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Burma '44

The Battle That Turned Britain's War in the East
Narrated by: Al Murray
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: History, Asia
4.9 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

This audio edition includes an exclusive Q&A between James Holland and Al Murray.

In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War.

What became known as the Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a 15-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim’s Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory.

Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.

©2020 James Holland (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A thrilling blow-by-blow account." (The Times)

What listeners say about Burma '44

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-2020

Little known story of the Battle of the Admin Box

if your a fan of the We have ways podcast and interested in aspects of WW2. This is the audiobook for you. Burma is one of the campaigns of the war and is largely forgotten. This audio book is an excellent narrative that brings the battle of the admin box to light and how it was a turning point for the allies on this forgotten front.

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  • Ian David Williamson
  • 26-05-2020

History of an often overlooked aspect of WW2.

This book gives details of the fighting during the pivotal battle of "The Admin Box" in which the Allied armies under General Slim for the first time stopped the advance of the Japanese. The book gives an insight into the strategic and tactical changes first introduced by the 14th Army that gave the Allied armies a much needed victory but also gives first hand accounts of soldiers, predominantly British, who fought the battle. I do like Al Murray's voice but I don't think the post production work is as slick as it could be. (The same could be said for his reading of James Holland's Battle of Britain.) I enjoyed listening to this book and hope that James Holland will continue the narrative to the end of the war.

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  • mcfontaine
  • 09-05-2020

Fantastic

Yet another detailed description of what to me was a little known battle. James has a special talent for painting a picture like very few military historians can.

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  • R. J. Selwyn
  • 18-10-2020

Brilliant Story and Narration

Yet another Absolutely fantastic book and narration by James Holland and Al Murray. I will look out for more of his books. They are just so entertaining.

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  • F.Ecker
  • 12-10-2020

Brilliant narration by Al Murray.

Extremely well researched. One of the finest factual accounts of the fight against the Japanese in Burma.

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  • peat9999
  • 10-10-2020

Another belter from James Holland.

The way James Holland writes these seems to put me right there. I cannot fault it. Also Al Murrays' narration is the best I've come across on all the second world war books that I have listened to on Audible.

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  • Roy Seaman
  • 03-10-2020

An absorbing and educational treat

What a treat this audio book has been. I knew of the Burma campaign, of course, but little of the main characters and details of the key battles and components. James Holland’s writing reveals the elements of the story in such an effective way, and it’s brought to life superbly by Al Murray’s narration. The combination draws you in until you feel you’re with the characters in the Admin Box bearing witness to the tension, fear and horror of that epic struggle. It’s a must for any Second World War history buff. There’s a lovely bonus chat between James and Al at the end which neatly ties the bow on the book. Absolutely excellent stuff. Thanks so much to all who made this happen.

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  • Simon Martin
  • 24-09-2020

Good story, but slightly misleading title

Was expecting a book about the British campaign in Burma, but instead got an account about one particular aspect. It was still a good book, very enthusiastically read by Al Murray. This was also the first book I listened to written by James Holland, but I'll definitely listen to more.

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  • Duncan Connell
  • 15-09-2020

Fantastic bit if history writing

This was brilliant. James Holland has superbly brought more than you thought you needed to know about the battle for Burma and the turning point of allied fortunes in the region. Written in a way that make it's nice an easy to understand and flows like a story. Helped along by Brilliant narration by Al Murray who you can tell is just as passionate and gripped by what he is reading.

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  • J. Rogerson
  • 14-09-2020

Excellent tale well read.

This largely unknown episode in our history has the power to grip. Al Murray reads it well.