Defeat Into Victory The Magnificent Account of a Great

Defeat Into Victory The Magnificent Account of a Great Campaign of the Second World War ❮Reading❯ ➽ Defeat Into Victory The Magnificent Account of a Great Campaign of the Second World War ➶ Author William Slim – Field Marshal Viscount Slim 1891 1970 led shattered British forces from Burma to India in one of the lesser known but nightmarish retreats of World War II He then restored his army's fighting capabili Field Marshal Viscount Slim Victory The Epub ß led shattered British forces from Burma to India in one of the lesser known but nightmarish retreats of World War II He then restored his army's fighting capabilities and morale with virtually no support from home and counterattacked Defeat Into PDF or His army's slaughter of Japanese troops ultimately liberated India and Burma The first edition of Defeat Into Victory published in was an immediate sensation selling copies within a few days This is an updated version with a new introduction by David W Hogan Into Victory The PDF ´ Jr.

10 thoughts on “Defeat Into Victory The Magnificent Account of a Great Campaign of the Second World War

  1. Chin Joo Chin Joo says:

    This book is about the BurmaIndia Theatre in the Second World War where the British arguably scored their first victory against the Japanese While this theatre did not receive as much attention as the Malayan Campaign the fighting was not less brutal and conditions possibly harder Resources were scarce understandable given the secondary status this theatre was accorded pg 24 Food was pathetic pg 178 and even uniform was not enough at first pg 42 Add to this the difficulty of sewing together combatants from different nationalities British Indian Burmese Nepalese Gurkhas American airmen and Chinese the challenge of stopping the Japanese advance into India was formidable On top of that some people could be fighting for either side especially the Indians who served in the Indian National Army and with a foe that exhibited systematic cruelty and brutality in any theatre pg 51 238 it was no wonder that many felt demoralised and were conditioned to think that there was no way to stop the JapaneseThe central theme of this book is how the Commonwealth soldiers with the help of the Americans airmen eventually re grouped trained and through small victories scored in patrols turned their beliefs around and came to recognise that the Japanese were not invincible The Japanese could be defeated by a side who trained better and planned better a side that was determined not to be forced into retreat again The story of how they overcame the lack of resources broken promises of higher command due to exigencies in other theatres and maintained and improved their morale makes for a good lesson in leadership and practical intelligenceThe writing is another reason I enjoyed the book The writer was able to give very vivid descriptions of events pg 28 scenes and people pg 31 all written in a style uncommon in military history and rare today as we push for the use of Business English There are a few occasions when I even felt the writing poetic For that one should see the author's description of Northern Burma pg 246 the opening of Chapter 12 and about the great Irrawaddy pg 416 written with such respect He also had a great sense of humour such that the book is peppered throughout with funny anecdotes see pg 44 61 141 330 His reflections on the loss of Burma pg 120 onwards also contain invaluable insightsSome may accuse the author of being a borderline racist in his writing pg 281 based on today's politically correct rhetoric but I personally did not detect disrespect If he disapproved of his Asian allies or was disappointed by them he did not link any of this to their race but to the lack of training or the conditions under which they had to operate In fact he had high praises for the Indian units fighting for him and maintained the highest respect for the GurkhasThe one uestion that kept coming back to me as I read the book was why this theatre receive so little attention especially given that it resulted in a convincing victory for the the British Was it one that really mattered so little in the bigger scheme of things? Wouldn't it be disastrous had BurmaIndia ended up like Singapore? An earlier book I read had indeed speculated that the outcome of the war might be different had the British been defeated in Burma and India and India while geographically huge might not be difficult to sway towards the Japanese given the independence movement led by the Congress PartyBut like all speculations it is hard to predict what really would happen All we know is that the Japanese were defeated by the British and her allies for the first time and this is part of the general pattern of the war for the Japanese from then on Interestingly Japanese sources both left and right wing Handō 2009; Ienaga 2010; Yakuta Watanabe 2013 pay attention to the defeat they tasted in Imphal putting the blame suarely on Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi's lack of leadership capabilities and decisivenessEven if the victory here did not serve the overall cause strategically there are reasons for one to learn about this theatre if just to know how an army so lacking in resources could turn defeat into victory against an enemy that seemed so invicincible And there is no one better to learn from than the one who was instrumental in the victoryReferencesHandō K 2009 Showa Shi 1926 1945 Volume 2 Heibonsha Limited Tokyo JapanIenaga S 2010 The Pacific War 1931 1945 Pantheon Asia Library NYHyakuta N and Watanabe S 2013 Zerosen To Nihontou Maple House Cultural Publishing Taipei Taiwan

  2. Matt Matt says:

    This book is too good to review well in the space of an essay or a paragraph Properly appreciating and analyzing it would reuire a several weeks of classroom discussion I have a great inhibition against marking or defacing books in any fashion but with this book I have a great desire to take a highlighter and on page after page highlight the great wisdom and perspicacity displayed in this workIt is without a doubt the finest military memoire I have ever read I do not think that I can give enough superlatives to cover just how good this book is I cannot think of anything one would desire to have in a military memoire that is missing from this work You want honest critical self appraisal you've got it You want detailed accounting of the movement of forces then you have that If you want detailed assessment of the trials and difficulties of command as well as sound advice for overcoming them then you've got that If you need stirring inspiration or kick in the pants exhortation for struggling on through the greatest hardships then you've got thatThis should be reuired reading for anyone desiring to obtain command rank higher than Captain and is beneficial reading for anyone who is either professional military or a politician or who would wish to understand the same And it is an invaluable resource for any historian whether amateur or professional wishing to understand one of the most neglected fronts in WW2Five superlative stars

  3. Kris McCracken Kris McCracken says:

    Bill Slim or – to give him his proper title – Field Marshal William Joseph Slim 1st Viscount Slim KG GCB GCMG GCVO GBE DSO MC KStJ has been described by some as perhaps the greatest commander of the twentieth century Defeat into Victory is his account of the retaking of Burma by Allied forces during the Second World War first published in 1956 Slim was the commander of the British 14th Army that in concert with American and Chinese forces defeated the Imperial Japanese Army during the Burma Campaign But don’t let that put you off Slim's most notable characteristic is his lack of ego Unlike many most? other accounts of this type Slim consistently makes reference to his mistakes errors in planning or judgement and his deficiencies as a military commander For the reader’s benefit he explores how “learning the hard lessons” as he went along acknowledging fault and reflection on decisions helped him emerge a better man and general It is unsurprising that his approach generated a high regard from the rank and file The central point of the memoir is that it is the soldiers in the field that win battles Slim's theory is that politicians give guidelines for the campaign and generals provide the training and backup so that the soldiers can get on with their business The central premise is that he should – wherever possible – not get in the soldiers way This is a fantastic account of how – under his stewardship – the army managed to stop the Japanese advance in South East Asia and restore morale and discipline in the army that had been humiliatingly defeated Defeat into Victory is a text on good management than a text on warfare The ‘trick’ to good management for Slim is in best providing for good work for those underneath you He invested in proper training and euipment to front line troops He insisted that every unit was supplied according to its own special needs crucial in a true multicultural army that encompassed English Scots Welsh Irish Indian African Burmese Australian and American troops When middle management couldn’t ensure adeuate provisioning of the front line he even put his own staff on half rations until a solution was found generally this hastily solved the problem As few leaders do he clearly understood that war is about individuals and small units It is only in their combined and coordinated efforts that they amount to something far bigger The other crucial difference between this book and others of its type – Slim can write The book is full of many amusing depressing enlightening and shocking anecdotes with a health dose of self depreciation and humour What also surprises is how – especially given the time 1956 – it is completely devoid of any racism or caricature of the enemy Slim is incredibly respectful of his own native soldiers as well as the Japanese enemy This cannot be said of many text to be released in this periodUltimately Defeat into Victory is a text filled with wisdom modesty grace and deep understanding Well worth a look if you are at all interested

  4. Crispin Burke Crispin Burke says:

    Bar none The best book on military leadership ever written

  5. James Kemp James Kemp says:

    A friend sent me a copy of Field Marshal Bill Slim’s Defeat Into Victory It has always been on my list of books I’d like to read but somehow I’d never uite got round to acuiring a copy The version I have is a reading copy of the original edition with fold out maps all through itThe reading style is very engaging and easy to read especially if you have the space to fold out the map at the end of the chapter so that you can follow all the places when they appear in the narrative It was the first time I’d read about the ebb and flow of the war in Burma even though my grandfather drove a DUKW out there So I found it veryinteresting the nature of warfare was hugely different that both Europe and North Africa and I suspect even the Pacific Islands In some respects the war fought in Burma was like recent modern wars with low troop densities long logistics tails and a massive reliance on air powerThe other engaging bit about the book was that Slim shows you the development of the army from a road bound Western linear fighting force into an all arms all round defence jungle fighting machine In the beginning the British Army is out of its depth and way beyond the ken of its commanders or troops The Japanese have infiltration tactics that the British just can’t cope with and are so stubborn in defence that they cannot be shifted when they gain a hold The British just dissolve and retreat rapidly out of the way mostlyIt isn’t just a story of the British Army as well as colonial forces Indians and Africans mostly there is also the alliance warfare aspect of the war He liaises with Vinegar Joe Stillwell and the Chinese Army tooLater the British manage to shorten their lines of communication build defences and work out how to deal with the Japanese Once they do then the tables turn although it takes much stubborn fighting to shift the enemy There is a good narrative that explains the constraints the 14th Army was operating under the logistics challenges and how these were overcome and also the details of the operations Occasionally there are little personal vignettes of visits to the front or reports of battlesOne of the things I noted was the commentary on how few prisoners were taken mostly it was a grim fight to the death by both sides A typical note on a Japanese attack was that there was one prisoner taken and 600 Japanese bodies recovered from the 14th Army positionsHowever great as all this is the last section of the book is the best In the last chapter Slim gives his opinions on why things turned out the way that they did and also on what he draws as lessons for the future Given that this was written in 1957 he has a lot to say that I think was uite prescient about current operations and it might also have been right for the post nuclear exchange as well but thankfully we’ve avoided thatThe thing I do wonder is why are all our operational games about the European war? The furthest East we manage is the Russian front when there is whole load of interesting stuff going on out in the Far East I suspect I may well return to this when I have some time to sort out another game design

  6. James James says:

    Viscount Slim's memoir of his campaign in Burma deserves all the praise it has received over the years Slim is a refreshingly blunt writer always uick to praise superiors subordinates and peers while taking responsibility for his own mistakes In fact one of the most important lessons of Defeat into Victory is that EVERY military commander makes mistakes lots of them Not only does Slim own up to them he is willing to acknowledge that some of them cost the lives of his soldiers This is the burden of command in war and he does not shirk it Even when he clearly believes superiors or peers performed poorly he is rather obliue demonstrating his disapproval through a lack of praiseThe details of the campaigns are not so salient as Slim's observations on leadership and the behavior of senior commanders Although his tactical advice is probably useful for any commander it carries no brilliant insights keep things simple logistics are often important than tactics impart a positive attitude Soldiers with high morale and an understanding of why their tasks matter will often accomplish the seemingly impossible Tommy Franks would not suddenly become Frederick the Great simply by reading Slim However future generals would do well to model their behavior and build habits based on Slim's battle rhythm and demeanor His explication of his own daily schedule is priceless emphasizing the importance of reflection sleep exercise unstructured discussion with trusted subordinates and the need to reserve one's energies for the moment of crisis and not fritter them away in daily micro managementThe book's single greatest failing is the fault of the publisher than the author The names and geography are likely to be unfamiliar to the vast majority of readers Indeed many of the place names are unpronounceable to English speakers Although each section begins with maps it is inconvenient to flip constantly back and forth The maps themselves are not all that good This book would benefit greatly from an annotated and illustrated edition that allowed the reader to see the tactical situation clearly as Slim describes itOverall a brilliant work of military history I would strongly recommend it for any young officer with aspirations to rise to high command

  7. David Wyatt David Wyatt says:

    To many William Slim was possibly the finest British and possibly Allied General to serve during the Second World War It is not readily known that the victor of Imphal was also a novelist between wars so this is one of the rarest of items a memoir written by a general who can actually write As memoirs go Slim lays out clearly how the war with Japan went and what it to took to turn a beaten army into a winner Slim gives credit to all and his portrait of Vinegar Joe Stilwell is essential I cannot praise this book highly enough

  8. Brian Thorson Brian Thorson says:

    The best historical account of a Pacific campaign in WWII I’ve read This book is full of leadership tactical and operational lessons applicable to military leaders of all ranks My book is highlighted and tabbed for future reference; I’m confident I will revisit it While it is not the best written book I’ve ever read the uality of the content enabled me to get past Slim’s uniue writing style

  9. Aaron Bright Aaron Bright says:

    Don’t get me wrong there are some fantastic nuggets of leadership gold in the rather large book but the constant log of battles and who did what where starts to wear thin

  10. Michael Burnam-Fink Michael Burnam-Fink says:

    I've read a fair number of general's memoirs and Slim's is one of the most humanistic and readable Transferred to Burma in 1942 Slim arrived to an army in administrative disarray and an overwhelming Japanese assault that turned into a near rout Through perseverance and energy Slim managed to hold the line in India rebuild his army learn how to fight the Japanese and then counter attack Few other Allied generals of the war experienced such immense swings in fortuneThe best parts of the book are how incredibly British Slim is and a glimpse into the polyglot colonial army of the British Empire with Brits Indians of hundreds of tribes and castes and Africans all fighting alongside Americans Chinese and miscellaneous members of the commonwealth Next are the observations on command organizational spirit and morale and the management of an army at the end of the most shoe string logistics system an army has ever had to operate withSlim has few kind words for the Japanese at one point he describes them as the finest military insect on the planet but he admires the tenacity of their ordinary soldier while critiuing the blind aggressiveness of their commanders and the brutality inflicted on prisoners and the Burmese population This is only fair; the Imperial Japanese Army were some of the worst war criminals this planet has ever seen and Slim's thoughts about their command structure and penchant for atrocities are only too true If casually genteel racism of the mid 20th century sort is a deal breaker this is not the book for youAs with most books of this type the worst part are the battles and endless lists of divisions and corps attacking various towns To be honest I could never keep track of the battle although some of the maps later in the book proved uite helpful Part of me wished for a little bit context on Slim's life and his role in the Indian Army in the interwar years but he wasn't the type to talk about himself like thatIn closing a fascinating look at a forgotten theater of war and a humble memoir from an able soldier

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