In 1944 twenty thousand Allied Airborne Special Force troops in five Brigades commanded by Major General Orde Wingate landed behind the Japanese lines in Northern Burma. The Operation was Codenamed Operation Thursday. The Special Force troops were nicknamed ‘Chindits’. Four thousand Nigerian troops fought in the Special Force Brigades as Chindits during Operation Thursday. This book is an account of their operations behind Japanese lines between February and August 1944. The Brigade’s Insignia was the Black African Spider advancing on its prey. Thus, the Brigade called itself the ‘Spider Brigade’; its Battalions, namely the 6th, 7th and 12th Nigeria Regiments, ‘Spider Regiments’, and its troops ‘Spidermen’.
The book is a well-written account of the Spider Brigade’s battles against the 18th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. It should force Chindit Historians to confront the anomalies in Contemporary History’s treatment of Nigerian Chindits. The book is a scholarly and dispassionate excursion into the 14th Army’s Campaigns, putting under the microscope the preconceived assumptions of British and Indian Armies’ Officer Corps about the fighting quality of Nigerian Chindits. Thus, the book is an important and long overdue account of Operation Thursday that will become the standard work on Nigeria’s contributions to Allied Airborne Invasion of Burma.