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4.7 out of 5 stars73
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 December 2013
Many, many years ago I read Defeat into Victory, Bill Slim's own account of the Burma Campaign. It is a remarkable story and now this is followed by Russell Miller's biography. I, like my father before me, revered Slim. Human and humane and probably far and away the best senior commander since Wellington, Uncle Bill was a much more pleasant and down to earth individual.

He inspected a parade when I was at Sandhurst and his address to the cadets was nothing less than brilliant.

You may have little interest in military history, but this biography reads like a thrilling novel and even though I have studied the campaign in detail I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was about to happen next (yet I knew, objectively, the sequence of events).

A fantastic book about the kind of man one meets regrettably few times in a lifetime. If you want to learn about leadership forget about the all too frequent jargon laden business guru self promotion and read about one of our greatest true leaders.
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on 5 November 2013
Russell Miller - the author of the definitive book on Church of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah - has done a brilliant job in telling the life of Bill Slim, the greatest general in British military history, the leader of the forgotten 14th Army who triumphed against the Japanese Army in Burma. They went 1,000 miles backwards - the longest retreat - and 1,000 miles forward, the longest advance. Throughout the worst of times, Uncle Bill kept his integrity and his great sense of humour.

At times I laughed out loud, at times I was close to tears in reading this great story, told by one of the great story-tellers alive today.

Read it.
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on 23 May 2014
Slim's standing as a military commander, leaders and all round 'good bloke' seems to grow and grow. A few acquaintences who had served in the 14th Army, and who were far from naive or easily impressionable, and by the time I knew them had been afforded plenty time to ponder on their youthful experiences did seem to hold Slim in the respect and affection that this book makes out was widespread. As an Authorised biography it does appear lacking in criticism, and what criticism of Slim's actions that appear in the book almost always seem to come from Slim himslef - and as anyone who has read Deafeat into Victory will be aware, Slim was quite hard on himself when reviewing his past actions. This book is easy to read, it perhaps over simplifies some of the battles fought, but in understanding the man himself it may not be necessary to go into great detail - and as an overview it reads all the better for this simplicity. Clearly written, a few annoyng errors (e.g. the Japanese using "stukas' - one assumes a mistaken general term for 'dive bombers' -although the British use 'dive bombers'). few books make me ignore pressing paperwork on my desk to 'sneak' a read at the next few pages (inevitably becoming the next chapter or so) - thisone did, as a reflection of the subject matter and the clarity of the writing. A very good read indeed
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on 11 October 2013
Long overdue biography of a general who in my view was one of the best of the 2nd world war.
Very interesting and if anything increased my respect for the amazing achievements that led to the defeat of the Japanese armies in Burma.

We all owe him a debt.
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on 25 October 2013
My father served in a mobile field hospital under Slim from India all way through Burma to Malaya from 1943-45. He reviewing the book now, and so far is immeasurably imprsssed. I am sure he will find many memory-jogging details in the book about the 'forgotten armies' in 1945.
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on 11 October 2013
I bought this book because my uncle was involved in Burma in the war. I was not disappointed. My only slight disappointment was that there was no obvious way to send an email to the author to answer one of my questions. Other than that - buy -read- enjoy.
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on 31 October 2013
I could not put this down and had to buy a map of Burma to follow the story. A man who made the most of his genius, was brave and modest and clearly loved his men and honoured them. A truely fastinating person and a rivetting story
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on 27 September 2013
An interesting insight to how this general thought about his men, and how this men thought of him.
It was a book that was difficult to put down. It also highlighted the attitude of Whitehall to the 'forgotten army' in the
Far East.
Very interesting and much enjoyed reading.
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on 24 January 2014
I do not usually write reviews but in this case I felt I had to say what a wonderful book Russell Miller has written. Mind you, he did have a marvelous subject to write about. William Slim, Uncle Bill, comes over as a very unassuming man, quite without the ego and pettiness that affected many of the top men. He had the knack of identifying with all ranks and he even got on well with Vinegar Joe Stillwell.No wonder the men of 'his' 14th. Army adored him and later, the Aussies took him to their hearts as Governor General. As another reviewer has said, the inclusion of maps would have been a great help, but do not let this small niggle put you off buying this wonderful book and learning about a great general.
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on 18 September 2013
For the military history enthusiast Field Marshal Slim is someone you know of but like me possibly not to the depth you should.
After reading this biography another self made man was added to my reasonably short list of heros.
Thanks it really is "Just Amazing"
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