Phoenix From The Ashes: The Indian Army In The Burma Campaign

Hardcover | October 31, 2003

byDaniel Marston

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In June 1942 the Indian Army suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Japanese Army and subsequently endured its longest retreat ever. The Japanese forces had proved more mobile in tactics and more motivated and seasoned in warfare. As a result, the Indian Army assessed its mistakes to determine what changes were needed to rebuild itself into a more capable fighting force. Marston looks at the Indian Army as a reform-minded organization, one that was able to take lessons from this major defeat, implement the necessary reforms, and ultimately defeat the Japanese soundly in 1945. Army leaders instigated analysis of the defeat at all levels of command. Innovations in operational procedure, organization, and tactics were compared, discussed, then implemented. An ongoing reassessment continued both during and after subsequent engagements. By analyzing the changes made in tactical doctrine, reinforcement procedure, Indianization of the officer corps, and the quality of nonmartial race units, Marston demonstrates that the Indian Army of 1945 was vastly different from that of 1939. The Indian Army's transformation into a highly professional force contradicts the commonly held belief that it was too conservative a force to reform itself thoroughly in the face of new challenges.

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From the Publisher

In June 1942 the Indian Army suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Japanese Army and subsequently endured its longest retreat ever. The Japanese forces had proved more mobile in tactics and more motivated and seasoned in warfare. As a result, the Indian Army assessed its mistakes to determine what changes were needed to rebuild i...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9.78 × 6.36 × 1.07 inPublished:October 31, 2003Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275980030

ISBN - 13:9780275980030

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?This is a fascinating book, filled with detail, and probably not for those who like their history in broad strokes. It is supremely well researched, from both documentary sources and interviews; it is perhaps the last time such a book could have been written, as fewer and fewer witnesses are left to provide that richness which is so evident here....[a]ny interested in the Burma Campaign will certainly find this book of value; more importantly I would recommend it to any serving officer responsible for training, lessons, or analysis of operations in today's army. In the space of two years the Indian Army underwent a genuine and comprehensive transformation that mocks contemporary uses of the term. One hopes that the British army can be as openly self-critical and ready to learn as the Indian Army of 1942-1945.??British Army Review