Battle Story: Kohima 1944

Chris Brown. History (U.K.) (IPG, dist.), $17.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-7524-9141-7
The fifth book in the Battle Story series, this short work describes the major aspects of the battle for the northern Burmese village of Kohima in April and May 1944. The town was successfully defended by a small mixed group of British Commonwealth troops against the full weight of the crack Japanese army’s 31st Infantry Division. The successful defense represented the turning point of WWII in the Burma Theater. Military historian Brown superbly sets the stage for the battle within the context of both Allied and Japanese strategy in the theater. Maps and timelines help the reader follow the battle, while weapons systems and other details are highlighted in boxed notes. Brown’s book, however, falls short on details of the battle itself. The actual monthlong fight for the ridgeline defensive positions—which was brutal and often hand-to-hand—occupies only about 34 pages of the 151-page text. The major daily events of battle are described in general terms, but there is little to no detail regarding combat activities or individual experiences. For military history enthusiasts, the book provides a serviceable brief reference guide to one of the most important small battles in one of the least-documented combat theaters of WWII. B&w illus. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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