Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

by Christopher Bayly, Tim Harper, Tim Harper
     
 

ISBN-10: 067402219X

ISBN-13: 9780674022195

Pub. Date: 04/28/2006

Publisher: Harvard

In the early stages of the Second World War, the vast crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore appeared as a massive Allied asset. It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had

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Overview

In the early stages of the Second World War, the vast crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore appeared as a massive Allied asset. It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping suddenly and decisively through south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and provoking the extraordinary revolutionary struggles which would mark the beginning of the end of British dominion in the East and the rise of today's Asian world.

More than a military history, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a panoramic view of British Asia as it was ravaged by warfare, nationalist insurgency, disease, and famine. It breathes life into the armies of soldiers, civilians, laborers, businessmen, comfort women, doctors, and nurses who confronted the daily brutalities of a combat zone which extended from metropolitan cities to remote jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon a vast range of Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay as well as British, American, and Japanese voices, the authors make vivid one of the central dramas of the twentieth century: the birth of modern south and southeast Asia and the death of British rule.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674022195
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
616
Sales rank:
570,509
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.87(h) x 1.56(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Maps

Some Key Characters

Preface: The Many 'Forgotten Armies'

Prologue, Part I: Escaping Colonialism

Japan's Asian vision and the coming of war

Aung San's Far Eastern odyssey

'Signor Mazzotta' flees to Berlin

Mr Tan Kah Kee visits Mao

Prologue, Part II: Journeys through Empire

The great crescent

A Malayan pastorale

The 'new world' of Singapore

Malaise

1. 1941: Last of the Indian and Burmese Days

India on the brink

Indian politics as usual?

Burma unready

The world of the hills and the 'tribes'

Dorman-Smith reaches his 'backwater'

Burmese and others

Endgame: the governor and the politicians

2. 1942: A Very British Disaster

The fortress that never was

The arrow leaves the bow

The battle of Malaya

'The modern Pompeiians'

Flotsam and jetsam

3. 1942: Debacle in Burma

The road to Rangoon

From scorched earth to green hell

Burma's false dawn

Death of the innocents

Would India hold?

Total defence in the hills: the Lushai levies

The Nagas, the Kachins and the anthropologists

The monsoon of 1942: an unnoticed turning point

4. 1942: The Abyss and the Way Back

The rape of Malaya

The 'New Malai'

Desperate journeys: Burma in late 1942

India ablaze

The forgotten armies mobilize

5. 1943: Valleys of the Shadow of Death

Uneasy allies

Another fiasco in Arakan

India in the doldrums

The great starvation

The slow fight back begins

6. 1943: Personal Wars

Ba Maw's apotheosis

The 'Spirit of Asia' and the Malay nation

The second coming of the Indian National Army

Life in the time of tapioca

'Life without salt'

War by proxy

High councils: Tokyo, Cairo and Tehran

7. 1944: The Pivot of the Fighting

Japan's final throw

India on the offensive

Battle commences: Imphal and Kohima

The politics of war

Japan's forgotten army

8. 1944: The Nemesis of Greater East Asia

Heroism and murder in the hills

The crumbling of 'Free Burma'

Roads to the death railway

Silent armies

The peninsular war

New balls at Wimbledon

9. 1945: Freedoms Won and Lost

India mobilized

Ba Maw's last stand

Aung San's revolt

Rangoon falls again

The fading light of the new Asia

10. August 1945: An End and a Beginning

Final journeys down the crescent

Forgotten armies, forgotten wars

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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