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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Complete Account of a Military Disaster, 4 April 2007
This review is from: Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion (Hardcover)
Ian Lyall Grant and Kazuo Tamayama have created a balanced, insightful and thorough account of the Japanese conquest of Burma in 1941-2. It is rare in that, as a joint venture, it is written from the point of view of both sides. It concentrates on military operations in meticulous detail, without ignoring the human element, and clears away many myths that surrounded the campaign. Certainly the Japanese could be cruel, even brutal, but this was not always the case. And if the campaign was a military disaster for the British, salvaged only by the escape of the Burma Army into India, it represented a stunning triumph for Japanese arms; for they were not specifically trained in jungle warfare as was often claimed at the time. Besides, much of central Burma consists of open plains, and their speed of movement was testament to the audacity of their commanders and the toughness and resilience of the troops. The maps are excellent and highly detailed, making this one of the easiest campaign books to follow, and it deserves to be far better known than it is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Likely to become the definitive account..., 26 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion (Hardcover)
This is the first book by Ian Lyall Grant that I have read, and based on the quality I have found here I shall certainly look out his others. Let me first say that this is a military analysis of the campaign, it makes no attempt to look into the civilian experiences and there are no "soldiers eye view" narratives. The strength of this book is that it has been co-authored with Kazuo Tamayama who has been able to draw on the Japanese histories and memoirs of this campaign and provides an invaluable counterpoint to the more familiar British perspective.
This approach has been invaluable in developing an understanding of the dynamics of the campaign. We see how an over ambitious British forward defence is set against a bold and unconventional Japanese invasion plan. We can also clearly see how the meticulous Japanese planning enabled them to make their initial material weaknesses into a strength against the more mechanised and road bound British forces. This was crucial in enabling them to maintain the initiative and prevent the formation of solid British defences.

Superlatives are often overused in book reviews, but this may well become the definitive account of the 1942 Burma Campaign. The author was present during the campaign and at times is clearly able to supplement accounts of particular actions with his own observations and criticisms.

Production values for the book itself are first rate, with over 30 coloured maps that provide a first rate supplement to all aspects of the narrative and provide a superb level of detail. The authors style of writing is clear and precise but still very readable and he provides some very useful appendices that describe the makeup of the opposing forces. If you want to understand exactly what happened during the 1942 Burma Campaign, and why, then read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to write a history book, 24 Dec. 2013
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Gary Morgans (wolverhampton, south staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion (Hardcover)
All military historians of all conflicts should read this book. Not necessarily for the subject matter but in terms of how the book is written. THIS IS HOW TO WRITE A HISTORY BOOK!

The book tries its best to offer a balanced view of the events that took place. Often you will get a viewpoint stemming from that particular authors nationality. I have read many good books over the years that have still been narrow in their scope, anglocentric or americancentric for example. This book however will give you an account of the battle from the British perspective but then give you a full account from the Japanese. This is unfortunately unique to this book, even though it really should be standard practise for historians.

The maps in the book are excellent. They are detailed and plentiful. Maps in military history books are usually few and not that detailed. Giving a general overview. The maps in this book at times detail individual huts that were present during battles. I have walked battlefields of the Somme, Ypres and Normandy after having read numerous books on the subject matter yet still been amazed at the landscape upon visiting and realising how little I grasped the layout. The maps in Burma 1942 do pretty much all that they can do to let you know what happened, where it happened, where the units were and what the layout was like. I probably sound OTT emphasising this but it is something that the authors deserve credit for.

The subject matter itself is very well researched, the use of Japanese records alongside British is unique though it has already been praised by other reviewers on here so I won't drag on. There are flaws in some parts. For instance the Order of Battle in the index for the RAF and British Army omit a number of units that were present and fully engaged or are slightly incorrect. However these are small points and I have only picked them up after reading about the campaign far too often.

This has to be the definitive account of the Japanese invasion of Burma. I really can't foresee it being bettered. It is a lesson in military history and also a lesson in how to write a balanced book. Impressive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Key Account of the Burma Campaign of 1942, 4 Aug. 2013
By 
Robert G. Palmer "Rob Palmer" (Barnstaple, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion (Hardcover)
As its title suggests, this book covers the invasion of Burma by the Japanese in early 1942, leading to the longest retreat ever undertaken by the British Army. LYALL-GRANT was an Army officer who served in the theatre, so is well placed to write on this subject. The book is researched thoroughly and well written.

It contains many excellent diagrams and maps, with several good photographs. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the history of Burma, any military historian or person interested in this part of the world.
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Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion
Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion by Kazuo Tamayama (Hardcover - 1 Jan. 1999)
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