On the Irrawaddy, A Story of the First Burmese War

G. A. Henty (1832 - 1902)

With the exception of the terrible retreat from Afghanistan, none of England's many little wars have been so fatal--in proportion to the number of those engaged--as our first expedition to Burma. It was undertaken without any due comprehension of the difficulties to be encountered, from the effects of climate and the deficiency of transport; the power, and still more the obstinacy and arrogance of the court of Ava were altogether underrated; and it was considered that our possession of her ports would assuredly bring the enemy, who had wantonly forced the struggle upon us, to submission. Events, however, proved the completeness of the error. The Burman policy of carrying off every boat on the river, laying waste the whole country, and driving away the inhabitants and the herds, maintained our army as prisoners in Rangoon through the first wet season; and caused the loss of half the white officers and men first sent there. The subsequent campaign was no less fatal and, although large reinforcements had been sent, fifty percent of the whole died; so that less than two thousand fighting men remained in the ranks, when the expedition arrived within a short distance of Ava. Not until the last Burmese army had been scattered did the court of Ava submit to the by no means onerous terms we imposed.

Genre(s): General Fiction, Historical Fiction, War & Military Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 - Preface Mike Harris
Play 01 01 - A New Career Mike Harris
Play 02 02 - The Outbreak of War Mike Harris
Play 03 03 - A Prisoner Mike Harris
Play 04 04 - A Ruined Temple Mike Harris
Play 05 05 - With Brigands Mike Harris
Play 06 06 - Among Friends Mike Harris
Play 07 07 - On The Staff Mike Harris
Play 08 08 - The Pagoda Mike Harris
Play 09 09 - Victories Mike Harris
Play 10 10 - The Advance Mike Harris
Play 11 11 - Donabew Mike Harris
Play 12 12 - Harry Carried Off Mike Harris
Play 13 13 - Preparing a Rescue Mike Harris
Play 14 14 - In The Temple Mike Harris
Play 15 15 - The Attack Mike Harris
Play 16 16 - Rejoining Mike Harris
Play 17 17 - The Pride of Burma Humbled Mike Harris
Play 18 18 - In Business Again Mike Harris