By Christopher Bayly, Tim Harper
This amazing ebook is a bright, hugely unique account of the construction of a brand new Asia after the second one global conflict - an unstoppable wave of nationalism that swept the British Empire apart. It tells the definitive tale of ways India, Pakistan, Burma and Malaysia got here into life and the way British interference in Vietnam and Indonesia fatally formed these nations' futures.
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Extra resources for Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire
But the ruins of Hiroshima were brown, the colour of unfired pottery… The city didn’t look as if it had been burned. Yet it was flattened. In the middle of the ruins two buildings, a department store and the newspaper [office] stood all alone. 1 The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the defining event of the twentieth century. Everywhere the news was received with deep ambivalence. The leaders of the USA and Britain had been determined to save Allied lives by bringing the war to a rapid conclusion, but now they were assailed by guilt and doubt.
Burhanuddin al-Helmy, Dr (b. 1911). Leader of Malay Nationalist Party, 1945–7. Detained after Nadrah riots and on release became leader of Parti Islam Se-Malaya. Detained again during ‘Confrontation’ with Indonesia. Chiang Kai Shek (b. 1887). Chinese nationalist leader and ‘generalissimo’ of Chinese armies fighting Japan since 1936; drawn into fighting in Burma during 1942 to keep the ‘Burma Road’ open. Pressed for Allied campaign against Burma, 1943–4. Fought and lost civil war with Mao Zedong, 1946–9.
The country was so utterly devastated that the incoming victors were astonished that it had held out for so long. The bomb finally ended that resistance. Some Japanese fainted when the high-pitched voice of Emperor Hirohito was heard over the radio, conceding defeat in stilted, formal Japanese. A few militarists and patriots committed suicide, while many other Japanese were shamed to the bottom of their hearts by their country’s defeat and awaited the coming of the Americans with trepidation. Others quietly rejoiced in the knowledge that the imperial house and the nation had at least survived.