Tuesday, 2 June 2015

HISTORY FACTUAL REVIEW: Kohima - Arthur Swinson

Release Date: 12/03/15
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


On 7 March 1944 Tokyo announced that the Japanese invasion of British India had begun. By mid-month, the Japanese 31st Division had crossed the Chindwin River in northern Burma, advancing on a wide front towards Imphal and Kohima. In bitter jungle fighting from early April, the British Fourteenth Army under Field Marshal Slim held the Japanese assault on Kohima Ridge. By late June the Japanese were in headlong retreat.

Kohima ranks for strategic importance with Alamein, Midway and Stalingrad. The increasing dominance of Allied airpower in the region in the aftermath of the battle was a major factor in turning the tide of the war in East Asia against the Japanese.

Drawing on documents and diaries from Japanese as well as Allied sources, Arthur Swinson, who served at Kohima, not only presents a thrilling and fascinating tale of heroism and combat action, but also analyses the political background to and long-term impact of a clash described by Mountbatten as 'one of the greatest battles in history'.


Whilst many think of the second world war being mainly Africa and Europe, my Grandfather was stationed in India with the RAF. Here in this book the author details around the Burma campaign which to many of those in the know was seen as vital as battles such as El-Alamain, so rather than read through the book myself, I passed it onto my grandfather who had a lot of knowledge about the campaign. Here’s what he told me:

All in, the book is well written by an author who has clearly done their research to bring the piece to the market does so in such a way that it is easily accessible for the reader. The title brings the reader into the campaign showing the real human cost emotionally as well as physically. Add to this a piece that doesn’t stint on detail of this attrition war alongside the light of heroism of those who fought and all round it’s a book that really will hit hard for the reader.

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