ABDA-CBI-SEAC. Book thread.

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by wtid45, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Having had this in mind for a while I PM'd a few members for their views and hopefully what follows in this thread will reflect the feedback we shared, with thanks to Bamboo, for telling me it was a good idea! Sol for some great input that will come to light when he posts;) and Warlord for suggestions on the thread title. Im sure Eddie will be along shortly and will contribute with some......... I dare say Chindit books that will have him and Steve chatting for ages:D.So to start of here is the first Burma book I can remember getting, my Dad brought it home one day and with his stories of his time in Burma and this book I was hooked!.......... it is for me the best book to give aspects of the Burma campaign from the Japanese side, and covers areas that most books still dont today so for me its a must to have in your collection, also see this link which touches on the mention of Sittang bridge within the book. Bharat Rakshak • View topic - BURMA - The Longest War 1941 - 1945
     

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  2. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    And this is the first Chindit book I ever got and it is a classic.
     

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  3. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    This book contains personal accounts of the war in India and Burma, not only is it the best kind of book, as it is told by those who were there but for me with its stories from members of the Indian Airborne, it combines my two areas I have most intrest in.
     

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  4. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

  5. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Another Calvert's book, and also first book I had read about Burma, is "Chindits - long range penetration". Unfortunately it was badly translated but still it captured my attention and "push" me toward this for me unknown part of ww2. It's very good book about the Operation Thursday.
     
  6. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Well, here go a few, for starters:

    Hurricane over the Jungle: By Terence Kelly, a nice personal account of the defense of Sumatra by Hurricane squadrons, and the evacuation to Java of the survivors, for some into eventual captivity.

    "C" Force to Hong Kong: By Brereton Greenhous, covers the story of C Force, from its formation in Canada, to the liberation of the survivors, at the end of the war. With a rather strong political bias, IMO, isn't exactly what you're looking for if you want to dig deep into the battle for Hong Kong.

    Buffaloes over Singapore: By Brian Cull, follows the same pattern of the "Over" series, deeply researched and with tons of information. To me, it was an interesting and entertaining read, in contrast with several reviews I've read which accuse the lineage of being too dry; a wealth of personal accounts makes up for this.

    The Battle for Burma: By Roy Conyers Nesbit, it's packed with pictures, some very rare, as it covers (not too deeply) the entire campaign, from Victoria Point to Imphal, and all the way back.
     

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  7. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    My two favourites are
    The Johnnies - Geoffry Evans (tells the story of Z Force
    Diary of a Jungle Walla - Peacock
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Having had this in mind for a while I PM'd a few members for their views and hopefully what follows in this thread will reflect the feedback we shared, with thanks to Bamboo, for telling me it was a good idea! Sol for some great input that will come to light when he posts;) and Warlord for suggestions on the thread title. Im sure Eddie will be along shortly and will contribute with some......... I dare say Chindit books that will have him and Steve chatting for ages:D.So to start of here is the first Burma book I can remember getting, my Dad brought it home one day and with his stories of his time in Burma and this book I was hooked!.......... it is for me the best book to give aspects of the Burma campaign from the Japanese side, and covers areas that most books still dont today so for me its a must to have in your collection, also see this link which touches on the mention of Sittang bridge within the book. Bharat Rakshak • View topic - BURMA - The Longest War 1941 - 1945

    This was my first book on the campaign and probably my best reference tool.

    £ 2.99 secondhand on EBay.:)
     
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  11. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    This one is a true winner:

    Operation Pacific, by Edwyn Gray. As a reference job, covering the often unsung Eastern - British Pacific - East Indies Fleets, it sure does the trick.

    By the way, if someone posts some more books on this subject, specially 1943 and the Sumatra Raids of 1944, it will be GREATLY appreciated!

    That's the problem with appetizers; they leave you hungry... :D
     

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  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I started my interest in Burma and the SE Asia theatre, as most of you will know, because my Grandfather Pte. Arthur Leslie Howney, lost his life in the campaign, serving as a guinea-pig Chindit in 1943.

    So it will come as no surprise to you all that my first book purchase was 'Beyond the Chindwin', the account of column 5's exploits that year and written by his C/O, Bernard Fergusson.

    When I first read this book in 2007 I did not know Grandad was part of this sub-unit in 1943. Recently I thought a mention of two men's fate in the book referred to my Grandad, a discovery just last month proved me incorrect.

    This book is a well written narrative of column 5 and shows Fergusson as a sensitive, but sometimes over complicated leader of men. It is hard not to warm to him in the end.

    I should say here that I always prefer to find old copies of most of the books I buy. Firstly, because they look, feel and smell better, but also because I have found that there are often unusual photographs and other pictures in these old books, that rarely appear again in subsequent editions.
     

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  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    The Burma Road, by Donovan Webster.

    I must take the time to re-read this book. But from memory, it was a real insight into the American viewpoint within this exceptionally complicated theatre of war. From it I gleaned an understanding of the US/Chinese/British relationship, especially that between Chiang-Kai-Shek and Stilwell.

    I have since, despite of his obvious mistrust of the British Army always had a soft spot for 'Vinegar Joe'. A passionate soldier not afraid to lead from the front.
     

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  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Z were very interesting I have read their 'After Action Report' which in many ways foretold the use of helicopters in jungle warfare (some had been used in Burma) perhaps most remarkable was the radio designed and used in the unit which had a voice range of 1200 miles. The unit SOPs were similar to those used by LRRPs in the 1960s and 70s.
     
  15. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I was lucky enough to find a copy of A Secret War : Americans in China 1944-45 by Oliver J Caldwell - this is well worth a read to show the politcal aspects of the Sino-US-British relations - and the lack of understanding of Chinese politics by some senior OSS and Army commanders was lamentable and the British probably had similar problems.
     
  16. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Two of my favorite books

    "Burma 1942: Japanese Invasion" by Ian Lyall Grant and Kazuo Tamayama. It's story about invasion and fall of Burma during first half of 1942. It's fantastic, it covers both Allied and Japanese, give lot of details about battles and with 30 maps (majority in color) it's easy to follow the story.

    "Burma - Turning Point" by Ian Lyall Grant mostly covers 17th Indian Division and their actions in Chin Hills and on the Tiddim Road during 1943-44, but also it covers all other unit which fought under division command during the Battle of Imphal and in short 5th Indian Division advance along Tiddim road in second half of 1944. Just like "Burma 1942" all actions are covered with maps (14 of them). For anyone interested in "the Black Cat" division this is must have.
     

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  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Z were very interesting I have read their 'After Action Report' which in many ways foretold the use of helicopters in jungle warfare (some had been used in Burma) perhaps most remarkable was the radio designed and used in the unit which had a voice range of 1200 miles. The unit SOPs were similar to those used by LRRPs in the 1960s and 70s.

    I have always been drawn to these men too. The 'After Action report' sounds very interesting, does it name names and operations?

    It is highly likely that the Z Force cells did a lot of the Intel and Recce for Chindit 1 in late 1942, that is what made me read a bit around this topic.

    Bertie Castens (who is mentioned in the medal write up link) was heavily involved in 1943, Wingate and the Chindits used his local knowledge to by-pass the Japanese garrisons nearest the Chindwin River.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    My two favourites are
    The Johnnies - Geoffry Evans (tells the story of Z Force
    Diary of a Jungle Walla - Peacock
    I have had my eye on a copy of The Johnnies for a while any idea what kind of price I should pay:unsure:
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Jason,

    This is the main problem with rare titles, you can never find them and when you do, they want a fortune for them. I am on the search for a few rare Rangoon Jail titles, which fall neatly into this category.

    Steve.
     

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