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Captured Behind Japanese Lines (Hardback)

With Wingate's Chindits – Burma 1942–1945

WWII Prisoners Of War Japan & the Pacific Front Military

By Daniel Berke
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 184
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399016889
Published: 4th October 2021


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'Never have I had greater respect for soldiers than those of the 14th Army who served under Bill Slim, and in particular those guys who were in the Chindit columns. They suffered hugely as they got inside enemy territory in the Burmese Jungle and as they fought against all odds; some surviving, some being captured and many dying.This book exemplifies the courage of the men who faced this ordeal.' -The Rt. Hon. Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP

No-one meeting Frank Berkovitch, a quiet, reserved tailor, could have guessed that he had served with the Chindits in Burma and suffered prolonged Japanese captivity. Yet not only had he fought as a Bren-gunner on Operation LONGCLOTH, their first deep penetration mission, but he was the legendary General Orde Wingate’s batman.

The Chindits were Wingate’s inspired idea and, while suffering heavy losses from enemy action and deprivation, they dispelled the myth that the Imperial Japanese Army Japanese was invincible. Outnumbered, outgunned, carrying 70lb packs and reliant on RAF air drops for supplies, the 3,000 men of the Chindit columns overcame harsh jungle terrain and climatic conditions to take the fight to the enemy behind their own lines.

They wreaked havoc with enemy communications and caused heavy enemy casualties while gathering vital intelligence. After months of malnutrition and disease and hunted by the vengeful Japanese, the survivors faced a desperate race to escape from Burma. Captured crossing the Irrawaddy river, Frank endured two years imprisonment at the hands of notoriously cruel captors.

Superbly researched, this inspiring book vividly describes the Chindits’ first operation and the hardship suffered by, and heroism of, Frank and his comrades, many who never returned.

An important addition to military Family history.

Read the full review here

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

This book is chock-full of heroes, some famous like Orde Wingate and Mike Calvert. Others like Frank Berkovitch and thousands of 'ordinary Chindits" who served, most of them to die in Burma.
Read the full review here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

WWII books hardly ever fail to awe and inspire me and this falls in that category. This read takes us to the Burmese Jungle and subjects us to the same terror and hardships the soldiers endured. Both a heartbreaking and inspiring read, these book will show you the worst and very best of humanity.

NetGalley, Sue Hawthorne

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A truly inspirational book about the hardships endured by a British soldier fighting in Burma in WW2. The hardships and cruelty he faced was extremely demoralizing, but he overcame to survive the interment and return home. A great read for the history buff.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

The author takes us to Burma and follows the steps of his Chindit grandfather. Together with his father, they tell an impressive story of Wingate's Chindits, their training, and their involvement behind enemy lines. If I have one drawback, it could have been explained better if maps were included. But none the less an enjoyable read.
Ronnie Taylor - FEPOW Family

Ronnie Taylor

About Daniel Berke

Daniel Berke is a solicitor specialising in criminal and regulatory law. He read Law with Politics and has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He has acted in numerous high-profile and complex legal matters throughout the Jurisdiction and has been interviewed in major news and current affairs broadcasts about his work and cases.

He holds a board position in a not for profit legal organisation, is a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress.

Daniel is also a trustee of an amateur boxing club and is a keen boxer (although his fighting days are behind him). Married with two children he is a passionate traveller, hiker and photographer and is happiest in wild places.

Captured Behind Japanese Lines is his first book, which he describes as a story which he felt compelled to tell.

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