The road past Mandalay: A personal narrative (Bantam war book series)

The road past Mandalay: A personal narrative (Bantam war book series)This Is The Second Part Of John Masters Autobiography How He Fought With His Gurkha Regiment During World War II Until His Promotion To Command One Of The Chindit Columns Behind Enemy Lines In Burma Written By A Bestselling Novelist At The Height Of His Powers, It Is An Exceptionally Moving Story That Culminates In Him Having To Personally Shoot A Number Of Wounded British Soldiers Who Cannot Be Evacuated Before Their Position Is Overrun By The Japanese It Is An Uncomfortable Reminder That Churchill S Obsession With Special Forces Squandered Thousands Of Allied Lives In Operations That Owed To Public Relations Than Strategic Calculation This Military And Moral Odyssey Is One Of The Greatest Of World War II Frontline Memoirs

Masters was the son of a lieutenant colonel whose family had a long tradition of service in the Indian Army He was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst On graduating from Sandhurst in 1933, he was seconded to the Duke of Cornwall s Light Infantry DCLI for a year before applying to serve with the 4th Prince of Wales s Own Gurkha Rifles He saw service on the North West Frontier with the 2nd bat

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  • Paperback
  • 374 pages
  • The road past Mandalay: A personal narrative (Bantam war book series)
  • John Masters
  • English
  • 07 May 2017
  • 9780553126624

10 thoughts on “The road past Mandalay: A personal narrative (Bantam war book series)

  1. says:

    If you re looking for rip roaring blazing WWII action, look elsewhere.This is John Master s second installment of his three part memoir about his military career and what came after This volume details his time as an entry to mid level Staff officer during WWII in the Iraq and Burma campaigns Naturally, given the duties of his rank, much of this book reflects the tedium of planning and commanding troops from a battlefield headquarters.However, that doesn t make it a tedious book Masters was an incredibly gifted writer, and much of the book was compelling reading I will concede however, that one longish stretch was not as interesting as the rest of it however, I couldn t put down roughly the first and last hundred and fifty some odd pages Masters gives an inside look at the poorly conceived, managed and grueling Chindits campaign behind the lines in Burma If WWII personalities interest you, Masters gives a fascinating personal take on Orde Wingate and Joseph Stilwell This is the meat of the book.But this is than just a fighting memoir Masters personal life and time at Staff College are equally compelling as his experiences with the Chindits, and the final push to dislodge the Japanese from Burma His writing illustrates very well the Herculean effort of the many nations at a global war something which we haven t seen the likes of since His perspective is also interesting because he was a professional soldier WWII was not an indignant shock or surprise to him In Bugles and a Tiger he writes about his observations on the slow slide into war The majority of the other first person accounts of WWII I ve read have been from men catapulted into service Masters was ready In addition, though British, Master s is not really of Great Britain As a person who spent part of his childhood and practically all of his adulthood in India, he provides a vision of the world that is expansive than those who grew up and lived in the West.Caveat Masters does reflect a paternalistic Kipling esque White Man s Burden attitude about India But that attitude is tempered with genuine respect and care for the people, and the country Believe me, I ve read memoirs from colonialists and occupiers that express nothing but disdain and disgusting racist condescension Masters is not any of the aforementioned, and actually is a bit of a humanist but the fact remains, he was the descendent of a family that had lived in India for generations He considered himself attached to India than England.The third part of his memoir which covers Indian independence and Partition should be interesting to read I haven t gotten my hands on it yet, so I m going to start Khushwant Singh s Train to Pakistan while I wait.All in all, his memoirs combined have been a fascinating odyssey If I had the third installment, I would have picked it up moments after finishing Road.

  2. says:

    copied and pasted KIRKUS REVIEWA personal record of far general interest than might be expected from the statement of its content the story of how a professional officer of the old Indian Army reached some sort of maturity both as a soldier and a man Masters has a rare gift for story telling, and even the facts of his professional training, of the details of strategy and tactics in jungle warfare, behind enemy lines in Malaya, come alive and make absorbingly interesting reading was the first volume of his autobiography this is his second The strange and unfamiliar life depicted in the earlier book provided for many an extra llip the story of a soldier and a war has been done repeatedly In fact and fiction and yet John Masters gives it that extra dimension that lifts his book out of the ordinary His sharp criticism of is than sustained by recorded facts There is romance here and adventure there is honest exploration of motives and goals, of responses to situations, that give it an overall recognizable quality with which many will find identification It can be recommended on all levels.

  3. says:

    Absorbing and beautifully written as battle narrative it is excellent, but it is far than that Nostalgia for a world that was passing British India , admiration for allies and enemies alike except for Vinegar Joe Stillwell, who gets enjoyably skewered and fascinating insights into some key players of WW2 such as Slim and Wingate I m only sorry this book was sitting on my shelves for years before I finally got round to reading it.

  4. says:

    One of the better autobiographical accounts of the Second World War, from the point of view of a British officer who served in some little known campaigns in Iraq and Syria as well as well known operations in India and Burma the once and future Myanmar.

  5. says:

    Dark , with dark humour in abundance, Masters gives out the stuff soldiers see and experience in war with enough simplicity to make you feel the pain and anguish and triumph of human spirit at one go Go read.

  6. says:

    Excellent and well written book on Masters personal experiences in WWII Gives great insight on staff work and the deficiencies of the Chindit campaign Could hardly put it down.

  7. says:

    Honest and riveting..

  8. says:

    Somehow, the higher ranking a soldier is, the less impactful an account of war and battles he is able to write Perhaps because high level strategy and planning do not make for as exciting reading as the foot soldier going at it hand to hand with the enemy in the trenches Not unless the reader is also well acquainted with technical jargon of military planning Try as he did to describe the hardships and atrocities of the war in Burma, I just could not empathize with the author s retelling of the difficulties and complexities of commanding thousands of fighting men In fact, he even came across as callous at times while mentioning the gruesome wounds inflicted on casualties, how he had to conduct triage on his own wounded, or how he summarily ordered the execution of local Burmese criminals Though I could understand the attitude of the imperialist towards his colonized subjects, akin to the paternal love between father and child, I still found it distasteful that so few could lord over so many people of another country Simply saying that if it wasn t the British it would ve been another Western country is just an excuse to justify colonial conquest.I was attracted to this book for its coverage of the war in Burma, from someone who had fought in it, but turned out disappointed The action does not really pick up till the final third of the book, the front portions being about the author s experience in the middle east theatre and learning the ropes of a commander at military staff college, not exactly riveting stuff I would recommend Quartered Safe Out Here as a much superior account of the same campaign, written by a foot soldier, naturally.

  9. says:

    If Bugles and a Tiger spoke of Master s early career in British India, this the second part of his autobiography covers the period of the Second World War Masters was an officer in the Guorkha Rifles and saw action on the Burmese front against the Japanese Towards the end of the fighting in Burma, Masters was the commander of one of the Chindit columns organised by Brig Orde Wingate The book covers what it took to be a staff officer on the war front and how difficult it was to balance the requirements of his men and his superiors Like his works of fiction, Masters is the master of spinning a yarn and his writing style is eminently readable Masters story is a great source for material about the fearless Gurkhas He was commissioned into the Prince of Wales Own Gurkha Rifles an spent all his professional life with the Gurkha regiments in India and Burma.I must confess that I was influenced by his writing style and perhaps the 5 star rating reflects this You must read this book and decide for yourself.

  10. says:

    One of the few war memoirs that could grasp the readers from the beginning to the end It s a personal narrative and, of course, full of personal reflection I believe most of the readers would like the part about 111th Brigade especially his command and the feats he went through with it Oh, readers would like the mountain trekking as well some gems of fluent nature writing that should not be skimmed through.

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