The Unforgettable Army: Slim's XIVth Army in Burma - Michael HickeyTunbridge Wells: Spellmount Limited, 1992, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Heavily faded at the spine of the dust wrapper, a decent copy otherwise.
Includes: Order of battle; Plans of battle; Black & white photographs; Maps; Appendices (9);
From the cover: “Michael Hickey’s narrative is not only a new and revealing account of the Burma Campaign but a character study of a great fighting machine — the so-called ‘forgotten’ 14th Army — which grew from the demoralised elements of a beaten army under the firm and humane hand of a masterful leader, Bill Slim, who took it from defeat and disaster to victory over a highly-trained, well-led and ruthless enemy. How townies and pallid young men were transformed into a jungle force that destroyed one of the finest armies of the 20th century must surely rank as one of the truly great stories in the history of warfare.
The book is bulging with fresh, untapped source material, and as Hickey says, ‘some icons will be chipped’. A new and not always flattering light is shone on the diverse characters in high command: the ambitions of the gifted and showman-like Mountbatten, the strange habits of Wingate (‘pig filthy and mad as a hatter’), the ferocity of ‘Vinegar Joe’ Stillwell, and the strange story of the sacking of Slim.
The story begins with a description of the Japanese master-plan for the conquest of South-East Asia and its economic resources, how effectively the Japanese trained, organised, and equipped their forces compared with the complacent and lethargic attitudes of the European colonial powers when faced with an appalling threat. How the British commanders at first underestimated the Japanese and how the first counter-offensive in the Arakan was a cock-up, how the highly-acclaimed first Chindit expedition under Wingate in fact achieved precious little, but justified itself through its effect on morale, how the 14th Army was formed and how at last the tide turned and the road to Mandalay and Rangoon was forced — all these stories and many more are told in Michael Hickey’s remarkable revealing book.”