Title: The Generals
Author: Robert Lyman
Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Spartacus Website: General William Slim
From General Yamashita's blistering capture of Singapore in early 1942 to the final decisive victory by General Slim at Rangoon four years later, this scintillating account of war in Asia analyses the effectiveness of the Japanese, British and American commanders who lead their forces in defeat and victory during the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War. In "The Generals", Robert Lyman looks at the role of the generals on both sides of the conflict and analyses their influence on the desperate struggle between both sides in what the British describe as 'the Forgotten War'. The ability of a general to inspire and motivate his men, and lead them to success, was crucial for victory but it took several years before the British were able to field leaders of the calibre necessary to defeat the Japanese.The personality of each commander had a direct impact on the outcome of battles, the formulation of strategy and the determination or otherwise of soldiers to fight to the bitter end.
Through the stories of Yamashita, Perceval, Hutton, Irwin, Mountbatten, Stilwell, Mutaguchi and Slim, Lyman tells the gripping story of the war in the Far East through the perspective of the command and leadership abilities of the men who were responsible for the deployment of many hundreds of thousands of men in the titanic struggle for mastery in Asia during the Second World War.