Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma Paperback – Apr 2001
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"There is no doubt that it is one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War." -- John Keegan
From the Publisher
At the age of nineteen, the author saw nerve-wracking action during the British army's struggles against the Japanese in Burma, the last great land campaign of World War II. Fraser has now added to his rattling-good common soldier's memoir a substantial new afterword occasioned by the fiftieth anniversary of VJ-Day.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The descriptions of the child-like yet deadly (to the Japanese) ghurkas and charismatic Field Marshal Slim are inspirational. On one occasion a small ghurka band holds a position against wave after wave of suicidal Japanese assaults; then it's discovered they don't have a single round of ammunition between them, relying rather on their weapon of choice - the "kukri" - curved machete-like knife - leaving piles of Japanese dead all around them.
There is a hilarious portrayal of a type unique to the British army - the eccentric upper-class officer, who has no fear of danger, takes the war as something of fun, and is absolutely deadly in his effectiveness towrads the enemy.
In my opinion this is a unique, precious book - to be treasured - showing war in the raw, as it really was, with real people, right up against the battlezone. These guys just got on with the job. Buy this book. You will read it with relish, and return to it when you need an uplift. Sheer pleasure.
Those guys are old men now. They believe they were (unwillingly) just doing their job. But thanks to Fraser, our generation can re-live their grumbling yet heroic young lives and feel truly humble. I will make sure my children read this book
ps Many, many thanks for Flashman and McAuslan aswell.
The British and Indian Armies has been integrated trained and tested in the rugged battles of Imphal and Kohima. The Black Cat Division full of men from mostly Cumbria, are ready to be tested in the long road back to Rangoon. Fraser recounts his role in the big push to capture most of Burma and then the mop-up operations with British Special Forces in the closing weeks of the war.
Fraser's autobiographical writing is characteristically wry and at times cynically humourous. At other times he evinces what one may call the "ugly" side of the racist feeling of the enemy that filled the heads of both sides in this conflict. Like a lot of authors of the same era, Japanese are "Japs" and they are a lesser form of humanity. Lesser because they kill, rape and murder and kill British POWs to a degree that the British soldier (and any normal human being) finds shocking. What happens is, in turn, a dehumanisation of the British/ Indian soldier and any notion of him being a gentlemanly warrior. Quarter is neither asked nor given. Killing Japs and more Japs becomes the end in itself. When the initial offence breaks the backs of the main line of Japanese defence, the Gurkhas hunt Japanese with their long Kukris, Indian troops kill Japanese wounded, and the British go for vengence.
At the end of the book Fraser is aware of the mentality engendered on him and his men. He makes no apologies for it.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book provides an interesting, first hand account of the Burma campaign of WWII, a campaign and perspective we don't often get exposed to. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Conner Fritz
Required reading if one wants to have a feeling how the British and allied grunts of the 14th army fought, lived and survived the torture of their predicament in WW2 Burma with... Read morePublished on June 11 2013 by graham nielsen
Geroge Machdonald Fraser wrote this 50 years after the events in WW II Burha when the Japanese were defeated on land. Read morePublished on May 29 2012 by Rural Athenian
THIS IN SINGULARLY THE FINEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ ABOUT THE CBI, SMALL UNIT TACTICS AND THE REALITY OF WAR AND SURVIVAL. I DON'T NEED TO SAY MORE, BUY IT, READ IT, KEEP IT!Published on Jan. 11 2004
If you wish to understand the common British soldier in World War II, his virtues and his vices, this book is essential. Read morePublished on July 17 2003 by Catherine A. McClarey
George MacDonald Fraser, creator of the Flashman series takes on not 19th Century history, but rather himself this time out. Read morePublished on March 9 2003 by Grant Waara
It's been years since I first read "Quartered Safe Out Here" by the creator of Harry Paget Flashman, VC. (And I won't rehash everything the previous reviewers have written. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2003 by H. S. Wedekind
I got this book to read about Burma. Frankly, there is not much here distinctive to that country. Instead, I came away with an answer to something that has puzzled me for... Read morePublished on Dec 19 2002 by G. B. Talovich
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