The Burma Road

Donovan Webster

30 January 2014
384 pages


In the tradition of Band of Brothers and Anthony Beevor’s Stalingrad, Donovan Webster’s The Burma Road vividly recreates one of the astonishing and important events of the Second World War – and the basis for the film The Bridge over the River Kwai.

With gripping prose, Webster follows the breathtaking adventures of the Allied ‘Hump’ pilots who flew hair-raising missions over the Himalayas delivering food and supplies to the 200,000 Chinese labourers charged with creating an overland link with the outside world. For the first time, we learn of the war in Burma from the perspective of the of the soldiers who fought and died there – the bravery, hardships and fears that motivated them to risk everything to avoid a full Japanese occupancy of China.

Touching, moving and riveting, Webster’s account of this gruelling and arduous campaign is a brilliant and important history, as well as an epic adventure story.

‘A compelling narrative . . . The opposing armies pursue one another through tiger-infested jungles, plagued by leeches as they slog miserably from firefight to firefight. This is great material and Webster handles it well’ Los Angeles Times