Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
From an Accomplished Author Who was There
on 1 August 2017
GMF must have 30 plus, mainly fiction, books on Amazon. What makes this account of the Burma war special is that he can write, he knows how to tell a story and he was actually there. With the exception of John Masters and a few others that is a rare combination. There are many participants who can't write well and many good writers who weren't there and a lot of historians who were neither.
I like his coverage of the boring and the mundane because it illustrates the bond that existed with his section's band of brothers. I also like the accounts of company level engagements which together overcame the Japanese in Burma, eventually routing them. It was a brutal rifle and bayonet war in which the Japanese were eventually completely outclassed.
The account is of its time and reflects the language and attitudes of that time. I personally like GMFs refusal to fall into line with the PC brigade and start saying things that he knows to be untrue for fear of causing offence. Some reviewers seem to find it hard to understand that these soldiers despised the Japanese, but they did because they knew about their behaviour, war crimes and atrocities. Sat in front of a computer in 2017 is a long way from 1945 Burma.
I particularly liked the passage in which GMF describes the understated compassion and heroism of one of his mates who in the middle of a battle goes out alone into no-mans land at night to find somebody left behind. He contrasts this with modern society's tendency to bestow the accolade
of 'hero' on the likes of sportsmen.
The best bit about this book is that it explains the bond between the men on which victory ultimately depended. Read this book and you will understand why they won.