18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Dry humour and battlefield courage in a British platoon,
This review is from: Quartered Safe Out Here (Paperback)
The author describes his experiences of life with the dour, no-nonsense, no-bulls**t Cumbrian ( an area of North-west England, known for its down-to-earth approach to life ) regiment, fighting close combat against the Japanese in Burma - the forgotten army in the forgotten war. This is definitely a man's book, in a world obsessed with "women's issues". The disparaging humour between the men is characteristic of the British army, and is better than hours of contemporary "comedy".
The descriptions of the child-like yet deadly (to the Japanese) gurkhas and charismatic Field Marshal Slim are inspirational. On one occasion a small Gurkha band holds a position against wave after wave of suicidal Japanese assaults; then it's discovered they don't have a single round of ammunition between them, relying rather on their weapon of choice - the "kukri" - curved machete-like knife - leaving piles of Japanese dead all around them.
There is a hilarious portrayal of a type unique to the British army - the eccentric upper-class officer, who has no fear of danger, takes the war as something of fun, and is absolutely deadly in his effectiveness towards the enemy.
In my opinion this is a unique, precious book - to be treasured - showing war in the raw, as it really was, with real people, right up against the battlezone. These guys just got on with the job. Buy this book. You will read it with relish, and return to it when you need an uplift. Sheer pleasure.