The Burma Road:
The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II
By Donovan Webster


The Burma Road tells the extraordinary story of the China-Burma-India theater of operations during World War II.

As the Imperial Japanese Army swept across China and South Asia at the war's outset - closing all of China's seaports - more than 200,000 Chinese laborers embarked on a seemingly impossible task: to cut a seven-hundred-mile overland route - which would be called the Burma Road - from the southwest Chinese city of Kunming to Lashio, Burma. But with the fall of Burma in early 1942, the Burma Road was severed, and it became the task of the newly arrived American General Stilwell to re-open it, while, at the same time, keeping China supplied by air-lift from India and simultaneously driving the Japanese out of Burma as the first step of the Allied offensive toward Japan.

In gripping prose, Donovan Webster follows the breathtaking adventures of the American "Hump" pilots who flew hair-raising missions over the Himalayas to make food-drops in China; tells the true story of the mission that inspired the famous film The Bridge on the River Kwai; and recounts the grueling jungle operations of Merrill's Marauders and the British Chindit Brigades. Interspersed with vivid portraits of the American General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, the exceedingly eccentric British General Orde Wingate, and the mercurial Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, The Burma Road vividly re-creates the sprawling, sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and still largely unknown stories of one of the greatest chapters of World War II.

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1999 Myriam Grest Thein