Cover: Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945, from Harvard University PressCover: Forgotten Armies in PAPERBACK

Forgotten Armies

The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

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Product Details


$37.50 • £30.95 • €34.00

ISBN 9780674022195

Publication Date: 04/30/2006


616 pages

5-3/4 x 8-7/8 inches

34 halftones, 7 maps

Belknap Press

United States and its dependencies only

  • List of Illustrations*
  • Maps
    • Asia on the eve of World War II
    • The Great Crescent
    • British Malaya in 1941
    • The fall of Singapore 13–15 February 1942
    • North Burma and Assam
    • The ‘neutral jungle’ of Perak, Malaya
  • Some Key Characters
  • Preface: The Many ‘Forgotten Armies’
  • Prologue, Part I: Escaping Colonialism
    • Japan’s Asian vision and the coming of war
    • Aung San’s Far Eastern odyssey
    • ‘Signor Mazzotta’ flees to Berlin
    • Mr Tan Kah Kee visits Mao
  • Prologue, Part II: Journeys through Empire
    • The great crescent
    • A Malayan pastorale
    • The ‘new world’ of Singapore
    • Malaise
  • 1. 1941: Last of the Indian and Burmese Days
    • India on the brink
    • Indian politics as usual?
    • Burma unready
    • The world of the hills and the ‘tribes’
    • Dorman-Smith reaches his ‘backwater’
    • Burmese and others
    • Endgame: the governor and the politicians
  • 2. 1942: A Very British Disaster
    • The fortress that never was
    • The arrow leaves the bow
    • The battle of Malaya
    • ‘The modern Pompeiians’
    • Flotsam and jetsam
  • 3. 1942: Debacle in Burma
    • The road to Rangoon
    • From scorched earth to green hell
    • Burma’s false dawn
    • Death of the innocents
    • Would India hold?
    • Total defence in the hills: the Lushai levies
    • The Nagas, the Kachins and the anthropologists
    • The monsoon of 1942: an unnoticed turning point
  • 4. 1942: The Abyss and the Way Back
    • The rape of Malaya
    • The ‘New Malai’
    • Desperate journeys: Burma in late 1942
    • India ablaze
    • The forgotten armies mobilize
  • 5. 1943: Valleys of the Shadow of Death
    • Uneasy allies
    • Another fiasco in Arakan
    • India in the doldrums
    • The great starvation
    • The slow fight back begins
  • 6. 1943: Personal Wars
    • Ba Maw’s apotheosis
    • The ‘Spirit of Asia’ and the Malay nation
    • The second coming of the Indian National Army
    • Life in the time of tapioca
    • ‘Life without salt’
    • War by proxy
    • High councils: Tokyo, Cairo and Tehran
  • 7. 1944: The Pivot of the Fighting
    • Japan’s final throw
    • India on the offensive
    • Battle commences: Imphal and Kohima
    • The politics of war
    • Japan’s forgotten army
  • 8. 1944: The Nemesis of Greater East Asia
    • Heroism and murder in the hills
    • The crumbling of ‘Free Burma’
    • Roads to the death railway
    • Silent armies
    • The peninsular war
    • New balls at Wimbledon
  • 9. 1945: Freedoms Won and Lost
    • India mobilized
    • Ba Maw’s last stand
    • Aung San’s revolt
    • Rangoon falls again
    • The fading light of the new Asia
  • 10. August 1945: An End and a Beginning
    • Final journeys down the crescent
    • Forgotten armies, forgotten wars
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • * List of Illustrations
    • 1. ‘Great World’ amusement park, Singapore, 1930s (National Archives of Singapore)
    • 2. Flower girls supporting the China Relief Fund, c. 1940 (National Archives of Singapore)
    • 3. Reginald Dorman-Smith touring the Shan States, 1941 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 4. U Saw and Leo Amery in London, 1941 (British Library)
    • 5. Claire Chennault, Stilwell and the Flying Tigers (Corbis)
    • 6. Special Branch portrait of Lai Teck (Imperial War Museum)
    • 7. Chin Peng (Imperial War Museum)
    • 8. Chiang Kai Shek, Madame Chiang and General Joseph Stilwell (Hulton)
    • 9. Yamashita: ‘The Tiger of Malaya’ (National Archives of Singapore)
    • 10. Percival in May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 11. Straits Settlements Volunteers Force, c. May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 12. The sinking of HMS Prince of Wales (Imperial War Museum)
    • 13. Japanese war artist’s painting of the Singapore surrender (Cheong Yew Kee, National Archives of Singapore)
    • 14. Sketch of sook ching massacres by Liu Kang (Liu Kang)
    • 15. Japanese troops marching into Rangoon (Popperfoto)
    • 16. A bombed-out Buddhist temple in Rangoon, 1942 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 17. Refugee map of the route from Burma to India, 1942 (courtesy of the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge)
    • 18, 19. Indian refugees fleeing Rangoon, 1942 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 20. Two pictures from the Statesman’s coverage of the Bengal famine, 1943 (British Library, copyright © The Sunday Statesman Ltd)
    • 21. Lord Wavell at a Rotary Club soup kitchen, Calcutta, 1943 (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis)
    • 22. Subhas Bose taking the salute with Field Marshal Tojo, Municipal Building, Singapore, 6 July 1943 (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation)
    • 23. Malayan Peoples’ Anti-Japanese Army propaganda leaflet (National Archives of Singapore)
    • 24. ‘Comfort women’ from Malaya liberated in the Andaman Islands (Imperial War Museum)
    • 25. Subhas Chandra Bose with Ba Maw in Rangoon, 1943 (courtesy of Netaji Research Bureau, Calcutta)
    • 26. Louis Mountbatten with General Auchinleck, Air Chief Marshal Peirse and General Giffard (University of Southampton Library)
    • 27. West African troops arriving in India for the Burma front, 1944 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 28. General Slim addressing the troops (Imperial War Museum)
    • 29, 30. Indian troops (Punjab Regiment) and British troops in Arakan, 1944 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 31. A Sikh patrol charging a foxhole, 1945 (Imperial War Museum)
    • 32. Surrendered Indian National Army troops at Mount Popa (Imperial War Museum)
    • 33. Aung San delivering a speech in Rangoon, c. 1945 (International Institute of Social History, Amstersdam)
    • 34. Chinese fighters of Force 136, 1945 (Chang Teh Cheok, National Archives of Singapore)

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