Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Burma ’44

The Battle that Turned World War II in the East

by James Holland

Celebrated historian of World War II James Holland chronicles the astonishing Allied victory at the Battle of the Admin Box in Burma (now Myanmar), a turning point of the war in the Far East

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date June 11, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6058-4
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $30.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date June 11, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6059-1
  • US List Price $30.00

In February 1944, in one of the most astonishing battles of World War II, a ragtag collection of British clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews, managed to defeat a much larger and sophisticated contingent of some of the finest infantry in the Japanese army on their march towards India.

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

In Burma ’44, acclaimed World War II historian James Holland offers a dramatic tale of victory against incredible odds. As momentous as the Battle of the Bulge ten months later, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet underappreciated conflicts of the entire war. In Holland’s hands, it is finally given its proper place in the history of World War II.

Praise for Burma ’44:

Named a Best Book of the Year (So Far) by Barnes & Noble (History)

“A thrilling account of a little-known but vital battle, for readers interested in World War II history, especially the Pacific Theater of Operations.”Library Journal (starred review)

“The author of Sicily ’44, Normandy ’44, and other acclaimed works of military history returns with a look at a significant yet overlooked World War II battle . . . [Holland] does ably capture the abundance of heroism and the satisfying outcome. A lesser-known campaign receives well-deserved attention.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Allied soldiers are sorely tested over 18 days of vicious and pivotal fighting in this kinetic account from historian Holland . . . With a keen eye for detail, Holland highlights how the undaunted performance of routine maintenance, like that of repair crews who kept military vehicles running, set the stage for victory. It makes for a propulsive tale of resourceful protagonists triumphing over terrible odds.”—Publishers Weekly

“A first-rate popular history of a fascinating and neglected battle . . . James Holland is a master of spinning narrative military history from accounts of men and women who were there and Burma ’44 is a veritable page-turner.”—BBC History

“A thrilling blow-by-blow account of the fighting, which will please military buffs. There are also crisp vignettes of the commanders . . . But it is the voices of the fighting men that lift this book above the level of a simple battle narrative.”—Times (UK)

“Up there with Rorke’s Drift . . . In rescuing the Battle of the Admin Box from oblivion, Holland has performed a signal service for all the men who fought—and died—in its defence.”—Telegraph

“In this superb account of an obscure but decisive battle fought in almost indescribably difficult jungle terrain, the always excellent James Holland tells a tale of heroism and grit to match any in the annals of war.”—Mail on Sunday

“Vivid . . . Military historian James Holland conjures the heroism and horror of this gallant stand by a motley force of doctors, clerks and other base troops against highly trained Japanese infantry.”—Daily Mail

“A gripping account of one of the war’s lesser-known episodes.”—Soldier

Praise for James Holland:

Brothers in Arms tells a superb story of World War II destruction with a breadth that small-unit narratives cannot match.”—Jonathan W. Jordan, Wall Street Journal

“A superb account of the invasion that deserves immense praise . . . To convey the human drama of Normandy requires great knowledge and sensitivity. Holland has both in spades.”—Times (UK), on Normandy ’44

“Detail and scope are the twin strengths of Normandy ’44 . . . Mr. Holland effectively balances human drama with the science of war as the Allies knew it.”—Jonathan W. Jordan, Wall Street Journal 

“It is a pleasure to sit back and wallow in an old-school military tale of flinty-eyed men doing battle.”—Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times Book Review, on Sicily ’43

“Holland’s great skill lies in bringing these warriors back to life with vivid prose. He’s an enormously prolific historian of the war, but each book he produces is constructed with great care and emotional commitment . . . Holland is obsessed with war, but fortunately does not seem to love it. He recognizes its beauty, but also its vileness.”—Gerard DeGroot, Times (UK) on Sicily ’43

“James Holland’s greatest strength as a military historian is that he brings humanity to his work—a rare trait in a field of research that can sometimes feel dominated by those obsessed with numbers.”—Spectator, on Brothers in Arms

“James Holland’s The War in the West is set fair to become one of the truly great multivolume histories of the Second World War.”—Andrew Roberts, New York Times-bestselling author of The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War and Napoleon: A Life

“Highly detailed . . . The interplay of personal stories with the broader strategic picture makes this book especially illuminating . . . A fascinating must-read for World War II aficionados.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Big Week

“A fascinating story of how the fortunes of war changed in obvious—and particularly not so obvious—ways.”—Col. Eric M. Walters, Military Review on The Allies Strike Back