The LogosWord Website
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth  
Home page Bible software Online shopping Webstore Archive Booklists
LogosWord | LogosLite | Amazon Webstore | LogosComment | Resources | Software | Links | About | Donate | Contact
Forgotten Armies: Britain's Asian Empire and the War with Japan (Forgotten Armies)
~Chris Bayly , T. N. Harper
Click to enlarge...
List price: £9.99
Our price: £6.99
Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Average customer rating: 4 out of 5
1 star1 star1 star1 starNo star
Sales rank: 25,787

Product Information

Media: Paperback
ISBN/ASIN : 0140293310
Manufacturer : Penguin Books Ltd
Release data : 04 August, 2005

Search for related products

  • Special Features - Used Books - History - Countries & Regions - Asia
  • Special Features - Used Books - History - General
  • Subjects - History - General
  • Subjects - History - Countries & Regions - Asia - East Asia - Japan

  • A selection of product reviews


    1 star1 star1 star1 starNo star    Insightful study of the war in British Asia

    Few events in the twentieth century did as much to shape the world in which we live than the fall of the British Empire. Every corner of the globe bears some stamp of its once-mighty presence, yet only now are we beginning to understand its true impact and legacy. In this book, Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper focus on British rule in southern Asia -India, Burma, Malaya, and Singapore - during the Second World War, showing not just how that conflict accelerated the collapse of their empire in the region but how it set the parameters of the subsequent course it took in history.

    The authors chart this progress from events immediately prior to the Japanese invasions of 1941-2, depicting a region at the crossroads of change. On the surface, British rule continued in the routines of rule that had existed for decades, with colonists engaged in their intricate social rituals at the top of a racially stratified society. Yet beneath these placid assumptions, a growing nationalism was beginning to erode the sureties of the British presence. Bayly and Harper's coverage of these groups is one of the many strengths of the book, as they describe the numerous racial groups and the complicated politics of their interactions with impressive breadth and confidence.

    Japan sought to exploit this nationalist sentiment by posturing as liberators seeking to create an 'Asia for the Asians.' Yet the success of their conquest was due more to British weakness than the success of any Japanese appeal. Stunned by the rapidity of the Japanese advance, British forces collapsed in a matter of weeks, irreparably damaging the imperial prestige upon which much of their rule rested. Racial attitudes only exacerbated tensions, as white colonials often 'pulled rank' in their eagerness to escape the Japanese onslaught. The memory of this would color relations in the region for years after the war.

    Though the Japanese advanced as far as northern Burma, overstretched supply lines and the annual monsoons brought an end to their offensive in the region. Yet with their forces shattered and their resources strained, initially the British could do little to dislodge them. Here the authors turn their attention to the suffering brought about by war, particularly a devastating famine in India, the result of wartime disruption, a devastating cyclone, and British misgovernment. With tensions high and many leaders of the Indian National Congress in prison, the Japanese tried to take advantage of the situation by sponsoring an Indian independence movement under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose. Yet this, like their efforts in Burma and Malaya, soon fell victim to the brutality and abuse of Japanese rule, which alienated the native populations and fueled resistance throughout the region.

    With the failure of their U-Go offensive in the spring of 1944, the end of Japanese rule was increasingly apparent to the peoples of the region. Yet even as the British prepared to reassert imperial rule, their former subjects were positioning themselves for independence. Here the authors illustrate both how much the experience of war had changed the region and how blind the British were to these changes. For all of the insincerity of Japanese motivations, the rhetoric of independence and the creation of local military forces had fanned nationalist hopes and accelerated what ultimately became an irreversible end to the British Empire in Asia.

    Bayly and Harper have provided an excellent history of the war in southeastern Asia and its role in decolonization. The breadth of their coverage is impressive, particularly in their examination of Asian perspectives towards both British and Japanese rule - something all too often absent in histories of the conflict. Though the narrative often suffers from stilted writing, the insightful analysis the authors offer more than compensates for the lack of polish in the prose. In fact, the abrupt termination of their account with the end of the fighting left me hoping for a follow-up volume that tracks these developments to their eventual conclusion - independence and the creation of a new Asia.


    Product Options



    Secure online payment

    Add directly to Amazon basket
    Let someone else know about this product!

    Read some Amazon reviews about this product.

    Search in other countries


    Other Recommended products

    Check the box on any product below that you'd like to include in your basket when you hit the 'Add to basket' button.

    Burma: The Forgotten War
    Add to basket
    Usually within 24 hours
    Singapore Burning: Heroism and Surrender in World War II
    Add to basket
    Usually within 3 days
    The Defence and Fall of Singapore 1941-42
    Add to basket
    Usually within 24 hours
    Poisoned Peace: The War That Never Ended
    Add to basket
    Usually within 3 to 5 weeks
    The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj
    Add to basket
    Usually within 24 hours
    US Home |  UK Home |  Help |  About Us |  Admin Options |  Contact Us |  ©2004 The LogosWord Website | Amazon Webstore Version 04050100