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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 May 2017
Detailed, comprehensive and harrowing. It is hard to imagine the endurance and horror involved, but this book tries to achieve that. The Kindle version suffers from poor access to the maps, and this makes the narrative hard to follow at times.
The American/British political background is given its due. Its interesting to look back on the countries involved since 1944-the Americans failed to keep China out of communists hands; the British gave up their imperial claims by 1947/8 and India in particular has flourished-what if the Japanese had not been kept out?
The hardest thing to understand is the suicidal Japanese tactics-it is one thing to die for your country-another to use frontal attack time after time when it clearly fails at massive cost of life.
The British army reputation was not high for most of the war, especially in the Far East. By 1944, however, our achievements there and in Normandy stand up against the best the enemy could bring. Slim and his men sacrificed so much but achieved miracles-they deserve a proper memorial and record of their achievements and this book helps provide that.
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on 5 April 2017
An engrossing book which sets the scene for the epic Battle of Kohima, the soldiers and civilians involved would make an amazing movie cast- the genial administrator, the female guerilla, the noble tribesmen, the Indian and British Army heroes including the millionaires son who enlisted in the ranks and won a posthumous VC...not forgetting the range of characters on the Japanese side.
A truly humbling story which brings to life the Kohima Epitaph...
For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our Today
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on 12 June 2017
This is an extremely well written account of this historic action, of particular interest to me as General Sir Montagu Stopford's nephew.
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on 16 June 2017
good price good service
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on 13 June 2017
Excellent book. A bit difficult to follow the maps on an e-book. I might buy the hard copy to read again.
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on 14 September 2011
This is a story of real heroism that it made me feel humble to read. It is well reseacrhed and peppered with eyewitness accounts. Its accounts of the actual combat feel realistic without being gory. The pace is occassionaly slow, especially at the start where the author is mainly dealing with the historical context and the lead up to the battle itself, but without that detail it would be hard to appreciate the importance of the events that are being described. At the end I felt I really understood how close Britain was to losing India, and possibley even the war in Far East.
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on 7 May 2010
One cannot find anything negative to say about this book. It's that good. Many readers will probably find themselves, as I did, simply shaking their heads at the terrible conditions both sides endured during this pivotal battle, which historians have pinpointed as crucial in the Allies victory over the Japanese in Burma. What strikes me most, however, is the touching moments of humanity amidst the slaughter, on both sides. As the Japanese juggernaut burst through the Indian frontier, we read of the young British infantry captains' valiant single-handed last stand against enormous Japanese numbers, but who was then laid to rest with full honors by those very same men who had killed him. At the siege itself the scene prior to yet another suicidal frontal charge by their company sees two Japanese officers catch one another saying farewell to photographs of their loved ones. Kean finds many uniquely emotive vignettes to decorate the epic, thus giving the reader the underlying humanity that was prevalent at this trench-warfare like battle.

It might not have the scale of numbers of men in arms of Beevor's 'Stalingrad', but in its recounting of what men on both sides suffered, and the heroism they displayed, then this book deserves just as many accolades.

A truly unique and important book, and one I am happy to recommend.
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on 4 May 2010
Given the upsurge in well written popular military history, it is about time that the British and Empire campaign against Japan had a chronicler equal to Anthony Beevor or Richard Holmes. The Japanese attack on Imphal and Kohima, while not the fully fledged assault on India it was believed to be at the time, nevertheless threatened the supply lines to China, and might have extended the chaos of war in the Far East.

What a great treat to find this battle's chronicler in the fine prose of BBC correspondent Fergal Keane. I have long been a fan of Keane's journalism, and the command of language he exhibited in his `Letter to Daniel'. You trust his description of the Far East in the 1940s given his time as a correspondent there, and the book is balanced effectively between the grand strategic sweep in Dehli, Washington, Tokyo and London, and the sharp end accounts of the Empire military and Burmese civilians. I learnt a good deal about the intelligence efforts against Japan, and the role of SOE and `V Force' behind the lines.

It's not perfect (`Worcester' Regiment??) but is a fine popular history. I was especially pleased by how Keane effectively used Japanese, Burmese and Indian voices without being clumsily revisionist or politically correct. It was refreshing to read of a Japanese enemy made of human beings.

Well written and harrowing in its description of combat, it does justice to the troops who `gave their today' for our `tomorrow'.
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on 17 April 2010
I am not a big reader of history books - my husband bought this book, I flicked through it and got caught. It is the story of one of the less well known battles during wwii, a dreadful siege, a terrible battle, but it is only a story about ordinary people in these circumstances and what war does to human beings. I loved that the author does not take sides, but that we are able to follow individuals from both camps. The language is absolutely stunning. The imagery vivid. Highly recommend it - even to the non-history book reader!
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on 5 November 2016
Great read,my father spent four years in India and Burma in ww2
In the York and Lancaster regiment as a corporal
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