Nations in the Balance

The India-Burma Campaigns, December 1943–August 1944

Christopher L Kolakowski

A new history of the battles in Burma in 1944, the outcome of which decided World War II in Asia and influenced the next 75 years of Asian history.
Date Published :
March 2022
Publisher :
Illustration :
50 photographs and 12 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240961
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The battles in India and Burma in 1944 not only decided World War II in Asia but influenced the next 75 years of Asian history.

From December 1943 to August 1944, Allied and Japanese forces fought the decisive battles of World War II in Southeast Asia. Fighting centered around North Burma, Imphal, Kohima and the Arakan, involving troops from all over the world along a battlefront the combined size of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The campaigns brought nations into collision for the highest stakes: British and Indian troops fighting for Empire, the Indo-Japanese forces seeking a prestige victory with an invasion of India and the Americans and Chinese focused on helping China and reopening the Burma Road. Events turned on the decisions of the principal commanders—Admiral Louis Mountbatten and Generals Joseph Stilwell, William Slim, Orde Wingate, Mutaguchi Renya, among many others. The impact of the fighting was felt in London, Tokyo and Washington, among other places far away from the battlefront, with effects that presaged postwar political relationships. This was also the first U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, and Stilwell's operations in some ways foreshadowed battles in Vietnam two decades later.

The Burma and India battles of 1944 offer dramatic and compelling stories of people fighting in difficult conditions against high odds, with far-reaching results. They also proved important to the postwar future of the participant nations and Asia as a whole, with effects that still reverberate decades after the war.

About The Author

Christopher L. Kolakowski received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany. Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, the U.S. Army, and the City of Norfolk. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has written three books on the American Civil War and one on the defense of the Philippines in World War II. He a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog and is a reviewer and contributor for the Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Studies. Chris currently works as a historian in Madison, Wisconsin.


Prologue: Longcloth

1. Nations in the Balance
2. The Gathering Forces
3. Stilwell’s Advance
4. Battles Front and Rear
5. The Triple Invasions
6. The Critical Weeks
7. “I Believe It Will Be Difficult To Hold”
8. “A Brilliant Feat of Arms”
9. The Balance Tips



"Kolakowski’s descriptions of the Allied counter-offensive are laid out with enough specificity to satisfy grognards, with plentiful battle maps to follow the maneuver...a fine tactical and operational summary of the late Burma Campaign."

- The NYMAS Review

"This is a well-written, straightforward synopsis of the 1944 battles."

- Journal of Military History

"...hits all the right tabletop points."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"Burma was not 'the forgotten war' as much as 'the underreported war'. It is clear that it did not receive the treatment it deserved in post-war historiography despite its undeniable strategic importance as the fragile bulwark against a Japanese invasion of India. Historian Christopher L. Kolakowski is among a new breed of scholars who are changing this, restoring the epic battles of Imphal and Kohima, to name but a few, to their rightful place in public memory. Deftly weaving together memoirs and unit diaries, he provides a rich and detailed account of the crucial battles in 1943 and 1944 when a multinational force consisting of Commonwealth soldiers, American GIs and Chinese infantrymen rose to the occasion and brought the Japanese dream of victory in mainland Southeast Asia to an end. The veterans and their families can wish for no better tribute to the immense sacrifice of these men, and to the blood and sweat they shed to help found the world we live in today."

- Peter Harmsen, Author of "Shanghai 1937" and "War in the Far East" Trilogy

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