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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 5 October 2015
More a collection of recollections than a study.
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on 8 January 2017
So far I am half way through the narrative, with the subject battle just beginning. At this point it would have been a great help if the maps (paperback version) were seemingly a little larger than a postage stamp. For a book of this ticket price also I would have thought that the publishers could have afforded to print the pictures on better quality paper.
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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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on 16 June 2017
good price good service
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on 7 July 2010
I gave this book to my father, who is a veteran of the Kohima seige, a member of the 'Forgotten Army'
His response was that the author's research was remarkable, and very clearly set out the grim reality of that part of the war, probably better that any previous attempt, as the book was so accessible to the reader
His view is that many more should read this book, so that there can be a better understanding of the 'Stalingrad of the East'and the contribution made by so many.
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on 17 April 2010
I have read many account of battles of WWII, but Road of Bones is by far the very best. As I got deeper and deeper into the characters and what is probably one of the most gruesome stories I have every read. I really recommend this to anyone!
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on 18 January 2011
I love this book, and just could not put it down. In fact, when I first knew that this book was due to be published, and by such a World class journalist as Fergal Keane, then it was on my 'most wanted' list. Fergal Keane writes authoritively, and captures the raw grit of how the battle was fought and seen from both sides; from Private to Officer.

Despite my fairly extensive personal 'Kohima' library, Road of Bones has given me an even greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the Siege / Battle of Kohima, plus it nicely compliments all of the other publications. Fantastic job, highly recommended and a must for anyone interested in the Burma Campaign of WWII. Thank you.Road of Bones: The Siege of Kohima 1944 - The Epic Story of the Last Great Stand of Empire
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