• Burma '44

  • The Battle That Turned Britain's War in the East
  • By: James Holland
  • Narrated by: Al Murray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Burma '44

By: James Holland
Narrated by: Al Murray
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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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

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

What listeners say about Burma '44

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  • Ian David Williamson
  • 05-26-20

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-04-20

a story to hear

The book tells in detail the story of how the dispirited British Army regrouped and stood firm against a determined attack by the Imperial Japanese Army. It speaks of good leadership and careful planning on the part of the British with the support of the Americans. While sad and savage in parts, the book speaks of courage and bravery and fortitude. It provides invaluable lessons about outstanding leadership and how it deals with adversity and set backs.
The story should be told more widely. It compares to other noble stories in British military history.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-20

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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  • Nigel
  • 06-12-21

Another Brilliant James Holland book

everything James Holland touches turns to gold. a little known battle but as always Mr Holland gives every detail, enthralls the reader/listenener and brings us another fantastic story. the description of what these troops went through and their enemy is first class. cant praise James Holland High enough.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-16-21

Incredible

I have learned a tonne from this, most importantly that I would not have wanted to be there.

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  • mcfontaine
  • 05-09-20

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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  • Edward C. Williams
  • 01-21-23

Top Job !

It is indeed !!!
Well done gents, another outstanding listen, about a much neglected theatre of war

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  • rob
  • 12-11-22

Enjoyable

A great story that is not written about enough. Al Murray does well narrating. Would recommend l.

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  • Doinkmaster420
  • 11-27-22

Very good

Absolutely fascinating book and well read would like a Bruma 1945 aswell well worth it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-15-22

My grandad fought in Burma

It's one of the most brutal conflicts. It was more inhuman than the Russian front. The Japanese treated others like vermin and in turn would not surrender. No quarter asked, so no quarter given. This has to be one of the most inhuman modern jungle conflicts. My grandad died before I could ask him about it, shame really. Whole armies passing in the jungle. The limitation of air power. The limitation of tanks. Lack of visibility. The weather. Lessons re-learnt in Vietnam. With the rise of militant nationalism in Asia, we might be re-learning more lessons so.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-25-21

brilliant

brilliant and riveting story that had me hooked from beginning to end, absolutely reccomend wholeheartedly

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  • Norvern Munky
  • 06-02-21

So-so

I’m not sure if it was the narration or the writing, but I didn’t find myself engaged in this book at all.
I couldn’t tell you anything about the war in Burma following listening to this book. Not a thing. No part of this reading or book went in. I know there is General Slim, that would be about it.

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  • Leo
  • 01-20-21

brilliant stir and narration

I just loved the story and the narrator's brilliant narration, good job to both of them