carl theaker's Reviews > Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

Forgotten Armies by C.A. Bayly
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Oct 29, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: ww2
Read in April, 2009 — I own a copy

Saw a Commanders of Singapore show on the history channel and it piqued my interest, particularly in the pre-war era of Southeast Asia. A positive review of this book set me on its tracks. This book takes a perspective from about 20,000 feet. It discusses the battles, but not a blow by blow account. though the fall of Singapore is covered in some detail. The focus is more on the political interplay and the effects on
colonization and de-colonization. I found it all fascinating.

This book does a great job of setting the scene of the pre-war years, the nostalgia of a land riding its high tide and blindly unaware of the complete disaster that is in the offing. Much like the mood in 'From Here to Eternity' regarding Pearl Harbor. Amazing array of characters are covered, all trying for some type of control of the various lands contained in British Southeast Asia.

The locals were inspired by the defeats of the white man and initially welcomed the invaders, though the Japanese soon wore out their welcome.

Interesting insights on India, which was treated rather roughly during the war by the British.

The authors reference many other books that look good regarding before, during and after the war.
I've already taken up the Malayan trilogy by Anthony Burgess.

As it is a contemporary book, I looked about a bit on the web on how to contact the authors to tell
them how much I liked it, I've never done that before, but couldn't find any good clues. If anyone else has a link, I'd like to hear it.
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message 1: by R. (new)

R. Ellis The external links section of Christopher Bayly Wikipedia page lists two possible web pages that might let you get in touch with the author. FWIW... ralph

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