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Bill Slim (Command) by [Lyman, Robert]
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Bill Slim (Command) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 28 Jun 2011
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Length: 64 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

."..a fine account of an exceptional commander ... I highly recommend this book to any student of the CBI or British generals." -Frederick Boucher, "AeroScale"

Review

."..a fine account of an exceptional commander ... I highly recommend this book to any student of the CBI or British generals." -Frederick Boucher, "AeroScale"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11729 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (28 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FLZNA6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #357,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
William "Bill" Slim is a rather unknown general for us Europeans, just as much as the whole Pacific theatre of World War 2 seems to be lost in the grandeur of the West and Eastern front. I first came into knowing about Bill Slim in Max Hasting's "Nemesis", where I caught the glimpse of what even Max Hasting's said was one of the greatest British generals of the war, if not of all time. Robert Lyman is not shy in declaring the same thing but not without presenting the evidence. Bill Slim's achievement of training and creating an army out of the broken units that retreated through Burma after the Japanese invasion is told here, in all its honesty, together with the military achievements against the Japanese. First at countering the U-Go offensive in 1944, and the subsequent British invasion of Burma. Lyman's strength in writing about Slim lies in his extensive knowledge about the man (having written Slim, Master of War previously) but also in his ability to make Slim come to life by using eyewitness accounts from the soldiers that he commanded.

The Command series, published by Osprey, is one of their newest series focusing on military commanders and with only 64 pages, the text is direct and simple to access. Packed with black and white photos, together with beautiful illustrations by Peter Dennis and great maps, only makes the book much more accessible in understanding both Slim's military merits but also the man behind the legend. The only downside would be the fact that the boxes describing the actual events happening on the map is missing, something I find in all other Command books. All in all, however, it's one of the best Command books so far and one that truly deserves its place on every military history fan's shelf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gaining an accurate understanding of the campaign against the Japanese in Burma has been hitherto made difficult by the modesty of Slim himself, by a couple of unsavoury incidents (concerning the British Army Command) and by the continuing claim that this army was 'forgotten.'
This book, a 64-page, 18cm x 25cm volume, with pictures, sets Slim, the man and the General , into context with his soldiers and with his adversaries. It is eminently readable, moderately entertaining, easily understood and it leaves the reader well-informed about the campaign and, to some extent, more aware of the lives of the fighting men themselves. This Book aims to be very fair indeed, so that blame is never attributed; Orde Wingate and the Japanese commanders all appear to be represented with fairness.
The book covers several points not always covered in 'fuller' written accounts of the war in Burma. It will become the standard resource for schoolchildren who are studying this (hitherto 'forgotten') period of British History; some of whom may begin to finally find-out what their Great-grandfather 'did in the war.'
This book is long overdue; too long overdue, for there are very few, were actively involved, who are still alive.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first of Osprey's new Command series I have purchased and reviewed. I chose this title on the strength of the author, Robert Lyman and the subject matter. As Mr Lyman states early on, this is only the fifth such biography of Bill Slim and one of these is a much fuller treatment by himself.

For anyone wanting a quick introduction to the life and works of Gen Slim then this would be an excellent start. However I would question who is this aimed at other than Osprey collectors? On Amazon today (Jan 2012) for 50p more you can buy the same author's `Slim, Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare' which at 348 pages, as opposed this title's 64, must represent hugely better value. Osprey's great strength lays in its maps and original art work, yet in the case of the Command titles it is hard to see how these add much to the biographical details in the main text. Mr Lyman uses a significant part of his text to cover Slim's `masterstroke' Meiktila campaign, however Osprey have already given this their treatment under the Campaign Title `Meiktila 1945 by Edward Young'; a book I note that the author has himself reviewed on Amazon and awarded five stars to, and which I fully endorse as this is one of their very best Campaign books.

There are hints within the text of the author's desire to make comparisons between Slim and Montgomery yet these morsels of debate are unsatisfactory and one is left wanting more analysis and less recounting of operational details. I suppose there is a danger in going off into hypothetical scenarios such as `what if' Slim had been given command of 8th Army in August 1942. This is not appropriate for this book but one is left wondering how Slim would have dealt with the challenges of fighting the German Army and the NW Europe campaign.
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Format: Paperback
P60: "...This is only the fifth book exclusively to consider the command and leadership attributes of the man who led the largest ever British Army during World War II and who was responsible for two of Japan's greatest ever military defeats on land."

This is an excellent introductory study of Slim's career, making much of his training and leadership skills, which apparently provided the model for post-war British Army training. The author has previously written books on Slim, so is extremely familiar with the details of his subject, who he (justifiably) considers Britain's best battlefield commander of the war. However, apart form the excellent illustrations, unless you are an Osprey collector, you might be better advised to get the same author's other books for a more in-depth study of Slim.

The Contents are -
P04: Introduction
P08: The Early Years
P12: World war II, 1939-43
P21: India and Burma, 1943-45
P53: Opposing Commanders
P57: Inside the Mind
P59: When the War was Done
P60: A Life in Words
P62: Further Reading
P64: Index

The Colour Plates -
P13: ½ page map - The extent of operations in which Slim was involved, 1940-45
P17: Colour Plate - Corps Commander's orders group, Yenangyuang, 18 April 1942.
In the middle ground, four senior officers study a map pinned to the side of a truck; in the foreground are a couple of Sikh guards, in the background more men at tables busy with maps and order-writing, with jungle and a tank in the distance.
P20: Map - The retreat from Burma
P25: Colour Plate - 15th Division fighting in the Mayu Range, Arakan, February 19 1944.
Two infantrymen and a tank advance on a Japanese position, with a Spitfire overhead in support.
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