Pen & Sword's Images of War:The Battle for Burma 1942-45

Author/Artists: Leo Marriott


Pen & Sword


$28.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 240 pages, softcover, 7.5 x 9.5 inches
ISBN: 978-1-52-6775276

This addition to the Images of War series concentrates on the war in Burma. After the Japanese fairly quickly overran the country, they pretty well stopped to hold what they had. Fighting in Burma was never easy, due to several factors. One is that the monsoon season brought heavy rains and made mass movement pretty well impossible. Another is that the eastern and western part of the nation was fairly heavy jungle. The combination of heavy rain and jungle was perfect for insects and disease. It is not surprising that these combined to reduce the number of effective soldiers on both sides.

One thing that also worked against the British is that their plans simply did not work out quite as well as they'd hoped. Even those particularly spectacular offensives were not wholly successful. However, operations from the east with the help of the Indian and US army were able to make some fairly slow progress against what was a slowly degrading Japanese defense. Add to this that the Chinese, at least until the Burma Road was clear in early 1945, were helping to provide pressure from the north. By the time that early 1945 arrived, the Japanese were militarily weak, and while still providing a spirited defense, the end was in sight.

The book covers the war in Burma from the beginning until the end. The various chapters have a few pages of background before providing photos taken during the various events depicted in the index. What I like about this series is the mass of photographs, many of which I've never seen before. You gain about as much information from the photo captions as you do the introductory pages. They are nicely chosen and give a good idea of what war in the jungles really was like.

This is one of their thicker editions and makes a great addition to the series and one that can be easily recommended.

June 2021

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