Military Economics, Culture and Logistics in the Burma Campaign, 1942-1945
Following the capture of Burma by the Japanese in May 1942, reopening and expanding the link from India to China through Burma became the allied forces' principal war aim in South-East Asia. Dunlop studies the operational and strategic effects of logistics on the campaign. He argues that the campaign's development was driven more by what was logistically possible than by pure strategic intent. With Singapore lost to the Japanese, the western allied forces had to transform India into a strategic base for further offensive operations, a role for which she was singularly ill-prepared. In Burma, the campaign had to be fought in a hostile environment. The battlefield comprised remote, disease-ridden, jungle-covered mountains, thinly inhabited and largely trackless. At the start of the campaign, the supporting area for lines of communication lacked adequate infrastructure, all of which had to be built from scratch or radically developed. Methods had to be found to sustain troops without reliance upon the few roads, enabling them to hold on to defensive positions and to outmanoeuvre their enemy.
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