• A War of Empires

  • Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941-45
  • By: Robert Lyman
  • Narrated by: Roger May
  • Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents A War of Empires by Robert Lyman, read by Roger May.

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.

©2021 Robert Lyman (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"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, best-selling 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)

What listeners say about A War of Empires

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Void of Interesting Detail

I have a few hundred audible books and this book is among those I got the least from. I expected to at least learn about the geography of this remote theater of the war but I got no sense of the places or of the people involved. This book is mostly about management of Brit and Indian resources and the potential for unrest in India and only peripherally about facing the Japanese.

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Fills In a Great Gap

This book was a marvelous explanation of the war in Burma and India that has not received much understanding in America. This therefore filled in a great gap in my knowledge of WW2. The narrator was superb and perfect for the book. The author certainly did his homework as this book was thorough and kept my interest in it to the end. Highly recommend to any other WW2 history buffs.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-30-22

Excellent military history

A military history that effortlessly combined the strategic, operational and tactical levels. Many important lessons with contemporary relevance - for those that want to learn about them. These include tactical, operational and theatre command, which the book expertly dissects. As well as how leadership brings together learning, adaptation and confidence building.

General Slim's memoir Defeat Into Victory and Rob's excellent book on Slim, but this tops them both. Particularly with its analysis of the successes and mistakes, not only of Slim, but also Japanese general Kimura, British generals Wavell, Auchinleck, Giffard, Irwin, US general Stilwell and Admiral Mountbatten.

Should be required reading at staff colleges and on professional military education reading lists. .

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  • Virginia Slim
  • 05-09-22

Great narrative, balanced analysis.

The story of this great multi-national defeat of Japanese militarism deserves to be more widely appreciated. I hope that this book is widely read.

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  • belfast bob
  • 05-02-22

Just what it says on the tin

What a great book to listen to. Having some experience of the story of the Burma Campaign of WW2, I found this book to be an excellent listen. I will use this as a learning book to enhance my own knowledge of the Battles of Kohima & Imphal so that I can pass this on to my audiences when I tour the actual battlefields.

I recommend this book completely - perfect

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  • TS
  • 04-17-22

Excellent book

Great to finally have an accessible, complete story of the Burma campaign from start to finish.

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  • Andy S
  • 01-31-22

Just the best

The book I have waited years for. The definitive book on the war in the east.

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  • djmp
  • 07-15-22

Top notch

Clear cogent, hard headed realistic telling and rebuttal of the leftish nonsense pedalled widely