Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
a soldiers experiences up and including KOHIMA
on 13 May 2010
Michael Lowry wrote "Fighting through to Kohima" LEST WE FORGET, and it's the story of a professional soldiers experiences starting on the Northwest Frontier, and then in India and Burma, particularly in the Arakan (Burma) and at Kohima (Assam). It's a rounded portrait eg beginning with the authors family background (Lowry was born in 1919), taking time to stress things the author found important, eg chocolates forwarded to the front line, ... tea breaks to fortify the men, well turned out troops, and the wonderful qualities of the British soldier. I particularly enjoyed the initial chapter about Lowry's background (eg his sister being a debutante), and the later climactic chapter about Jail Hill. There is a description of part of the battle for Kohima, more accurately for Jail Hill at Kohima, which impresses by it's concise account of what must have been hell. The battles for Imphal and Kohima were a turning point in the Burma War, and saw some of the hardest fighting ever. Mr Lowry's battalion sustained very heavy casualties at Kohima.
Nevertheless, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I'd hoped. The reasons include that it's based upon contemporary diary entries, and at times felt like reading stale press cuttings - at times the text is a bit stilted. Mr Lowry is not a gifted writer. More importantly, perhaps as many soldiers would do, he states the facts more than he reveals and dramatizes emotions. For such reasons, I've rated the book 3*. The book is a testament to how things were, how it seemed from a professional soldiers point-of-view, the genius of British soldiers, the tremendous toughness of the Japanese enemy, ...but I don't think it's up to the standard of some other Burma war memoirs.