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Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma…
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Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945 (1956)

by William Slim

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I knew little about this theatre of WW II but this volume gives a complete over view of the what took place in Burma. India was threaten but the Japanese never actually cross the border. Slim covers every battle from the moment he became involved in 1942 until VJ day and the clean up after.

Slim writes a very refreshing memoir in that he freely admits errors he made that led to defeats or delays in victory. He also points out times when he disagreed with his superiors and then in the end they were correct in their decisions. He spent time with Vinegar Joe Stilwell and Brig. Orde Wingate and goes into the conflicts that arose between them. He is very critical of Generalissimo Chaing Kai-shek and how he was more concerned more about retaining power than fighting the Japanese. He concludes with an analysis of how war will be fought in the future (he wrote this in 1956) and how air transport will be an important factor. He never mentions helicopters but he sure was correct about air transport being a huge factor in how future wars will be fought.
he one aspect of this theatre of war is what the front line soldier experienced. While Slim does give much credit to what these men overcame, he experienced limited moments on the front lines and he was more focused on presenting the over all picture. Now to find a memoir of a solder who fought in Burma. ( )
  lamour | Apr 11, 2013 |
Arguably the best Allied General of WWII; certainly the most attractive character; also the best writer.
  sonofcarc | Feb 26, 2013 |
Not only the best memoir from a British commander of WWII, but also one of the best leadership books. Slim's self awareness is apprent on every page; he makes no attempt to hide his errors and refuses to take more than his share of credit. This is not false modesty, his actions and the effect they had on the 14th Army speak for themselves: he always put his men first and it is they that he credits with forging victory. ( )
  Wilko976 | Dec 10, 2012 |
Slim's memoirs are the best I've ever read from a World War II Commander. He is self depricating, honest, fair minded and decent. He is also a very good writer.

You will learn a lot about the forgotten Burma campaign and really appreciate how he cobbled his army together in spite of massive supply and support gaps. ( )
  jcovington | Jul 9, 2007 |
An excellent autobiography looking at the dynamics of the WW2 Burma campaign and final victory against the Japanese. William Slim managed to combine good preparation, strategy, drive and flexibility while maintaining extraordinarily good levels of morale. A great achievement against a particularly loathsome (and still unrepentant as of 2006) enemy.
My neighbour had first hand experience as one of his officers and had enormous respect for him. ( )
  Miro | Oct 28, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0815410220, Paperback)

Field Marshal Viscount Slim (1891-1970) led shattered British forces from Burma to India in one of the lesser-known but more nightmarish retreats of World War II. He then restored his army's fighting capabilities and morale with virtually no support from home and counterattacked. His army's slaughter of Japanese troops ultimately liberated India and Burma.

The first edition of Defeat Into Victory , published in 1956, was an immediate sensation selling 20,000 copies within a few days. This is an updated version with a new introduction by David W. Hogan Jr.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:59 -0400)

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