Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945 by Christopher Bayly, Tim Harper

By Christopher Bayly, Tim Harper

Within the early levels of the second one international warfare, the tremendous crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore seemed as an incredible Allied asset. It supplied ratings of squaddies and nice amounts of uncooked fabrics and helped current a probably impregnable international safeguard opposed to the Axis. but, inside of a number of weeks in 1941-42, a jap invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping all at once and decisively via south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and galvanizing the extreme innovative struggles which might mark the start of the top of British dominion within the East and the increase of contemporary Asian international. greater than an army heritage, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a wide ranging view of British Asia because it used to be ravaged via conflict, nationalist insurgency, disorder, and famine. It breathes existence into the armies of squaddies, civilians, workers, businessmen, convenience girls, medical professionals, and nurses who faced the day-by-day brutalities of a strive against sector which prolonged from metropolitan towns to distant jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon an unlimited variety of Indian, Burmese, chinese language, and Malay in addition to British, American, and eastern voices, the authors make vibrant one of many important dramas of the 20th century: the beginning of recent south and southeast Asia and the loss of life of British rule.

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Led Burma Communist Party in 1945. Broke with AFPFL in 1946 Thein Pe Myint (b. 1914). Burmese communist who escaped to India in 1942. Author of What happened in Burma, an attack on the Japanese occupation. Sent to Chungking, China, but maintained links with Burmese resistance to Japanese. Secretary of the Burma Communist Party, 1945–55. Broke with AFPFL in 1946. Tin Tut (b. 1895). Barrister and Burmese member of Indian Civil Service. Accompanied U Saw to London in 1941. Joined Dorman-Smith in Simla, 1942.

The Japanese had sought to impose their vision upon the crescent by incorporating it, with their other conquered territories, in a Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was a dream of a new Asian cosmological order, with Japan at its political and economic core. This vision left a powerful legacy in the minds of all who were exposed to it. However, the Japanese conquest states were hamstrung by conflicts between officials, chiefly men of a civilian background who wanted to give substance to Japan’s dream of ‘Asia for the Asians’, and military commanders who saw only the imperatives of the war effort.

Furnivall, J. , ICS (b. 1878). Retired Burma civil servant and Fabian socialist, well connected with radical Burmese Thakins. Advised on reconstruction of Burma in Simla, 1943–4; returned to Burma after independence as an economic adviser. Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (b. 1869). Symbolic head of Indian National Congress. Apostle of non-violence. Headed the anti-British Quit India movement of 1942. Jailed by the British for much of the rest of the war, during which time he staged a hunger strike.

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