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Chindit Affair (Paperback)

A Memoir of the War in Burma

Military > Biographies > Military Biographies WWII

Edited by Brian Mooney
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 8pp of B & W plates
ISBN: 9781399085250
Published: 11th March 2022



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In March 1944, some 2,200 battle trained men of 111 Brigade flew from India into northern Burma to land on improvised airstrips cleared from the jungle, They were part of General Orde Wingate's Chindit force sent to fight the Japanese deep behind their lines. Five months later, 111 Brigade was down to 118 fit men – eight British officers, a score of British soldiers and 90 Gurkhas. One of those eight officers was Frank Baines, and in Chindit Affair he tells, in vivid language and with shrewd insight, what happened.

Frank commanded two platoons of young Gurkhas and was attached to 111 Brigade Headquarters, serving under John Masters, where he had a close-up view for most of the time. His account throws new light on the leadership of the Chindit campaign, but above all it is a soldier's story.

All the horrors of jungle warfare are here – bodies blood-sucked by leeches and corpses impaled by bamboo; Japanese soldiers reduced to eating human flesh; a court martial and execution; soldiers falling sick and dropping by the wayside, and being killed and wounded in action. He also captures the atmosphere of the jungle, its watercourses, trees, birds and the Kachin villagers' simple way of life. No other account of the Chindit operations touches the same raw nerves, and none recreates so immediately the sensations of being there in the jungle and hills which devoured nearly all of them.

This is a fascinating book. Baines is an engaging narrator, and gives us an unusual view of a famous campaign.

History of War Website

Chindit Affair is a military memoir with a unique twist

Times Literary Supplement

This book is a descriptive personal and sometimes disturbing look into a war not only against a determined ruthless enemy  but against the harsh background of the jungle itself.

WW2 Connection.com

About Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney was a prize-winning foreign correspondent for Reuters. Since leaving Reuters in 2000 he has published three books, Breaking News, Frontier Country and Shaping History, and he has worked in international public relations and contributed articles to the Financial Times, and other publications. His latest book is a biography of Frank Baines A Look Beyond the Sea. He lives in the City of London and Essex.

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