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Forgotten War (ePub)

The British Empire and Commonwealth’s Epic Struggle Against Imperial Japan, 1941–1945

WWII World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: Casemate Publishers
File Size: 35.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781636243580
Published: 15th October 2023


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The monumental struggle fought against Imperial Japan in the Asia/Pacific theater during World War II is primarily viewed as an American affair. While the United States did play a dominant role, the British and Commonwealth forces also made major contributions – on land, at sea and in the air – eventually involving over a million men and vast armadas of ships and aircraft. It was a difficult and often desperate conflict fought against a skilled and ruthless enemy that initially saw the British suffer the worst series of defeats ever to befall their armed forces. Still, the British persevered and slowly turned the tables on their Japanese antagonists. Fighting over an immense area that stretched from India in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east and Australia in the south to the waters off Japan in the north, British and Commonwealth forces eventually scored a string of stirring victories that avenged their earlier defeats and helped facilitate the demise of the Japanese Empire.


Often overlooked by history, this substantial war effort is fully explored in Forgotten War. Meticulously researched, the book provides a complete, balanced and detailed account of the role that British and Commonwealth forces played on land, sea and in the air during this crucial struggle. It also provides unique analysis regarding the effectiveness and relevance of this collective effort and the contributions it made to the overall Allied victory.

Throughout the Far East & the Pacific, the land, sea & air battles in the war between the Allies & Japan has often been covered by books focusing on particular elements or campaigns.
Here aided by some very helpful tables, the author provides a wide ranging & highly researched account covering many different theatres, whilst taking a look at the military strengths & the tactics used by both the Allied & Axis countries.

From the end of the first world war what remained of many countries armed forces were cut & the men demobilised. Brian's engaging narrative then explains how these countries transitioned into the fighting strengths of the second world war, through to the surrender of Japan in 1945 & the end of the conflict.

Some of the battles covered were thought of as being solely between American & Japanese forces. Interestingly the author reveals that there was also involvement by British & Commonwealth forces too, albeit sometimes in a lesser role that has over time been 'forgotten'.

The fight against the Japanese is an important part of the second world war. Yet despite this, my own reading hasn't concentrated enough on these campaigns.
I have certainly found this book to be of huge benefit, not just in learning so much more, but it has provided an incentive to want to push on & read more.
This review copy is the first of three books written by Brian that I now possess. I have recently bought two others based on some glowing online reviews.
From my own personal experience of 'Forgotten War', I can honestly say that I am really looking forward to picking up those in the near future, for this book has been an absolute pleasure to read.

History Book Chat

"Brian E Walter's Forgotten War is a fantastic addition to the Pacific Theatre bibliography".

Classic Military Vehicle Magazine - Issue 273, February 2024

In 250 pages of narrative such a wide-ranging series of campaigns over a vast area can only be skimmed over, but by concise, accurate writing, the author has delivered a worthy single volume narrative. This should be a must have book that is readable in itself that also offers a starting point to further reading.

RAF Historical Society Journal

This book isn’t the first to draw attention to this often-forgotten chapter of World War II history, but Mr. Walter’s narrative is comprehensive, engaging and insightful. He reminds us that British and Commonwealth veterans of the Pacific share a special bond because of “the sad reality that their sacrifices and exploits largely went unnoticed in their home countries.

The Wall Street Journal
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