Academic journal article Military Review

Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion

Academic journal article Military Review

Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion

Article excerpt

FIRE IN THE NIGHT: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion, John Bierman and Colin Smith, Random House, NY, 1999, 434 pages, $29.95,

The life and career of World War II-era British Major General Orde Wingate still excites controversy. To some, Wingate was a brilliant eccentric whose pioneering work organizing special night squads in prewar Palestine, native militia forces in World War II Ethiopia and long-- range penetration groups-- chindits-in Burma mark him as one the true forefathers of modern special operations.

To his critics, Wingate's forces produced few tactical victories and contributed little to operational or strategic success. To his fans, Wingate was a gadfly who restored initiative and energy to his units and a visionary who accurately foresaw the shape of future wars. His critics counter that Wingate was a shameless self-promoter whose antics created antagonism that detracted from overall mission accomplishment. His premature death in Burma in 1944 gave his life a tragic aura of greatness cut down in its prime-or just short of it.

John Bierman and Colin Smith, British authors with wide experience in Wingate's operating locales, recapture the Wingate debate in Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion. Although Wingate's story has been told many times, Bierman and Smith are the first to draw on recently released personal papers. The authors also summarize well the "battle of memoirs" already published by Wingate's contemporaries and draw on a final round of testimony by aging warriors and friends who knew him personally. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.