Burma, the Longest War, 1941-45

Louis Allen, Author St. Martin's Press $29.95 (686p) ISBN 978-0-312-10858-8
Himself a veteran of the Southeast Asia operations of WW II and a Japanese linguist, Allen (The End of the War in Asia, Singapore 194142) has written a formidable and impressive history of the Burma campaign. In 1942, Japan conquered the country in short order, driving the Allied forces into India. The Allies launched a counteroffensive that would take almost three years to succeed, the task made even more difficult because the ""racialism, arrogance, aloofness and greed'' of English rule had left the Burmese anti-British. Much of the Allied campaign was waged in the jungle, with its concomitants of malaria, typhus, amoebic dysentery, anemia and foot-rot, against a foe whom Allen presents as brave and tenacious. Indeed, one of the more remarkable features of the book is the picture of Japanese officers, free of the stereotypes of samurai sword-wielding sadists. The book will no doubt be controversial, however, because Allen implies that the U.S. contribution to victory in Burma was minor. Photos. October
Reviewed on: 01/01/1984
Release date: 01/01/1984
Hardcover - 686 pages - 978-0-460-04363-2
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