A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45 (Hardcover)

A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45 By Robert Lyman Cover Image
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'This is a superb book.' - James Holland

In 1941 and 1942 the British and Indian Armies were brutally defeated and Japan reigned supreme in its newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires by acclaimed historian Robert Lyman expertly retells these coordinated efforts and describes how a new volunteer Indian Army, rising from the ashes of defeat, would ferociously fight to turn the tide of war.

But victory did not come immediately. It wasn't until March 1944, when the Japanese staged their famed 'March on Delhi', that the years of rebuilding reaped their reward and after bitter fighting, the Japanese were finally defeated at Kohima and Imphal. This was followed by a series of extraordinary victories culminating in Mandalay in May 1945 and the collapse of all Japanese forces in Burma. The Indian Army's contribution has been consistently forgotten and ignored by many Western historians, Robert Lyman proves how vital this hard-fought campaign was in securing Allied victory in the east, defeating Japanese militarism and ultimately redrawing the map of the region with an independent India, free from the shackles of empire, all but guaranteed.

About the Author


Robert Lyman is widely regarded as one of Britain's most talented military historians, with fifteen best-selling works of history published to date and numerous appearances on television including the BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are' and a range of documentaries including two in the 'Great Escapes' series, on Tobruk (1941) and Kohima (1944). He was the military consultant to the BBC for the Victory over Japan memorial celebrations in the UK in 2015 and again for the 70th anniversary in 2020. He spent 20 years in the British Army and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2010 he helped General Sir Richard Dannatt write his autobiography, Leading from the Front. A frequent traveller to the US, Asia and Australasia, he lives in England.

Praise For…


“Every so often new work emerges that dramatically changes how we view key aspects of the war, and A War of Empires does just that. Written with meticulous scholarship and from a deep and profound knowledge of the subject matter, it is full of wisdom, sound judgement and with a convincing and refreshing central thesis. Robert Lyman has unquestionably become the foremost scholar of the War in the Far East.” - James Holland, bestselling author and broadcaster

“Rob Lyman has crafted a masterful analysis of the clash between two proud empires. A compelling read.” - General The Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL

“A fine, comprehensive and much-needed reappraisal of the pivotal Burma campaign in World War II. Exhaustively researched and engagingly written, it tells this dramatic story from the perspective of all the major combatants.” - Professor Saul David, historian, novelist and broadcaster

“A comprehensive account of the Second World War campaign in India and Burma.” - Dr Alan Jeffreys, Imperial War Museums curator and author

“With deep knowledge, clarity and empathy for the tangled cast of remarkable characters involved, [Robert Lyman] has given us the best single volume on the campaign.” - Professor Raymond Callahan, University of Delaware

“A masterful account not only of the longest British (and imperial) campaign of the Second World War but also, in a very real sense, of India’s victory.” - Professor Ian Beckett, University of Kent

“Military history of the very best sort – detailed and accurate with real understanding of the military dynamics involved in the Burma campaign. It also shines in integrating the understood (and not understood) elements of grand strategy that lay behind the whole confrontation in the Asia/Pacific theatre. It's a terrific book.” - Professor Michael Clarke, former Director-General at RUSI

“This book is a triumph of scholarship, and better still an engagingly written one, and will deservedly become a classic text.” - George Wilton, British Commission for Military History

“Meticulously sourced, a delight to read.” - Gordon Corrigan, author and historian

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472847140
ISBN-10: 1472847148
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: November 16th, 2021
Pages: 560
Language: English