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Robert Lyman
Robert Lyman
Historian and author, principally of the Second World War
History
Military
WWII
Where else you can find me
Personal website
Substack
Book a 1:1 with Rob Lyman
Hi!

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Talk soon,
Sam

Welcome

On my mind

I'm happy to talk about almost all aspects of the Second World War

Why I'm excited to talk with readers

I write for the enjoyment of my readers, so talking to them directly floats my boat...

Best wishes

Rob Lyman

Let's talk! Open to...👇
Freewheeling conversations
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My latest
My Substack
 by 
Robert Lyman
Where I've written

A War of Empires

Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45

In 1941 and 1942 the British and Indian Armies were brutally defeated and Japan reigned supreme in its newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires by acclaimed historian Robert Lyman expertly records these coordinated efforts and describes how a new volunteer Indian Army, rising from the ashes of defeat, would ferociously fight to turn the tide of war.

But victory did not come immediately. It wasn't until March 1944, when the Japanese staged their famed 'March on Delhi', that the years of rebuilding paid off and, after bitter fighting, the Japanese were finally defeated at Kohima and Imphal. This was followed by a series of extraordinary victories culminating in Mandalay in May 1945 and the collapse of all Japanese forces in Burma. Until now, the Indian Army's contribution has been consistently forgotten and ignored by many Western historians but Robert Lyman proves how vital this hard-fought campaign was in securing Allied victory in the east.

Detailing the defeat of Japanese militarism, he recounts how the map of the region was ultimately redrawn, guaranteeing the rise of an independent India free from the shackles of empire.

'This is a superb book.'

- James Holland

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Victory to Defeat

The British Army 1918–40

The British Army won a convincing series of victories between 1916 and 1918. But by 1939 the British Army was an entirely different animal. The hard-won knowledge, experience and strategic vision that delivered victory after victory in the closing stages of the First World War had been lost. In the inter-war years there was plenty of talking, but very little focus on who Britain might have to fight, and how. Victory to Defeat clearly illustrates how the British Army wasn't prepared to fight a first-class European Army in 1939 for the simple reason that as a country Britain hadn't prepared itself to do so. The failure of the army's leadership led directly to its abysmal performance in Norway and France in 1940.

Victory to Defeat is a captivating history of the mismanagement of a war-winning army. It is also a stark warning that we neglect to understand who our enemy might be, and how to defeat him, at the peril of our country. The British Army is now to be cut to its smallest size since 1714. Are we, this book asks, repeating the same mistakes again?

"Both [authors] are former soldiers, Dannatt having ended his career as chief of the general staff; and they bring their military perspective to their account of this vitally important period. As such their work is highly useful...an interesting and well-researched study of a crucial episode."

Simon Heffer, The Sunday Telegraph

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The Rise of the Third Reich

The Takeover of the Continent in the Words of Observers

The Rise of the Third Reich is a poignant and powerful portrait of the years 1939 to 1941, which witnessed the march towards the greatest manmade catastrophe the world has ever experienced. The narrative follows events from 3 September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war in December 1941. It is told from the fresh perspective of expatriate Americans caught up in the exploding conflict.

Uniquely, the book uses their contemporary accounts, to record a time when British and other nationalities were barred from Nazi-occupied territory, but US citizens could travel and report what they saw. They describe the foreboding, fear and suffering caused by the Nazi invasions. These were years of increasing calls for American intervention, as Britain faced its darkest days, and held off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, yet remained vulnerable. Meanwhile, European nations fell one after another, and Hitler’s power extended from the Mediterranean to the Baltic.

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