The Road Past Mandalay

By John Masters

Published by W&N (2012)

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 more to public relations than strategic calculation. This military and moral odyssey is one of the greatest of World War II frontline memoirs.

Originally Published in 1961

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