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Japanese Armies invaded an almost defenseless Burma in 1942, sending tens of thousands fleeing over the mountains to India. They ruled the remaining Burmese, whom they boasted of liberating from British rule, with arrogance and brutality. Violet's Flight narrates the experiences of a young Anglo-Burmese girl and her relatives growing up happily under the British and their ordeal either escaping the Japanese or living under the occupation or fighting in the resistance.
The battles won by the allied armies coming out of India to retake Burma in 1944-45 are seen through the eyes of Japanese officers, who watch their armies suffer in their turn the agonies of defeat in war. The seeds of fascism sown by Aung San and his Burma Independence Army by joining the Japanese invasion, until disenchanted, grew like a weed, which poisoned Burmese society against Anglo-Burmese and other ethnic Burmans—strangling its bloom with an iron-fisted dictatorship.