Behind the Burma Road

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Behind the Burma Road
Behind Burma Road.jpg
Author William R. Peers and
Dean Brelis
Subject Burma
Guerilla Warfare
OSS Detachment 101
World War II
Publisher Little, Brown & Co.
Publication date
Pages 246
OSS Detachment 101 Officers

Behind the Burma Road is regarded as one of the most broadly informative books on intelligence operations and processes available in English.[1] "A primer for guerilla fighters, [the book] lists 101's[Note 1] accomplishments as far as it was humanly possible to ascertain the effects of its attacks on and harassment of the Japanese [during World War II]. Their score included 5,428 known enemy dead and an estimated 10,000 others either killed or seriously wounded. Seventy-five Japanese were captured, 51 bridges destroyed, 9 trains derailed, 232 downed United States air corps personnel rescued, and 342 other allied personnel flown out; 3000 tons of enemy supplies were destroyed and 700 tons captured."[3][4] 101's efforts opened the way for Stilwell's Chinese forces, Wingate's Raiders, Merrill's Marauders, and the great counter-attack against the Japanese Imperial life-line." [5]

The book is the result of an unusual writing collaboration between a commanding officer and one of his men. Colonel William R. Peers, who would later rise to the rank of Lieutenant General,[6] was commander of 101 from December, 1943 to July 1945, and before that, the Operations and Training Officer. Dean Brelis, who later became a novelist and foreign correspondent with Time magazine,[7] was at the time a field agent, first as a sergeant and then as a lieutenant, during 1944 and 1945. Although the story of 101's guerilla operations is seen in this book through the eyes of the commanding officer, the actual text is the result of collaboration between the two men, who hoped it embodied not only the difficult command problems of a complex guerilla operation, but the experiences and accomplishments of the men in the field as well.[8]

See also[edit]


Explanatory Notes
  1. ^ OSS, Detachment 101 operated in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II from April 14, 1942 to July 12, 1945.[2]
  1. ^ Central Intelligence Agency. Public Texts In Intelligence (1963). Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  2. ^ Hogan, Jr., David W. U.S. Army Special Operations in World War II. U.S. Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 70-42, 1958, ch. 5. 
  3. ^ Wood, Percy (September 15, 1963). They Made the Jungle Too Hot for Japanese [Review of Behind the Burma Road], Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Central Intelligence Agency. Behind Japanese Lines in Burma: The Stuff of Intelligence Legend (2001). Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  5. ^ Peers, William R. and Dean Brelis. Behind the Burma Road: The Story of America’s Most Successful Guerrilla Force. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1963, back cover.
  6. ^ Wikipedia editors (2012-03-11). William R. Peers. Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  7. ^ Obituary (Dean Brelis), Los Angeles Times (2006-11-22). Accessed 2012-05-30.
  8. ^ Peers, Foreword.

Further reading[edit]