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Burma Victory, 1944–1945 (Paperback)

Photographs from Wartime Archives

Military Photographic Books WWII > Photographic Books

By Jon Diamond
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781399008532
Published: 30th June 2022


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General Stilwell’s ad hoc force of Merrill’s Marauders, American-trained Chinese divisions, Kachin guerrillas and General Wingate’s Chindits conducted a northern Burmese offensive that led to the coup de main seizure of Myitkyina’s airfield in May 1944. In August 1944, after a protracted siege, Myitkyina town on the Irrawaddy River fell to the Allies. At the same time elements of General Slim’s 14th Army were mounting a defence of northeastern India at Imphal and Kohima against Imperial Japan’s 15th Army; Operation U-Go, led by General Mutaguchi, from March to July 1944. Thereafter, the Allies began two major campaigns.

First, the northern Burmese Sino-American offensive re-opened the land supply route to China via a newly-built Burma Road, which replaced the American Air Transport Command’s ‘Hump’ airlift that had kept Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese forces supplied.

The second offensive was by General Bill Slim’s multi-national British 14th Army under, which advanced south-east through the Arakan. The ‘Forgotten Army’ eventually re-occupied Mandalay and Rangoon.

These legendary campaigns are superbly described in words and images in this fine addition to the Images of War series.

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, October 2023

Jon Diamond, is to be commended for his attention to detail, great use of maps and amazing photographs.


The photographs in the book are all of a very good quality, showing troops of all nations with coverage of the Ghurkha forces being of interest to me. The result is a well rounded title that is rich in photographic content and reference.

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As featured on Beating Tsundoku

Beating Tsundoku

Five stars. This illustrated history fully achieves its purpose of showing in many well-selected photographs a bitterly-fought campaign in gruelling conditions.

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

"This is another very nice offering in this interesting series..."

ModelingMadness.com, July 2022

Another new addition to the popular Pen & Sword Images of War series from author Jon Diamond. A 239-page soft-cover book in the standard style of the series, covering the initial Japanese invasion and then the fight back, a period of success against the Japanese army.
The book is divided across 6 chapters, each one beginning with some pages of text, most also including a map or two, to set out what happened where, and what units were involved on both sides. They start with the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) conquest of Burma in 1942, and the Allied response in 1943. That leads into both Wingate's Operation Thursday and Stilwell's assault on Myitkyina in 1944. A slight interlude then to look at the Commanders and Combatants of both sides. In chapter 4 it is the British and Indian defence of Imphal and Kohima, preventing the IJA 15th Army getting deep into India. From that there are the Allied advances across Burma from India, before finishing off with the Allied drive South of Myitkyina plus the construction of the Ledo/Stilwell Road, before a closing Epilogue.
Each chapter follows the opening text with a series of photos, all of which have much more detail within the extensive captions. The mix of photos offer a wide variety of references. As well as the difficult terrain and plentiful rivers to cross, there were troops from a wide variety of nations, including the UK, the IJA, Indian, Chinese, African and Ghurkha troops. As well as an interesting mix of bridging equipment, some wood while there are Bailey bridges as well. There was deployment of paratroopers, gliders, landing craft and a mixture of AFVs, trucks and artillery. Amidst the commanders we see well known names such as Stilwell, Wingate, Slim and others, and one I had not realised was there, Sir Keith Park (ex-commander of 11 Group during the Battle of Britain). As well as lots of detail images of uniform and equipment for all sides, I was particularly taken by a couple of photos showing Universal Carriers fitted with oil-drums as flotation devices. One shows it in the water and I have to say I'm not sure I would have felt 'safe' in it. Not a factory modification but a great inspiration for any modeller looking for an unusual carrier variant.
Even today, the war in the Far East doesn't seem to attract the level of attention that other theatres of WW2 manage to do, and perhaps this help a bit to address the idea of the British troops of the 14th Army being considered the 'Forgotten Army'. A good addition to the series I think.

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Military Model Scene
 Jon Diamond

About Jon Diamond

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the USA with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, Invasion of Sicily, Invasion of the Italian Mainland: Salerno to Gustav Line, 1943-1944, Onto Rome 1944; Anzio and Victory at Cassino, Beyond Rome to the Alps; Across the Arno and Gothic Line, 1944-1945, Op Plunder - The Rhine River Crossing, MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Campaign, Hell in the Central Pacific, Liberation of the Philippines, Burma Victory, The Fall of Malaya and Singapore and The Battle of Okinawa 1945 are all published by Pen and Sword in the Images of War series.

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