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EATEN BY THE JAPANESE: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War by [Crasta, John Baptist]
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EATEN BY THE JAPANESE: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 121 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

John Baptist Crasta was born in 1910 in the village of Kinnigoli, near the town of Mangalore in Southwestern India. He joined the British Indian Army (later the Indian Army) in 1933, serving in Quetta, Karachi, Singapore, New Britain (involuntarily), Bangalore, Jammu & Kashmir (war service), Bombay, Panagar, Calcutta, and Bareilly, and winning the Indian Independence Medal, the 1939-1945 War Service Medal, The George VI 1939-1945 Star, the George VI Pacific Star, and the Jammu & Kashmir Medal. He was appointed as a Viceroy’s Commissioned Officer in 1946, and a Junior Commissioned Officer in 1948. He married Christine in 1947, and together they had three sons and one daughter. "Eaten by the Japanese" was first published with a publication date of 1998 by his son, Richard Crasta, who was by then an internationally published author. The memoir was formally presented to the public and also to his surprised father as an act of gratitude on the occasion of the latter’s 50th wedding anniversary on December 27, 1997. Until his death in October 1999 at the age of 89, John Baptist Crasta lived a simple life in a quiet Mangalore locality, having bicycled to work every day until he was 75. Richard Crasta, minor co-author, wrote three essays and compiled notes, interviewing a few veterans of the British Indian Army. He has also published 12 other books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 782 KB
  • Print Length: 121 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1480034053
  • Publisher: Invisible Man Press; 3 edition (20 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UBFXFC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #291,300 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This is a short book by an Indian Far East Prisoner of War (FEPOW), and that alone makes it very unusual. There must be dozens of books by and about European FEPOWs and this book makes it clear that the Indians had just as terrible a time, thus rather debunking the prevalent theory that the Japanese treated the Europeans so badly as a way of debasing the former colonial masters. I think I would have found it shocking had I not read so many other FEPOW stories: the hunger and starvation, the malaria, the ulcers, the forced labour, the beatings. But, as with many memoirs of the Japanese occupation, it makes the point that some of the Japanese were decent and humane.

It also gives an alternative view on the formation of the Indian National Army (INA), by a man who appears to have no political axe to grind: by John Baptist Crasta's account, coercion was used. I don't think there's any doubt that genuine Indian nationalists joined the INA, but clearly not everyone entered it in such a spirit.

John Crasta's section of the book reads as if it was written quickly (not badly, not at all: just quickly) by a man setting down the essence of his experiences as a means of catharsis. It gives a chronological account of events; the analysis has to wait for the contribution by Richard, his son. Richard also injects a gentle note of humour here and there.

I think I had two questions which the book didn't answer: firstly, what sort of impact John Crasta's incarceration had on his personality and secondly, why he didn't join the INA. Was it out of loyalty to the British Empire, or was it something more personal, a feeling that he had made a promise and should stick by it?

This book is a quick and worthwhile read for anyone interested in the wider FEPOW story, and adds another first-hand voice telling a painful story of World War II.
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Loved this book, intrigued by a rare insight of an Indian WW2 soldiers experience I bought this without reading much of the preview. The Japanese were a very cruel enemy, even to the Asians and Indians they claimed to be liberating and he tells a sad and terrifying account of their actions. The subject didn't publish the book (his son did) I think due to his humble personality but that just makes his story even more inspiring. Very moving read.
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Any memoir of an old soldier has its value, but this is a series of notes that might have formed a more coherent work if the son of the author had chosen to work those notes into something more readable instead of reproducing them verbatim. There are some excellent records of WW2 written by amateurs, but sadly, this cannot be included as one of them
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This is a very worthwhile little book. The story of the Japanese advance into Malaya, written by an articulate Indian Christian soldier, is interesting, as is his description of captivity and employment on Japanese-occupied tropical islands. But the most interesting aspect of all is the describing of how the Japanese-sponsored Indian National Army (INA) initially recruited personnel from amongst Indian Army prisoners of war (POWs) in Singapore. If you read through the notes by the author's son at the end of the book you also realise the extent to which post-Independence Indian politicians and some of their senior military officers became locked into a position whereby they could not criticise the INA; nor could they let themselves applaud the activities of those Indian POWs who resisted INA recruitment efforts, as political correctness required that no public mention be made of Japanese contempt for India and Indians.
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Its more than a book on its title, its about the author, his father and circumstances.

Its a nice read but limited in content and gets a twee in places.
Not sure who I would recommend it to, but I'm glad I read it just to know it was there.
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