5 Aug 2010
By 
Phil Smith (Luddenden, England) - See all my reviews
A fine book, which helps us appreciate the sacrifice made by the previous generation for our benefit and is also sympathetic to the suffering of the Japanese.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road of Bones. The Siege of Kohima 1944, 31 Dec 2010
Looking through some of the reviews I can only observe that if you go through life looking for flaws and faults you wont be disappointed. I've read just about everything ever published on the siege of Kohima, and events before and afterwards, and in my humble opinion Fergal Keane has produced a quite excellent piece of work which adds much to our understanding of the Burma campaign. Someone once told Len Deighton that a historian was a historian whether professional or amateur and whichever adjective you want to apply to Fergal Keane he certainly mastered this bit of history. I noticed that one reviewer thought that the author should have contacted him because his father had a peripheral involvement. Fergal Keane knows me and he knows that my father was also in Burma but I didn't expect him to interview me about it; if he had talked to everyone whose father served there his research would have taken a lot longer than the ten years he actually did spend. Well researched, very thoughtfully constructed and beautifully written.
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Road of Bones: The Epic Siege of Kohima 1944
Road of Bones: The Epic Siege of Kohima 1944 by Fergal Keane (Paperback - 28 April 2011)
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