Air Battle for Burma: Allied Pilots' Fight for Supremacy

Air Battle for Burma: Allied Pilots' Fight for Supremacy

by Bryn Evans


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After a long series of crushing defeats by the apparently unstoppable Japanese air and ground forces, the eventual fight back and victory in Burma was achieved as a result of the exercise of unprecedented combined services cooperation and operations. Crucial to this was the Allies’ supremacy in the air coupled with their ground/air support strategy.

Using veterans’ firsthand accounts, Air Battle For Burma reveals the decisive nature of Allied air power in inflicting the first major defeat on the Japanese Army in the Second World War. Newly equipped Spitfire fighter squadrons made the crucial difference at the turning point battles of the Admin Box, Imphal and Kohima in 1944. Air superiority allowed Allied air forces to deploy and supply Allied ground troops on the front line and raids deep into enemy territory with relative impunity; revolutionary tactics never before attempted on such a scale.

By covering both the strategic and tactical angles, through these previously unpublished personal accounts, this fine book is a fitting and overdue tribute to Allied air forces’ contribution to victory in Burma.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473858923
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 03/03/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Bryn Evans is a management consultant with many years’ experience of finance and IT at boardroom level. He writes extensively across a wide range of categories, be it business management, travel, military history or fiction and his work has been widely published. His fiction work has earned him Second Prize in the Catherine Cookson Short Story Competition and other awards. He is the author of With the East Surreys in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy 1942-45 and The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force, both in print with Pen and Sword. He lives with his wife, Jean, in Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

List of Plates ix

Acknowledgements xi

Author's Note xiii

Foreword xiv

Maps xvi

Prologue 1

1 Japanese Air Power Strikes Across Half the Globe 11

2 The Japanese Storm Hits Rangoon 23

3 The Debacle at Singapore - Welcome to 'Synon-Lo!' 34

4 An Unstoppable Tsunami - Across Burma's Land and Sky 44

5 Retreat from Rangoon, Further Losses at Sea, and Colombo Bombed 56

6 Trincomalee Bombed - More Allied Ships Sunk and the Japanese Army Drives into Northern Burma 67

7 Hanging On in India - In the Heat, the Monsoon and Against the 'Rising Sun' 77

8 On the Bengal Coast - Confronting the IJAAF 87

9 Chasing Dinah - High Speed Interception at 'Angels 30' 102

10 Spitfire Dawn 115

11 Operation HA-GO - Arakan's Battle of the 'Admin Box' 129

12 Operation U-GO! - The Japanese Invasion of India 142

13 The Critical Battles for Kohima and Imphal - Air Power and the Monsoon Offer Salvation 152

14 Winning the Air battle - Breaking the Ground Siege at Imphal 165

15 War in the Shadows - With Air Support 175

16 Into 1945 - Three Allied Ground Offensives and a Fourth in the Sky 185

17 Race for Rangoon - With a Hammer, an Anvil and a Steel Cloak of Air Power 196

18 Mandalay to Rangoon, by Land, Sea and Air 208

Epilogue 219

Postscripts 226

Statistics 230

Glossary 232

Bibliography and Sources 235

Index 239

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