Thistle Publishing Home News Authors About Books


The Burma campaign of WW2 - marked by extremes, contradictions and harsh brutality - is fascinatingly brought to life in this comprehensive military history

Through festering jungle and across burning plains to high mountains and lazy rivers, the Burma campaign of the Second World War involved the longest retreat in British history, and the longest advance; long-range penetration miles behind enemy lines, vicious hand-to-hand fighting, and the horrors of forced labour

The Figureheads of the campaign were singular characters like Slim, Mountbatten, Stilwell and Wingate; while its ranks were dominated by ordinary soldiers gathered 'like a whirlpool from the ends of the earth' - from Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, West, East and South Africa, but overwhelmingly from India.

Jon Latimer draws these disparate strands together in a gripping narrative that encompasses everything from the widest political developments to detailed tactical operations. His focus is the experiences of thousands of ordinary people whose lives were transformed by this south-east Asian maelstrom, many of whom feel that they were forgotten. Burma ensures that none of them are.


“Expertly describes the story of the Allies’ savage struggle to repel Japanese invaders from the British colony of Burma.”

Associated Press

“Jon Latimer is acquiring a formidable reputation as a military history heavyweight with a light-enough touch not to put off the merely curious.”


“Jon Latimer offers a gripping narrative of the Fourteenth Army’s Burma campaign.”

History Today

“Jon Latimer’s Burma: The Forgotten War offers a magnificently comprehensive assessment of that vicious campaign.”

Guardian ‘Books of the Year’

“Burma: The Forgotten War is detailed military history of the finest sort....His book is extraordinarily good at allowing the soldiers and airmen, as well as civilians, to speak for themselves...Given a volume as detailed and thoroughly researched as this one, it is also remarkably readable ....If you have read many or no previous histories of the war in Burma, you will enjoy this one.”

Asian Affairs

“Jon Latimer does an admirable job of charting the contributions these men made in their corner of the second world war”

Birmingham Evening Mail

“A detailed narrative of all the significant military operations which is unlikely to be surpassed or ever attempted again. While setting out the complex political background, the book also clearly describes how the British in India built up and re-trained their armies and developed their tactics and strategy. An especially graphic picture is painted of the human factors involved.”

John McEnery, Britain-Burma Society

“A thoughtful treatment of the British World War II campaigns in that still-suffering country.”

Taipei Times

Thanks to works like Latimer’s the Forgotten Army will be rightly remembered. (West Devon Diary)

Well balanced between political overview and intimate details, this account deserves to be noticed. (Good Book Guide)

Latimer ... expertly describes the story of the Allies’ savage struggle to rid the British colony of Burma of its Japanese invaders (Anthony Looch (syndicated))

Latimer, a former British Army officer turned military writer, expertly describes the story of the Allies savage struggle (Birmingham Post)

Latimer is acquiring a formidable reputation as a military history heavyweight with a light enough touch not to put off the merely curious (Soldier)

This is a book to buy, read and enjoy and go back to time and again. I cannot recommend it highly enough. (Dekho!)

A long overdue tribute to the soliders of a diverse Commonwealth force (Sunday Morning Post (Hong Kong))

Former soldier Jon Latimer offers a gripping narrative of the Fourteenth Army’s Burma campaign (History Today)

Jon Latimer breathes life into the maelstrom that ripped through the jungles of Burma during the second world war. (Big Issue)

Jon Latimer