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Air Battle for Burma (Hardback)

Allied Pilots’ Fight for Supremacy

WWII Aviation World War Two Aviation

By Bryn Evans
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 251
ISBN: 9781473858923
Published: 21st November 2016

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£25.00


Star review!

 

'An excellent book about the air war over Burma'

FlyPast

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After a long series of crushing defeats by the apparently unstoppable Japanese air and ground forces, the eventual fightback 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’ first-hand 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By covering both the strategic and tactical angles, through these previously unpublished personal accounts, this fine book is a fitting and overdue tribute to Allied air forces’ contribution to victory in Burma.

As well as some clear maps and striking photographs, what makes the book really ‘come alive’ is the interweaving of the personalised stories from some of the pilots themselves. Using a mixture of diaries and personal interviews, Evans includes these dramatic descriptions of combat between Commonwealth fighter pilots and their Japanese foes.
The Burma campaign has often been associated with the ‘Forgotten’ XIV Army. This is therefore an important contribution by Evans to shed some new light into this important, but somewhat under-reported and undervalued, campaign.

RUSI Defence Systems

Spitfires soar over a landscape of desperation and isolation - as with Bryn's previous book on the Desert Air Force, this work is a revelation, even for those who are familiar with Military History. There are facts and insights that will surprise many readers. Burma really was the "Forgotten Theatre" of WW2, at the extreme (and poorly-supplied) reaches of both the British and Japanese Empires. The men fighting there had an arduous and often completely thankless task. Bryn allows the voices of the participants to convey the bulk of this story, providing much colour and intensive personal detail. Bryn's careful selection of testimony and his judicious narration of the larger historical framework create a work which summons up the fear, the muddle, the desperation, the struggle, the bravery, the disappointment, and eventually the triumph which played themselves out in this unforgiving landscape. While the focus of the book is on the fighter units on the British side, many other voices are heard from the other services: Navy, Army, friend & enemy, civilians and prisoners; and from other far-ranging theatres of combat which all influenced the Burma saga.

James Oglethorpe, of RAAF No 3 Squadron Association

Not only was it a riveting story, it had the ring of truth about it. I was fascinated by it, and had trouble putting it down.

Ass Prof Ian Francis

A most valuable and respected addition to the military part of my modest library

Maj Gen Ray Sharp (Ret'd)

Your book Air Battle for Burma surpassed your excellent "The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945". I am ashamed to say I was not aware of the detail you supplied in your magnum opus - it  was superb, well researched and vivid, written so professionally. I was exhausted in my Spitfire and I could just visualise and smell that jungle. What if I had to jump? Glad we finished that war.

You were highly successful with recreating experiences, challenges, and sacrifices and the eventful fight back to achieve the first defeat of the Japanese  Empire. It must have been hell. It leaves us feeling humble and grateful. I was not fully aware of the Air Force achievements in Burma, especially the fighters.’

Col Frize, RAF fighter pilot Ret’d.

Once again, congratulations on an excellent book. I believe that both Air Battle for Burma and The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942-1945 are excellent books.

It is a well-written and researched history of the air war over Burma. An engaging and informative read - it is also an unexpectedly exciting account of the air battle and of the men who fought it .

Bob Treloar, Air Vice-Marshal RAAF Ret’d.

An excellent book about the air war over Burma.

Chris Gilling, Editor of FlyPast Magazine

About Bryn Evans

Bryn Evans is a management consultant with many years’ experience of finance and IT at boardroom level. As well as military history Bryn writes extensively across a wide range of categories, be it business management, sport, travel, or fiction, and his work has been widely published. His fiction work has earned a Second Prize in the Catherine Cookson Short Story Competition and other awards.


Bryn is the author of With the East Surreys in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy 1942 – 1945 (2012), and The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force 1942 – 1945 (2014), both published by Pen and Sword Books Ltd, UK. In his research he has interviewed veterans and their families world-wide, and visited battlefields and campaign locales in Egypt, Tunisia, Sicily and Italy.


After periods residing in UK, Zambia, and Germany, Bryn his wife Dr Jean Evans have lived for many years in Sydney, Australia.

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