Saul David

Admin Nightmare

Burma ’44: The Battle that Turned the War in the Far East

By James Holland

Bantam Press 319pp £20 order from our bookshop

For eighteen days in February 1944, a ‘motley collection’ of British-led ‘muleteers, clerks, engineers, orderlies and medical men’ fought off repeated attacks by the Japanese Imperial Army in the jungle-clad mountains of Arakan in northwest Burma. Known as the Battle of the Admin Box, it was the ‘first time’ British forces had beaten the Japanese in a major action and was to prove a ‘crucial turning point’ in the war. Yet few have heard of the battle. It ‘deserves to be remembered’, writes James Holland.

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