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The OSS in Burma: Jungle War against the Japanese
     

The OSS in Burma: Jungle War against the Japanese

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by Troy J. Sacquety
 

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"One could not choose a worse place for fighting the Japanese," said Winston Churchill of North Burma, deeming it "the most forbidding fighting country imaginable." But it was here that the fledgling Office of Strategic Services conducted its most successful combat operations of World War II. Troy Sacquety takes readers into Burma's steaming jungles in the first

Overview


"One could not choose a worse place for fighting the Japanese," said Winston Churchill of North Burma, deeming it "the most forbidding fighting country imaginable." But it was here that the fledgling Office of Strategic Services conducted its most successful combat operations of World War II. Troy Sacquety takes readers into Burma's steaming jungles in the first book to fully cover the exploits and contributions of the OSS's Detachment 101 against the Japanese Imperial Army.

Functioning independently of both the U.S. Army and OSS headquarters—and with no operational or organizational model to follow—Detachment 101 was given enormous latitude in terms of developing its mission and methods. It grew from an inexperienced and poorly supported group of 21 agents training on the job in a lethal environment to a powerful force encompassing 10,000 guerrillas (spread across as many as 8 battalions), 60 long-range agents, and 400 short-range agents. By April 1945, it remained the only American ground force in North Burma while simultaneously conducting daring amphibious operations that contributed to the liberation of Rangoon.

With unrivaled access to OSS archives, Sacquety vividly recounts the 101's story with a depth of detail that makes the disease-plagued and monsoon-drenched Burmese theater come unnervingly alive. He describes the organizational evolution of Detachment 101 and shows how the unit's flexibility allowed it to evolve to meet the changing battlefield environment. He depicts the Detachment's two sharply contrasting field commanders: headstrong Colonel Carl Eifler, who pushed the unit beyond its capabilities, and the more measured Colonel William Peers, who molded it into a model special operations force. He also highlights the heroic Kachin tribesmen, fierce fighters defending their tribal homeland and instrumental in acclimating the Americans to terrain, weather, and cultures in ways that were vital to the success of the Detachment's operations.

While veterans' memoirs have discussed OSS activities in Burma, this is the first book to describe in detail how it achieved its success—portraying an operational unit that can be seen as a prototype for today's Special Forces. Featuring dozens of illustrations, The OSS in Burma rescues from oblivion the daring exploits of a key intelligence and military unit in Japan's defeat in World War II and tells a gripping story that will satisfy scholars and buffs alike.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Sacquety’s vivid and fascinating tale depicts Detachment 101’s evolution from an idiosyncratic, dysfunctional outfit conducting small-scale sabotage to a disciplined and effective clandestine organization running major guerrilla operations behind Japanese lines.”—Edward J. Drea, author of Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853–1945 “An excellent account that finally gives this overlooked yet important chapter of the Pacific War the recognition it deserves.”—Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, author of The OSS and Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan “Sacquety’s wide-ranging research, insightful analysis, and entertaining writing make for a great read.”—Brian McAllister Linn, author The Philippine War, 1899–1902

"The definitive account of Detachment 101."—The Journal of Military History

"The OSS in Burma is an outstanding contribution to the history of special operations, the China-Burma-India Theater, and the Second World War."—Army History

“Sacquety’s vivid and fascinating tale depicts Detachment 101’s evolution from an idiosyncratic, dysfunctional outfit conducting small-scale sabotage to a disciplined and effective clandestine organization running major guerrilla operations behind Japanese lines.”—Edward J. Drea, author of Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853–1945

“Sacquety’s wide-ranging research, insightful analysis, and entertaining writing make for a great read.”—Brian McAllister Linn, author The Philippine War, 1899–1902

“An excellent account that finally gives this overlooked yet important chapter of the Pacific War the recognition it deserves.”—Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, author of The OSS and Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700619092
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
03/22/2013
Series:
Modern War Studies Series
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Troy J. Sacquety is a historian with the United States Army Special Operations Command. He previously worked for the CIA and has been the historian for the OSS Detachment 101 Association for many years.

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The OSS in Burma: Jungle War Against the Japanese 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kept reading for 200 pages hoping ... thinking ... it would get better. It didnt so i finally closed it down. It apparently is nothing more that a regurgitation of official records and reports. Parts of it are interesting, and it certainly provides a good insight into the OSS operations in Burma, but its not an entertaining read. The author makes extensive use of footnotes.