The Generals : From Defeat to Victory, Leadership in Asia 1941-1945, Hardback

The Generals : From Defeat to Victory, Leadership in Asia 1941-1945 Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


From General Yamashita's blistering capture of Singapore in early 1942 to the final decisive victory by General Slim at Rangoon four years later, this scintillating account of war in Asia analyses the effectiveness of the Japanese, British and American commanders who lead their forces in defeat and victory during the longest continuous campaign of the Second World War. In The Generals, Robert Lyman looks at the role of the generals on both sides of the conflict and analyses their influence on the desperate struggle between both sides in what the British describe as 'the Forgotten War'.

The ability of a general to inspire and motivate his men, and lead them to success, was crucial for victory but it took several years before the British were able to field leaders of the calibre necessary to defeat the Japanese.

The personality of each commander had a direct impact on the outcome of battles, the formulation of strategy and the determination or otherwise of soldiers to fight to the bitter end. Through the stories of Yamashita, Perceval, Hutton, Irwin, Mountbatten, Stilwell, Mutaguchi and Slim, Lyman tells the gripping story of the war in the Far East through the perspective of the command and leadership abilities of the men who were responsible for the deployment of many hundreds of thousands of men in the titanic struggle for mastery in Asia during the Second World War. Reviews for Slim, Master of War: 'This is a first rate book ...a beautifully written and carefully researched account.' Dr Richard Holmes 'Lyman is good on strategy ...he is also astute on what it took to fight the war on the ground.' Sunday Times 'This significant book a much needed and scholarly addition to the literature of the Burma War.' Soldier Magazine Reviews for First Victory: 'In this excellent book, Robert Lyman...reveals the fascinating story of the forgotten desert battles that fundamentally changed the course of World War Two.' Military Illustrated His moving account of human beings, often tested beyond reason, should be read by all who aspire to lead in battle.

Major General DM Naylor CB, MBE.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9781845294915



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A well written book about generalship in the Far East 1941-1945. While little new comes to light for the well read WWII reader I found it very interesting with its information about the personalities of the different generals in the Far East – most interesting were of course the chapters on the less known Thomas Hutton and Noel Irwin. Should be read in connection with British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45 edit by Brian Bond.

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