Journeys back along the roads to Mandalay, Imphal and Kohima: Recent contributions to the history of the Burma theatre in the Second World War

R. Gerald Hughes*, Stephen Hanna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article explores recent literature on the often-overlooked Burma theatre of the Second World War. The brutal contest in Burma, which took place in the most hostile of climates, was never a priority for any of the belligerents in the global war. Despite this, a re-examination of the men who fought in the jungles, hills, and plains of Burma from myriad nations and cultures–and who bled and died in their thousands–adds a number of dimensions to our understanding of the war in the Far East. The twenty-first century has seen an expansion of the literature on the Burma theatre which has added both depth and colour to this truly unique arena of war. These contributions are invaluable in the realms of logistics, airpower, intelligence, politics, and soldiery. This fresh wave of literature includes the re-publication of certain first-hand examinations of some of the most disastrous moments in British military history; the longest fighting retreat conducted by the British Army; the reforging of that army into a victorious fighting force; and accounts of some of the greatest special operations units in history. Such accounts, in tandem with a number of recent scholarly monographs and edited volumes, argue strongly for the rediscovery of this ‘forgotten’ war.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-144
Number of pages19
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022

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