One of the plus points of the lockdown is that we perhaps have a little more time to read. At present I am much enjoying Bob Lynam's Slim, Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare, 2005. Any work on Slim will draw on his Defeat Into Victory and as I read Master of War so I realise how much of Defeat Into Victory has stayed with me even after twenty years. Bob Lyman writes very concisely - every sentence counts - and adds a great deal of context to the situation on Slim's arrival following the loss of Rangoon in March 1942. Slim learnt a great deal from the 1942 campaign and on taking over XV Corps quickly got to work implementing new training programmes. At this time his superiors, Wavell and Irwin were not doing well in the Arakan and Bob Lyman details their contrasting approaches.
I look forward to the rest of the book but in the meantime I attach Graham Dunlop's paper from our 2007 Summer Conference on Slim's handling of logistics during his 1945 campaign in Burma. As some of you will know, Graham later published a book Military Economics, Culture and Logistics in the Burma Campaign 1942-45, Routledge 2015.
I have also rediscovered Leadership & Command, a collection of essays arising from BCMH Conferences. It was edited by Gary Sheffield when he was Secretary General. and published by Brassey's in 1997. Dedicated to the Members of the BCMH it contains chapters by eminent historians who were members of the Commission at the time though both Michael Howard and David Rooney are are unfortunately no longer with us. The names of all the contributors will be familiar to many of you. The book begins with a study of Grant and his Chief of Staff John Rawlins by Brian Holden Reid and concludes with Steve Badsey talking about the Allied command structure in the 1991 Gulf War - well might he say that 'the greatest challenge faced by the American commanders was not the Iraqi enemy... '. Inbetween, to make a random selection, we have Michael Howard's personal observations on leadership in the British Army in the Second World War, David Rooney contrasts the leadership of the Chindits before and after Wingate whilst Julian Thompson compares his experience of command in the Falklands with that exercised during the landings at Anzio in 1944. Many members will possess copies of the book and I recommend that they re-read it before looking at the prices it now commands on abebooks and elsewhere.