Orde Wingate, Unconventional Warrior, from the 1920s to the Twenty-First Century

B2122

Orde Wingate came from a family with strong military and diplomatic traditions, Wingate Pasha was one example of a soldier/diplomat who worked hard for the Sudan and then Egypt from the viewpoint of the locals rather than as a ruler. It may not therefore be surprising that Orde Wingate was to be a controversial soldier. He was to have a great impact on the Burma Campaigns and many claim him as the father of the modern Special Forces units. The author has researched official and private papers to give new insights into his subject and to debunk the many myths and inaccuracies that have surrounded Wingate. Inevitably some will object to his presentation, but it is well presented and convincing. Wingate shares much with the controversies surrounding Lawrence of Arabia during WWI. Both men achieved successes at a time when they were needed, they also experienced some failures and they were fighting in conditions that were unfamiliar to many senior officers. A great story, well-told.

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NAME: Orde Wingate, Unconventional Warrior, from the 1920s to the Twenty-First Century
DATE: 081214
FILE: R2122
AUTHOR: Simon Anglim
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 252
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, Japanese, Burma, jungle warfare, irregular warfare, deep penetration, vertical supply, medivac
ISBN: 1-78346-218-3
IMAGE: B2122.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ocs7jft
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Orde Wingate came from a family with strong military and diplomatic traditions, Wingate Pasha was one example of a soldier/diplomat who worked hard for the Sudan and then Egypt from the viewpoint of the locals rather than as a ruler. It may not therefore be surprising that Orde Wingate was to be a controversial soldier. He was to have a great impact on the Burma Campaigns and many claim him as the father of the modern Special Forces units. The author has researched official and private papers to give new insights into his subject and to debunk the many myths and inaccuracies that have surrounded Wingate. Inevitably some will object to his presentation, but it is well presented and convincing. Wingate shares much with the controversies surrounding Lawrence of Arabia during WWI. Both men achieved successes at a time when they were needed, they also experienced some failures and they were fighting in conditions that were unfamiliar to many senior officers. A great story, well-told.

The author tells the full story, but the part of Wingate’s career that has been best covered before is his formation of the Chindits and his irregular warfare deep behind Japanese lines in Burma. In some respects, his methods of fighting were not new and had been used to some extent in North Africa by the private armies that roamed the desert and struck at the Italians and Germans from unexpected directions. What was new was the size of the Chindit formations and their allies, the US Marauder irregulars who came into Burma from China.

Where the LRDG and other groups in North Africa had sent small squadrons of vehicles into the desert with fuel and supplies to complete the mission and return, Wingate marched off into the Burmese jungle with limited supplies and little prospect of being able to live off the land. They suffered badly from the conditions and illness was at least as much an enemy as the Japanese. What made Wingate’s operation possible was air power. Supplies were parachuted to the Chindits and, where jungle airstrips were available, aircraft flew supplies in and casualties out. In that respect, Wingate was operating with vertical insertion as his lifeline. This enabled him to move around and still be found and resupplied from the air. Modern Special Forces are heavily dependent on vertical insertion, supply and extraction. They are also moved around the battlefield by helicopter and now begin to receive their supplies from unmanned helicopters that can operate in very hostile airspace. It was in WWII Burma that the first medivac, by helicopter, of a wounded soldier took place.

Wingate did receive some vital support from tactical strike aircraft. Today, Special Forces operate in a 3D environment where they can communicate in audio/visual radio coverage where a senior officer across the world can view the fight and talk with even the most junior soldier, communications being relayed via aircraft and/or satellites.

Although many modern Special Operations forces work in small teams, there are also large scale operations and Wingate can be credited with the development of procedures and tactics to command sizeable forces behind enemy lines.

This is a very interesting book that offers many new insights, argues against some previously established belief, and gives what is probably the most honest and accurate review of a very controversial soldier of WWII.

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