For Your Tomorrow: Canadians and the Burma Campaign, 1941-1945 (Paperback)
Seventy minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Japanese forces launched the invasion that in five months rolled unstoppably across the whole of Burma. In March 1944 the Japanese commander stood on the border to India, his eyes bright with the vision of marching in triumph into Delhi. What followed was the ten-week long siege of the border town of Imphal and the biggest defeat the Japanese Army ever suffered. Then the Allied forces turned on their ruthless enemy and drove him southward to the sea even more rapidly than he had advanced in 1942. By mid-June 1945 the Japanese Army in Burma was completely disorganized and destroyed. Of the 300,000 Japanese soldiers who swaggered into Burma, only 118,000 ever returned home.
It is surprising how little the Burma Campaign is known in Canada, and even more surprising how little is known of Canadians involvement in it. In the air Canadians flew fighter planes that conquered Japan's Oscars, Zekes and Zeroes and manned the bombers that broke the back of the River Kwae Railway. Two RCAF pilots salvaged the wreckage of a light plane and used it to rescue British soldiers wounded two hundred miles behind enemy lines. A Canadian was in charge of the mules for one of the Wingate's Chindit columns. It was a Canadian pilot who discovered the Japanese fleet steaming toward Ceylon. A Canadian doctor laboured day and night to save the wounded in the flight from Burma and in the siege of Imphal and ended up as personal surgeon to the last Viceroy of India. The Burma Campaign was almost completely supplied by air and Canadian crews flew more than one third of those supply missions.
Canadians were awarded more than 150 decorations for merit and bravery in Burma, including one Victoria Cross. Approximately 8000 Canadians served there and 500 of these gave their lives in the Burma Campaign. For Your Tomorrow tells the story of the Campaign and of the Canadians who fought in it.