Author(s): James Holland
In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War. What became known as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim's Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory. Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.
The untold story of one of WW2's most extraordinary and significant battles which marked the turning of the tide of the war in the jungles of Burma
"Holland is good on the mechanics of warfare and gives a thrilling blow-by-blow account of the fighting, which will please military buffs. There are also crisp vignettes of the commanders ... But it is the voices of the fighting men that lift this book above the level of a simple battle narrative. Holland has a good ear." The Times "Up there with Rorke's Drift ... in rescuing the Battle of the Admin Box from oblivion, Holland has performed a signal service for all the men who fought - and died - in its defence" Telegraph "A gripping account of one of the war's lesser-known episodes" Soldier "Holland is excellent at conjuring up the sights, sounds and smells of combat in the Arakan's inhospitable terrain ... Too many histories of the Second World War revisit the same old battles: Dunkirk, El Alamein, D-day and Arnhem. It is refreshing, therefore, to be reminded of one of the lesser known yet still highly significant engagements. Burma '44 is a brilliant exploration of how and why the British turned the tide in the East" Literary Review
James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of the best-selling Fortress Malta, Battle of Britain, and Dam Busters, he has also written nine works of historical fiction, five of which feature the heroic Jack Tanner, a soldier of the Second World War. He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented a number of documentaries, most recently Cold War, Hot Jets, and Normandy 44 for the BBC. Co-founder and Programme Director of the Chalk Valley History Festival, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.