10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2007
This is the most complete and balanced military account of the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942, and unusually it is written from the perspective of both sides. It follows every twist and turn in detail, and includes excellent maps to enable the reader to follow events.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2014
Most works that cover the Japanese 1944 offensive in Burma often focus on the epic struggle at Kohima, occasionally they mention the fighting at Imphal, but only rarely does the intensive fighting further south along the Tiddim road get a mention. In an attempt to redress this imbalance Ian Lyall Grant has produced a book that looks in detail at the successful fighting withdrawal of the British Imperial forces (primarily the 17th Division) to Imphal and shows how they decisively broke the southern thrust of the Japanese offensive. He makes it very clear that this could not have happened without the use of aerial supply, which completely undermined the premise on which the Japanese offensive plans were based. He also emphasises that strong leadership and appropriate training were important in preparing the Division (which had been badly mauled in 1942) for its return to battle in 1944.
A particular strength of this book is that it also draws upon Japanese sources and memoirs of the campaign. This provides a useful counterpoint to the more familiar British perspective and really makes clear the operational moves and countermoves of the opposing forces. The book is copiously illustrated with detailed maps and illustrations that really do support the narrative and especially clarify the impact of the difficult terrain. My Zampi press edition has full colour maps which is a very helpful bonus.
The authors style is very clear and precise but still readable, he fought in the campaign as an Engineer Officer with 17 Div. and consequently has been able to supplement accounts of particular events with his own experiences, observations and criticisms. Readers should also see his book, Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion.
on 11 June 2015
This book was recommended to me some time ago by a wonderful man who was in the 14th army himself. It mentions throughout my late father's regiment the 129th lowland field regiment, 17th Indian Division. It has been invaluable to me and contains resources not previously available. Significantly it uses material from Japanese sources as well as western. A superb book written by a military man. There are many books on Burma, the definitive one is Defeat Into Victory by Field Marshall Sir William Slim, and The Wild Green Earth by Bernard Fergusson, both very distinguished soldiers. Burma the Turning Point is by Major Ian Lyall Grant MC. Recommended by me and well worth a read.A huge amount of research has gone into it using British archives and takes the reader through the battles one by one and explains the "turning point" in a way I had never previously understood and I have studied a great deal on the subject.